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Ex SEC Chair Jay Clayton to advise crypto custody firm Fireblocks

jay clayton

Today cryptocurrency custody firm Fireblocks announced that former SEC Chair Jay Clayton will join the firm’s advisory board. The startup has its sights set on serving institutions, whether for cryptocurrencies, DeFi or mainstream assets such as stocks, bonds, and real estate as they become tokenized. 

But for now, Fireblocks is certainly a cryptocurrency company. Last month it raised $310 million at a $2 billion valuation, just four months after a $133 million fundraise.

Clayton was not especially popular amongst the cryptocurrency community. Before he departed the regulator, the SEC filed a lawsuit alleging that Ripple’s XRP is a security. And he hasn’t fundamentally changed his stance since he left the SEC.

In June, he penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal along with former Under Secretary of the Treasury Brent McIntosh. The piece reiterated his position that existing U.S. legislation is largely sufficient for regulating digital assets if one looks to the substance of an activity, such as an ICO being a security issuance. 

One area he believes needs clarity is which regulator oversees different types of digital assets. An example he gave is a security held in a brokerage account that’s used for an international payment. Because potentially, the SEC, the Fed and the Treasury have interests.

The article could be interpreted as showing reservations about the Federal Reserve issuing a digital dollar, citing the potential impact on commercial banks.

Another former regulator that took a position in the cryptocurrency community was former Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks, who joined Binance.US as CEO. Ten days ago, he announced his departure, citing strategic differences. The cryptocurrency exchange is attracting significant regulatory pushback around the world. There are also serious allegations swirling around its activities during the May 19 cryptocurrency crash.

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