Jay Clayton, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), speaks during a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Development Committee hearing in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 6, 2018.
Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images
By Casey Quackenbush
April 6, 2018

SEC chairman Jay Clayton on Thursday defended the agency’s recent regulatory steps on cryptocurrency, arguing that oversight will strengthen the industry.

During a talk at Princeton University, Clayton also responded “absolutely not” to a question as to whether all ICOs were fraudulent, CoinDesk reports. Clayton went to explain the SEC’s steps to combat fraud will help the cryptocurrency industry develop.

The remarks from SEC’s highest-ranking official may signal a softening approach to ICOs.

Clayton’s remarks follow the SEC’s recent charges against the co-founders of Centra Tech. The agency stopped an ICO and charged Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farka with fraud after they raised $32 million by selling “unregistered securities,” CoinDesk reported earlier.

Clayton said that such actions were in the industry’s best interests. “I think if we don’t stop the fraudsters, there is a serious risk [of a] regulatory pendulum — the regulatory actions will be so severe that they will restrict the capacity of this new security,” he reportedly told the audience.

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