Jay Clayton to Leave SEC. Is Bitcoin ETF More Likely Now?


Alex Dovbnya

Hopes rise for the eventual approval of a Bitcoin ETF as Jay Clayton is stepping down from the SEC

Chairman Jay Clayton is stepping down from the the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at the end of the year, according to a report by The New York Times dated Nov. 16.

Clayton has been at the helm of the regulatory watchdog since May 2017. His tenure coincided with the boom and bust of the cryptocurrency industry.

Under his leadership, the SEC has rejected all proposals for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), curbing the cryptocurrency’s institutional adoption.

Back in November 2018, Clayton voiced his concerns about crypto exchanges manipulating the market:

How that [manipulation] issue gets addressed, I don’t have a particular path. But it needs to be addressed.

The news about him departing from the SEC to possibly be installed as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York by President Donald Trump was met with jubilation within the crypto industry this June. Michael Arrington of TechCrunch described it as a win for the crypto industry:

Whatever else, Jay Clayton leaving the SEC is a win for crypto and sound money fans across the world.

As of now, it is not clear who will replace Clayton at the agency. Bitcoin-continuous Gary Gensler, an ex-chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) who joined president-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, is rumored to be among the possible contenders.

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