United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) commissioner, Robert Jackson, has expressed his belief that initial coin offerings (ICOs) will be legitimized under existing securities legislation. Despite the optimistic outlook, the commissioner has criticized the current state of the ICO industry.
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SEC Commissioner Expects ICOs Have Legitimate Future
In an interview with CNBC, SEC commissioner, Robert Jackson, recently expressed cautious optimism regarding ICOs – predicting that initial coin offerings will be conformed to the rubric of existing securities regulations in future.
“Down the road, I think we will be thinking about ways to make those investments work consistent with our securities laws,” Robert Jackson said.
Commissioner Claims ICO Market Currently Resembles Wild West
Despite the commissioner’s optimism surrounding the future prospects of the ICO industry, Robert Jackson offered a highly critical appraisal of the current state of initial coin offerings.
Mr. Jackson stated “Investors are having a hard time telling the difference between investments and fraud […] “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.”
Mr. Jackson also stated that the cryptocurrency sphere had yielded a number of “troubling developments,” adding “Right now we are focused on protecting investors who are getting hurt in this market.”
SEC Official Discusses Cryptocurrencies During Recent Congressional Hearing
Mr. Jackson’s remarks come less than a week after a U.S. house of representatives hearingentitled “Oversight of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance” saw William Hinman, the director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, claim that the SEC is seeking to develop a “balanced” framework for the regulation of cryptocurrencies.
“We are striving for a balanced approach, and one that ensures capital formation while maintaining a strong focus on investor protection,” Mr. Hinman said.
In response to a question from Committee member Bill Huizenga regarding whether ICOs could potentially comprise a solution to the recent decline in initial public offerings (IPOs) launched in America, Mr. Hinman stated: “in theory, there is a time when a coin may achieve a decentralized utility in the marketplace.”
Committee member Brad Sherman objected the suggestion that ICOs may comprise an appropriate alternative to IPOs, claiming that an IPO “provides jobs in the real economy,” whereas ICOs do “the opposite.”