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The SEC revealed that it brought 56 cases related to blockchain projects, cryptocurrencies and digital assets since July 2017.
The current serving Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Jay Clayton is set to conclude his tenure by the end of the year. According to The New York Times, Jay Clayton’s tenure which was expected to end next year in June was filled with regulations primarily geared towards protecting investors.
The tenure of Jay Clayton also witnessed a huge clampdown on cryptocurrencies, according to a list of accomplishments published by the SEC.
The SEC revealed that it “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.”
“Among others, cases involved efforts to defraud investors through the use of digital asset securities as well as violations of the registration provisions of the federal securities laws in the offer and sale of digital asset securities,” the agency said.
Among the notable clampdown on ICO’s includes that of the Telegram Open Network (TON), the backer of Gram Tokens. The social media giant was embroiled in a long-haul lawsuit with the SEC and eventually resulted in the firm paying $18.5 million in fines. While Clayton’s tenure is marred by a tight grip on crypto, a position that has contributed to Facebook’s Libra project not seeing the light of day, market experts have given accolades to the outgoing SEC boss.
“The guy is a moderate by nature, and that’s the way I think he has conducted himself at the SEC,” said Hal Scott, a professor at Harvard Law School. “The overall system of securities regulation has to do with disclosures, and enforcement, and making sure we don’t have insider trading and those issues. I don’t think he’s really relaxed much around that.”
Jay Clayton and His Fight with Wall Street Unicorns
Besides the fight against scams in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, Jay Clayton has also exercised the power of the law on renowned Wall Street firms including Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), and Theranos.
The Tesla brawl with the SEC involves the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Elon Musk. Musk posted a tweet back in 2018 saying he intends to take Tesla private. The statement which the SEC believes is not in the best interest of Tesla’s investors attracted a settlement fine of $20 million by Elon Musk following by his stepping down as the chairman of the company.
The Theranos case involving the CEO Sherlock Holmes involves the SEC accusing Ms. Holmes of lying about Theranos’s blood-testing capabilities, extracting a $500,000 settlement and barring her from serving as an executive or director of a public company for a period of 10 years.
Now that Jay Clayton is set to leave the SEC, the fate of the commission is believed to be dependent on whoever the president-elect Joe Biden appoints to head the commission.