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Former SEC Chair Says Bitcoin ETF Is Inevitable

The real question in our eyes is how many grains of salt should we take with this…

On CNBC this week, the former SEC chair, Jay Clayton, stated that a bitcoin ETF “is inevitable”.

This is the same Jay Clayton who rejected a spot bitcoin ETF multiple times while he was the head of the SEC from 2017 to 2020. His reasoning then was that the SEC was unclear whether the cash bitcoin market was prone to manipulation.

Now, as large institutions are signaling that they are comfortable with a bitcoin ETF, Clayton believes that there shouldn’t be the same level of concern.

“There are now large institutions with surveillance mechanisms who are coming in and saying: ‘No, that’s not the case.’ We can rely on the efficacy of the cash market to a sufficient extent where we believe it’s a legitimate product. That’s a shift.”

Alright, of course this is a good signal. The person who held Gary Gensler’s position immediately before Gary and also rejected multiple spot bitcoin ETFs while in that position, stating that the time is right for approval is a big deal.

The real question in our eyes is how many grains of salt should we take with this…

So with that, let’s take a look at Mr. Jay Clayton and his esteemed track record.

  • Matt Taibi called Jay Clayton “the most conflicted SEC chair ever.” We don’t have the space to get into the details here but let’s just say he was literally married to the industry he was put in charge of to police. Read more here.

  • He led the failed lawsuit against Ripple. One of Jay Clayton’s final acts before resigning as SEC chair was to sue Ripple Labs by challenging the legality of XRP as an unregistered security. There’s no other way to put it than this was a major failure on his part as Ripple Labs defeated a significant part of the SECs case in July.

  • After leaving the SEC, Clayton went on to take major roles at crypto companies. In 2021, Clayton began working for Fireblocks, a crypto custodian and One River, a multi-billion dollar crypto hedge fund which Coinbase acquired in March, 2023. Ironic.

You might argue that none of these things actually matter in regards to the ETF being approved… and you’re right.

But let’s call a spade a spade whether the corruption is in our favor or not.

Just because Jay Clayton said something that fits into what crypto investors want to happen, doesn’t mean it should whitewash his history.