SEC Says It’s Brought 56 Crypto-Related Cases Since 2017 As Chairman Jay Clayton Prepares to Step Down


The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission has filed 56 actions related to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), digital assets, and blockchain technology since July 2017 under SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.

In a report entitled, “Selected SEC Accomplishments,” published November 16th, the SEC outlines the agency’s significant actions since Jay Clayton took the reigns in 2017.

Among the SEC’s notable efforts during chairman Clayton’s tenure was bringing 56 enforcement actions against the sale of DAO tokens and other 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.”

Within the SEC’s investigation into DAO tokens, Clayton’s regime ruled that digital assets may be securities, and therefore could be subject to federal regulations.

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“The SEC’s Report [of Investigation] confirms that issuers of distributed ledger or blockchain technology-based securities must register offers and sales of such securities unless a valid exemption applies. Those participating in unregistered offerings also may be liable for violations of the securities laws.” 

Under Clayton, the SEC also established a Cyber Unit division that focuses on investigating cyber-related misconducts, including market manipulation and violations in token offerings, and hacking of nonpublic information and financial institutions.

In addition, the agency halted 18 suspected scams related to blockchain and digital assets.

The report arrives as Jay Clayton tenders his resignation as one of the SEC’s longest serving chairmen. During Clayton’s tenure, the Commission has strengthened examination and enforcement initiatives, setting record highs in enforcement actions and financial remedies geared towards protecting investors and promoting responsible innovation.

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