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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What Clayton Wants ... Before Greenlighting a Bitcoin ETF

News summary by MFWire's editors

The SEC commissioners have not yet given its blessing to any bitcoin ETFs, but yesterday chairman Jay Clayton (a Republican) highlighted the barriers that he wants the cryptocurrency world to overcome before he says yes.

Walter Joseph "Jay" Clayton III
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Speaking at CoinDesk's Consensus: Invest 2018 conference in New York City, Clayton said he worries about a lack of market surveillance of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, CNBC reports. Stock exchanges conduct surveillance related to stock trading to watch out possible manipulation or abuse.

"It's an issue that needs to be addressed before I would be comfortable," Clayton reportedly said in a panel discussion moderated by Glenn Hutchins of Lake Partners.

Clayton also raised custody concerns around bitcoin, pointing to "some thefts around digital assets that make you scratch your head."

"We care that the assets underlying that ETF have good custody, and that they're not going to disappear," Clayton reportedly said.

Clayton's remarks come four months after he and two other SEC commissioners rejected a famed bitcoin ETF proposal for a second time. Yet one commissioner dissented, and the vote came before the fifth commissioner seat was filled in September. So if the dissenting commissioner (Hester Peirce, a Republican) stands her ground and if the new SEC commissioner (Elad Roisman, also a Republican) is won over, then addressing Clayton's concerns may be the only barrier to overcome. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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