US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton reaffirmed his previously stated position that most initial coin offerings (ICOs) should be considered securities offerings in the eyes of the law.
Chairman Clayton made the remarks while attending a public forum with the other four SEC Commissioners called “Investing in America” at Georgia State University in Atlanta on June 13. The event aimed to bring together SEC leaders with members of the public in order to discuss pressing issues related to the investment in the US.
The main session of the townhall was followed by “breakout sessions,” one of which was dedicated to “Bitcoin and ICOs.”
Although Clayton admitted that blockchain has “incredible promise” for securities and other industries, calling it a “powerful technology,” he claimed that the situation was a bit different when people apply blockchain to fundraising.
“Much of what I have seen in the ICO or token or ICO space, is a security offering,” he added, “I don’t know how much more clear I can be about it.”
Clayton first voiced views that nearly all ICOs should be considered securities offerings during a speech in February. In 2018, the SEC has stepped up oversight on ICOs, freezing funds raised by ICOs, arresting ICO founders, and even launching a fake ICO to warn investors of the dangers of scammers.