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U.S. SEC chair nominated to regulate crypto oversight

William Barr, United States Attorney General announced that President Trump is likely to task Jay Clayton as the legal enforcer for a portion of New York — a state that has a heavy-handed regulatory stance on cryptocurrency throughout history. 

Barr said in a statement from the Department of Justice:

“I am pleased to announce that President Trump intends to nominate Jay Clayton, currently the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to serve as the next United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.”

Over the period of crypto’s 11-year old history, New York has displayed a rigid regulatory atmosphere for the evolving industry. The state’s financial services department introduced the BitLicense in 2015, forcing crypto-related company compliance under stringent guidelines. The region has a reputation for being a difficult garden for crypto growth.  

The Southern District of New York has hosted a number of crypto-related legal battles in the past couple of years. The list consists of an array of categories, including the court case of Ross Ulbricht, the man behind the Silk Road black market, which enabled payment in digital assets. 

Barr praised Clayton as a good match for the region’s counselor role, given his previous experiences. He stated, “His management experience and expertise in financial regulation give him an ideal background to lead the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.”

Over the past couple of years, Clayton has made a number of headlines with respect to digital asset regulation. In one of his recent statements, the SEC chief spoke positively on the industry’s underlying blockchain technology in 2019.  

In Summer last year, however, he was unwilling to bend when it came to guidelines around crypto-assets. In September 2019, Clayton also showed the need for stricter Bitcoin regulation if the asset wants to list on mainstream exchanges.