SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson has some strong opinions about cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings.
In a CNBC interview Monday morning, Jackson said his personal view on Bitcoin is that it’s a space “full of troubling developments.” He didn’t elaborate but said his concerns center more around initial coin offerings (ICOs), which are a mechanism for startups or online projects to raise money without selling stock or going to VCs.
“Investors are having a hard time telling the difference between investments and fraud,” he said.
The SEC has been cracking down on fraudulent ICOs in recent months. The agency has targeted ICOs they suspect are raising money for businesses that don’t even exist. It issued subpoenas to firms and individuals behind projects it believes are breaking the law.
“We’ve been doing a lot in the ICO space,” Jackson said. “[SEC] Chairman Jay Clayton has been very clear about this. He said he hasn’t seen an ICO yet that’s not a security. And I’m with him — I haven’t seen one of these yet that’s not a security.”
The cryptocurrency market is still in its “Wild West” phase as regulators try to figure out how to proceed. Clayton has previously said that the majority of ICOs should be registered with the agency because the coins trade on secondary markets like other securities the SEC regulates.
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Fortune spoke with Blockchain Capital’s Bart Stephens recently, and he said there is still plenty of regulatory uncertainty when it comes to token issuance. “The SEC has told us a bunch of things that they don’t like, but what they haven’t really told market participants is what is allowable,” he said. “There’s a little bit of ongoing uncertainty, but it’s my hope that they are thoughtful and careful when making these decisions.”
A big part of the uncertainty comes from the fact that many regulatory agencies can’t decide exactly how to define (and in turn, regulate) cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. There’s been plenty of debate around whether cryptocurrency assets are commodities, currencies, or securities — and no one seems to be able to agree.
“We are right now focused on protecting investors who are getting hurt in this market,” Jackson said. “And down the road, I think we will be thinking about — I think we should be thinking about ways to make those investments work consistently with our securities law.”
SEC专员Robert Jackson对密码和最初的硬币发行有强烈的意见。在星期一上午CNBC的采访中，杰克逊说他个人对比特币的看法是，这是一个“充满了令人不安的发展”的空间。他没有详细说明，但他说他关心的更多是围绕最初的硬币发行（ICOS），这是初创公司或在线项目筹集资金的机制。不卖股票，也不去VCs。他说：“投资者很难分辨投资和欺诈的区别。”近几个月来，SEC一直在打击欺诈性ICOS。该机构已经瞄准了他们怀疑为不存在的企业筹集资金的ICOS。它在其认为违法的项目背后向公司和个人发布传票。“我们在ICO空间做了很多工作，”杰克逊说。Jay Clayton主席对此非常清楚。他说他还没有看到ICO，但这不是安全。我和他在一起——我还没见过其中的一个，但这并不是一种安全。“当监管机构试图弄清楚如何继续进行时，密码市场仍然处于“疯狂的西方”阶段。克莱顿此前曾表示，大多数ICOS应该在该机构注册，因为硬币在二级市场上交易，就像SEC监管的其他证券一样。注册条款表，财富交易和交易商的通讯。《财富》杂志最近与Brand Capital的BART斯蒂芬斯进行了对话，他说，在令牌发行方面，仍存在大量监管不确定性。“SEC告诉我们一些他们不喜欢的事情，但他们没有真正告诉市场参与者的是什么是可允许的，”他说。“有一点点的不确定性，但我希望他们在做出这些决定时考虑周到，谨慎。”不确定性的很大一部分来自许多监管机构无法决定的事实。确切地说，如何定义（反过来，调节）密码术，比如比特币。关于隐匿性资产是商品、货币或证券的争论很多，似乎没有人能同意。杰克逊说：“我们现在正专注于保护那些在这个市场受到伤害的投资者。”“而且，我认为我们会考虑这条路，我认为我们应该考虑如何使这些投资与我们的证券法一致运作。”
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