US: ICO Market Is Example Of Unregulated Securities Market, Says SEC Commissioner

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The US SEC commissioner said the agency’s priority in crypto markets is consumer protection.

US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Robert Jackson highlighted consumer protection regarding Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) in an interview on CNBC today, April 30.

When asked about cryptocurrencies and ICOs, Jackson said that he hasn’t yet seen an ICO that wasn’t a security, echoing SEC chairman Jay Clayton’s comments earlier this year. Jackson added that the crypto space “has been full of troubling developments that we’ve seen at the SEC, and especially the ICO space,” adding:

“Investors are having a hard time telling the difference between investments and fraud.”

The ICO market right now, according to Jackson, is a prime example of an unregulated securities market:

“If you want to know what our markets would look like with no securities regulation, what it would look like if the SEC didn’t do its job? The answer is the ICO market.”

However, Jackson doesn’t think this means either more bans or regulation, but rather a focus “on protecting investors who are getting hurt in this market” for right now. He suggested in the future looking into “ways to make those investments work consistent with our securities law.”

At the SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) cryptocurrency hearing in February of this year, the conclusion was reached that digital ledger technologies (DLT) like blockchain need the least regulation, ICOs need the most, and virtual currencies fall somewhere in between.

More recently, during a hearing at the US House of Representatives on April 28, the director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance said that the SEC was striving for a “balanced approach” in regards to ICO regulation.

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Author: Molly Jane Zuckerman

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