ICO News: SEC: “If you want to do any IPO with a token, come and see us”

Jay Clayton, chairman of the SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission), on Wednesday, said that the regulatory body won’t be changing the definition of securities for the sake of ICOs (initial coin offerings), CNBC reports.

ICO News: SEC: “If you want to do any IPO with a token, come and see us”

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Clayton said: “"We are not going to do any violence to the traditional definition of a security that has worked for a long time.

"We've been doing this a long time, there's no need to change the definition."

The question of whether or not ICOs constitute securities has been the subject of hot debate amongst financial regulators, and indeed crypto enthusiasts, around the globe for several months.

SEC chairman Jay Clayton

Clayton once famously quipped: “Every ICO I’ve seen is a security.”

It seems he may have changed his mind somewhat since making that remark in January because earlier on this week he told would-be ICO organisers: "If you have an ICO or a stock, and you want to sell it in a private placement, follow the private placement rules. If you want to do any IPO with a token, come see us."

The SEC would be "happy to help you do that public offering," he added.

"A token, a digital asset, where I give you my money and you go off and make a venture, and in return for giving you my money I say 'you can get a return' that is a security and we regulate that," he told CNBC's Bob Pisani.

"We regulate the offering of that security and regulate the trading of that security."

Bitcoin? Not a security

Bitcoin fiat SEC

After Ethereum last month became the subject of an investigation into whether or not its ICO, which took place back way back in 2014, was in fact a security sale, many have been wondering if all cryptocurrencies that launched via ICOs should have been registered a securities.

As such, Clayton addressed this growing debate over which cryptocurrencies should fall under SEC jurisdiction.

"Cryptocurrencies: These are replacements for sovereign currencies, replace the dollar, the euro, the yen with bitcoin," Clayton said.

"That type of currency is not a security."

He mentioned Bitcoin specifically, claiming that because Bitcoin is used as a currency and not merely as an investment vehicle and also  because Bitcoin was not launched via a token sale, it is not a security.

He likened BTC to fiat currencies which are of course not securities.

However, judging by Clayton’s remarks, it seems that Bitcoin is in the minority, in this respect.

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