Jay Clayton, the former chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, has joined blockchain infrastructure provider Fireblocks as an advisor, a significant addition to a company that has only recently achieved unicorn status.
Clayton stated that he joined Fireblocks’ advisory board because he believes that “digital asset custody requires the same level of service as traditional custody while also striving for better regulatory outcomes.”
Clayton will “help to advance further the safety and security of the Fireblocks infrastructure for capital market participants and investors,” according to Michael Shaulov, CEO and co-founder of Fireblocks.
Between 2017 and 2020, Clayton led the SEC, where he assisted in navigating the digital asset industry’s complex and frequently changing regulatory requirements. Clayton was present during the 2017 cryptocurrency bull market when issues relating to initial coin offerings and security tokens were prominent.
Clayton’s involvement with Fireblocks is his second high-profile crypto project since leaving the Securities and Exchange Commission in December 2020. Clayton joined the regulatory advisory council of One River Asset Management, a crypto-focused investment manager, in March of this year. Clayton was chosen for his extensive regulatory and policy experience, according to the asset manager.
In recent months, the digital asset market has been preoccupied with cryptocurrency regulations in general, and tax reporting requirements in particular. The current SEC chair, Gary Gensler, is reportedly eager to increase regulatory oversight of the cryptocurrency market. Meanwhile, certain provisions in the recently passed infrastructure bill may classify blockchain infrastructure providers as “brokers,” subjecting them to tax requirements. However, there is growing optimism that the Treasury Department will soon clarify crypto tax reporting rules.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to receive applications for Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds, though the general consensus is that approval will be unlikely this year.