The head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, says cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin can replace fiat currencies, and are inherently not securities.
“Two areas in the financial markets where distributed ledger technology has come to the fore: cryptocurrencies. These are replacements for sovereign currencies – replace the dollar, the yen, the euro with Bitcoin. That type of currency is not a security.”
Clayton made the comments in a wide-ranging interview with CNBC. He also fielded questions on XRP and Ether, but decided not to comment on any coin in particular.
“Let me turn to what’s a security. A token, a digital asset where I give you my money and you go off and make a venture. You have some company you want to start and in return for me giving you my money you say, ‘You know what, I’m going to give you a return or you can get a return in the secondary market by selling your token to somebody.’
That is a security. And we regulate that. We regulate the offering of that security and we regulate the trading of that security.
If you have an ICO or a stock and you want to sell it in a private placement, follow the private placement rules.”
The SEC recently announced the appointment of its first crypto advisor to oversee the emergence of cryptocurrencies and digital ledger technologies, such as blockchain.