SEC Chairman: Bitcoin is not a security, but most ICOs are

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton has asserted that Bitcoin is not a security, while confirming that most ICOs are non-compliant with securities law

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton has confirmed that while Bitcoin isn’t a security, most ICOs are and that they will eventually have to register themselves with the SEC.

Clayton’s comments come one week after the SEC’s crackdown on a number of ICOs, with Airfox and Paragon being ordered to register their companies as a security and refund customers.

The move by the SEC was seen as an initial phase in their crackdown on initial coin offerings, with the regulator expected to continue clamping down into the New Year.

Speaking on CNBC, Clayton said: “Let’s separate securities from non-securities, we don’t believe Bitcoin is a security, but many of the ICOs that you see are securities. If you’re going to offer and sell securities, you have to do so in compliance with our laws.

“We’ve been clear about that, the recent actions further emphasise that our securities laws do apply to the ICO space. If people are going to raise money using an initial coin offering they either have to do so in a private placement, or they have to register with the SEC.”

He added: “We’ve had no ICOs register with the SEC. To the extent that ICOs are being conducted offshore or pursuant through a private placement exemption. If you’ve done a private offering in an ICO, it’s non-compliant.”

The increasingly stringent regulation has led to altcoin prices falling to yearly lows, with Ethereum and a number of tokens built on the platform seeing up to 50% declines over the past fortnight.

While Ethereum itself is not considered a security by the SEC, the ICO revolution in 2017 saw a vast amount of ICOs launch on Ethereum’s blockchain, meaning that if a crackdown on ICOs continue, Ethereum’s price could continue to plummet.

Ethereum is currently clinging onto the psychological $100 level of support, if the price does break to the downside, $84 and $52 are the next levels to look out for.

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