After heading the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the past three and a half years, Jay Clayton has decided to end his term early. As the SEC’s mission is to protect investors and ensure fair and efficient financial markets, it’s worth exploring how has the Commission impacted the cryptocurrency field during his tenure.
The SEC’s Jay Clayton Steps Down Early
Born in 1966, Joseph “Jay” Clayton is an attorney who became the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in May 2017. Although he had months left on his term that expires in June 2021, he decided to step down from his position at the end of 2020.
He was appointed by the incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump, who has also said that he intended to nominate Clayton to serve as U.S. attorney in Manhattan, which didn’t happen.
During his tenure, the Commission had extracted over $14 billion in various fines and agreements with violators of regulatory standards. This includes nearly $5 billion in fiscal 2020, which became a record.
“Working alongside the incredibly talented and driven women and men of the SEC has been the highlight of my career. I am proud of our collective efforts to advance each part of the SEC’s tripartite mission, always with an eye on the interests of our Main Street investors.” – Clayton commented.
Clayton’s Impact On The Crypto Industry
The Commission published a statement outlining some of the most significant accomplishments achieved during his near four-year-long tenure. Apart from his impact on Wall Street and other traditional financial markets, the SEC also played a substantial role in the cryptocurrency industry.
The innovative nature of the digital asset field required a new approach. Consequently, the SEC established the Cyber Unit in the Division of Enforcement focused on violations involving digital assets, hacks, security challenges, and more.
The statement reads that the Commission has brought 56 cases involving “ICOs, blockchain or distributed ledger technology, and/or digital assets since the July 2017 issuance of an investigative report regarding the offers and sales of digital assets.”
Some of those involved efforts to defraud investors through the use of digital asset securities and violations of the registration provisions of the federal securities laws in the offer and sale of digital asset securities.
Arguably some of the most notable cases were against two messaging platforms – Telegram and Kik. Other cases were against ICOs that fraudulently employed the services of famous individuals such as rapper T.I., boxer Floyd Mayweather, and the former antivirus tycoon – John McAfee to promote their product.
Additionally, the SEC statement noted that it had halted 18 suspected frauds involving blockchain projects since mid-2017.
With Clayton’s one foot out of the door, it would be compelling to following who will replace him and how they will continue the SEC’s endeavors to watch over the cryptocurrency industry.
Featured Image Courtesy of ABC News