SEC Chairman Jay Clayton’s stance on cryptocurrency hasn’t wavered over the years. | Source: Stanford Law School/YouTube
Fox Business has an exclusive interview with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton, in which the SEC chair defended his position on cryptocurrency.
Clayton says he is not against digital currencies but “has concerns over the potential for manipulation and wants to ensure investors are protected.”
The SEC chair also says:
“What I’m concerned about at the moment is if it can be reasonably demonstrated that the underlying trading is generally not manipulated, it’s happening on reliable venues with good rules and that custody is something we can feel comfortable about.”
A “reliable venue with good rules,” you say?
That’s an excellent description of the Bitcoin blockchain and the underlying hardware infrastructure and software protocols to verify, maintain, and update the blockchain.
These qualities are in fact among bitcoin’s key selling points as an alternative form of money.
That the blockchain is a “reliable venue with good rules” is what has given the digital money minted by people running a homespun open source code project on their computers a total market valuation of tens of billions of dollars.
Those tens of billions of dollars feel quite comfortable about the reliability of the venue where many of them are parked and through which others flow.
And that the rules are good. But not only the rules. The software architecture that governs enforcement of the rules automatically and impartially is dangerously good too.
SEC is Chasing U.S. Business Overseas
The fact that bitcoin is already proven reliable and already has rules that are simple and understandable and work automatically is why it’s such a high dollar digital commodity.
Honestly, many in the cryptocurrency community are probably happy for the SEC to drag its feet on legalizing bitcoin ETFs among other crypto investment products so the developers of cryptocurrency exchanges can continue to hog all the business and Wall Street just watches it happen.
Similarities Between ETFs & the Crypto Boom
There is a remarkable similarity to the explosion of ETFs starting in the late 1990s and the explosion of over 1,600 cryptocurrencies in the wake of bitcoin’s introduction in 2009. | Source: Shutterstock
Exchange-traded funds are shares of a fund that owns some asset, which are used and traded as securities. Many ETFs track an index for which the fund has purchased a proportional amount of the underlying equities. Others track commodities like oil, cotton, or gold that the fund actually owns. Others still are custom baskets of assets.
There is a remarkable similarity to the explosion of ETFs starting in the late 1990s and the explosion of over 2,100 cryptocurrencies in the wake of bitcoin’s introduction in 2009.
The very first ETF in 1989 tracked the S&P 500 and was traded on more than one exchange until an exchange successfully sued for the security to be de-listed. ETFs made their big breakthrough in January 1993 with Standard & Poor’s Depositary Receipts (SPDRs).
By December 2014, the total market capitalization or value of all ETF assets in the United States hit $2 trillion for the first time.