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BTC Still Not a Security, But Regulation Is Coming: Ex-SEC Chairman

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BTC Still Not a Security, But Regulation Is Coming: Ex-SEC Chairman

BTC is not a security—but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be regulated, former US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Jay Clayton said today. 

Clayton, who now advises One River Asset Management on cryptocurrency, told CNBC that BTC was not a security long before he joined the SEC. But regulation of the asset will still inevitably come, he added.

“[Bitcoin not being a security] does not mean that it should not be regulated,” he said. 

“In fact, where digital assets land at the end of the day, which is very much a wide-ranging question, will be driven in part by regulation—both domestic and international—and I expect, and I’m speaking as a citizen now, that regulation will come in this area both directly and indirectly whether it’s through how these are held by banks, security accounts, taxation and the like.” 

Clayton’s comments come as Ripple, the company behind XRP, previously the third-most capitalized cryptocurrency in the market, asks the SEC to reexamine BTC and ETH. Specifically, Ripple wants a court to compel the SEC to share its internal discussions about BTC and ETH in the hopes that it will improve its own case for XRP.

Ripple is facing a billion-dollar lawsuit from the SEC, which filed its complaint just before Clayton stepped down as chairman. The Commission alleges that the company illegally raised $1.3 billion through the unregistered sale of XRP, which the SEC says was a type of security known as an investment contract.

Ripple Deal with MoneyGram Officially Over: CEO Garlinghouse

But Ripple says XRP is not a security—but rather a cryptocurrency. The company is in the process of fighting the SEC’s lawsuit on those grounds. 

As part of its defense, Ripple asserts that the SEC should class XRP as a virtual currency, just like it classes BTC and ETH virtual currencies and not securities.

The lawsuit has so far proven to be detrimental for the firm, and for XRP: top crypto exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken have halted all XRP trading. The price of the currency also dipped, and it fell down the list of the top cryptocurrencies by market cap—dropping from third to seventh in a matter of months.


All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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