The wait for regulatory clarity may finally be over. This week SEC Chairman Jay Clayton sat center stage at Coindesk’s Consensus: Invest conference in New York City. Nearly a year since Bitcoin’s historic bull run began, Clayton gave a long-awaited look into how the US will, and will not, regulate the crypto market.
From Initial Coin Offerings to Bitcoin ETFs, the conversation covered many of crypto investors biggest concerns. While some questions were left unanswered, one thing is certain; the SEC has been doing their crypto homework.
Keep reading for the biggest headlines from Clayton’s talk:
No Bitcoin ETFs… yet.
Clayton expressed concern over price manipulation on existing crypto exchanges and told listeners that improved market surveillance is necessary before ETFs get approval. "What investors expect is that trading in the commodity that underlies that ETF makes sense and is free from the risk of manipulation," Clayton continued. "It's an issue that needs to be addressed before I would be comfortable."
The SEC isn’t finished with ICOs
In response to the SEC’s crackdown on EtherDelta and Airfox, Clayton warned ICO’s to “Get your act together.” Clayton also admitted that not every case is cut and dry, and a lot of information is necessary to determine classification.
The SEC wants crypto companies to succeed
While Clayton's warning to ICOs was clear, so was his willingness to work with crypto startups who follow the rules. The SEC recently launched a new division with the explicit goal of fostering communication with ICO startups.
From the sounds of it, the SEC is taking crypto seriously and the market is ready for regulation. With continued clarity from the US Government, retail and institutional investors on the sidelines are likely to jump in. After Clayton’s talk, the market rebounded, with the top 10 currencies recovering nearly 12% of their losses. See chart below:
Assets ranked 10-50 also pushed higher with their collective market cap's gaining 8.57% in the last sevens.
The interest toward Bitcoin by the mainstream has started to increase once again. According to Google Trends, the popularity of the keyword Bitcoin on the search engine recently achieved March highs.
The sudden increase in the price of BTC, the abrupt 35 percent decline of the asset s value in mid-November, and positive developments in the cryptocurrency sector regarding the efforts of Bakkt, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and Nasdaq have led the interest of the mainstream toward the asset class to increase once again. Read more.
Amazon last year dismissed the idea of getting into the blockchain with AWS, but today that’s changed. The company announced a new service called Amazon Quantum Ledger Database, or QLDB, which is a fully managed ledger database with a central trusted authority. The service, which is launching into preview today, offers an append-only, immutable journal that tracks the history of all changes, Amazon said. Read more.
Cryptocurrencies are here to stay despite a prolonged slump this year, and will gain wider acceptance after the recent entry of more institutional investors in the space, Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, said on Tuesday. Read more.
The Nasdaq is moving ahead with plans to launch bitcoin futures as early as next year, despite an ongoing bear market for crypto. Read more.
Despite the price conversation dominating cryptocurrency, as the market experiences a brief reprieve after two weeks and billions of dollars shed in market capitalization, most of the top currencies are pushing forward in development. On Nov. 29, the TRON Foundation announced the creation of a new fund which would highlight the need for gaming and blockchain development. Called “TRON Arcade” the announcement includes a $100 million commitment by the foundation to advance blockchain gaming on the TRON network paid out in installments over the next three years. Read more.
Despite this year’s bloodbath in the crypto-asset space, the industry will likely still generate considerable investor surplus in the long-run. In fact, an investment in a basket of the top crypto-assets (largely Bitcoin) has the best chance to deliver the most attractive risk-adjusted returns over the next 10-years, compared to less controversial favorites such as Amazon stock, 10-year U.S. Treasuries, an apartment in Manhattan, or other “consensus longs”. Read more.
Jay Clayton, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said Tuesday that he doesn’t see a pathway to a cryptocurrency ETF approval until concerns over market manipulation are addressed. Read more.
A blockchain platform built by Vakt Global, a consortium venture set up by major firms including Shell and BP, has launched to bring new efficiencies to energy commodities trading.
According to a tweet from the company Thursday, the platform is now ready to facilitate the trade in crude oil between commodity firms, claiming to be the “first enterprise-grade” blockchain solution within the oil and gas market. Read more.
Ohio has become the first state in the U.S. and the first governments in the world to accept Bitcoin (BTC-USD) for tax payments.
The state has launched an online platform called OhioCrypto.com, to allow businesses to pay taxes with cryptocurrency. Eligible for payment on the website include 23 different taxes. Read more.