Former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton has shed light on what the future of Bitcoin in the United States could look like. Speaking to CNBC, Mr.Clayton explained that although Bitcoin has not been classified as a security, there’s room for regulation in the near term.
Despite the SEC’s reluctance to take a position on Bitcoin, several American banks have begun to offer Bitcoin through different mediums. While some have tapped Galaxy Digital, others have moved to Grayscale to collaborate and provide Bitcoin-related services to their customers. Most recently, Goldman Sachs has entered the market, opening its doors to Bitcoin as its wealthy clients show interest in the benchmark asset.
When asked why the SEC did not take significant steps to create a meaningful regulatory framework for the asset throughout Clayton’s time as Chairman, he explains that his arrival to the SEC board did not influence the board’s decision in any way, adding that the SEC had taken a stance on Bitcoin long before his arrival.
“It depends on the character of the particular instrument you’re discussing. Bitcoin was decided to be not a security before the time I got to the SEC. Therefore, the SEC’s jurisdiction over Bitcoin was rather indirect, and its integration into the securities regulatory. That does not mean it should not be regulated.” He explained.
He goes on to add that in the near term, regulation will be provided for the asset. Although he notes that the process would be extremely demanding, as regulators from home and abroad will be required for successful completion.
“In fact, we are digital assets land at the end of the day–will be driven in part by regulation both domestic and international, and I expect that regulation will come in this area both directly and indirectly.” He revealed.
This comes shortly after the SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce hinted that a Bitcoin ETF could go live in the United States, adding that the regulatory environment for Bitcoin could become stronger with the arrival of a new Chairman, following Clayton’s exit.
While the majority of the Bitcoin ecosystem is not worried that Bitcoin will remain under the umbrella of a “virtual currency,” Ripple, which is still currently going head to head with the SEC, following its lawsuit saga with the board, is not receptive of Bitcoin and Ethereum passing as virtual currencies, while XRP is considered a security by the commission.
In its response to the lawsuit, it requested that the SEC revisit the process it took, before concluding that both assets were not securities.