SEC chairman reveals ‘optimism’ about investments in DLT

The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, has expressed his optimism about distributed ledger technology and the potential investments around it

Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Jay Clayton has revealed this week that he is “optimistic” about the developments in distributed ledger technology (DLT).

In a testimony before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Clayton remarked that DLT has the potential to offer “promising investment opportunities” to a wide range of investors.

Clayton added insight into the SEC’s “new strategic plan”, reiterating that they would be “focusing a significant amount of attention and resources” on ICOs, DLT, and cryptocurrencies.

In addition to declaring his optimism about the potential investment possibilities surrounding distributed ledger technology, Clayton outlined the regulators’ aim to “foster innovation” and “protect investors” as part of a “balanced regulatory approach.”

The SEC have been focusing on the cryptocurrency space a lot over the past few months, clamping down on unregistered ICOs Airfox and Paragon while charging EtherDelta founder Zachary Coburn for allegedly operating an unregistered exchange.

In spite of the Commission’s pejorative view of the ICO space, Clayton confirmed that Bitcoin itself is “not a security.”

Clayton also admitted that ICOs can be effective, but only with regulation and compliance with securities law to ensure that investors are well protected from fraud and potential Ponzi schemes.

The SEC launched a dedicated Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology in October, a move that Clayton believes shows the “door remains open to those who seek to innovate and raise capital in accordance with the law.”

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