To me, the prevailing trend of cryptocurrency around a push for legitimacy and the tools of a maturing market.
This was on display as SEC Chairman, Jay Clayton, gave a speech about the coming year of SEC rulemaking and cryptocurrency: https://www.sec.gov/news/speech/speech-clayton-120618#_ftn1
Specifically, he said,
“I believe that ICOs can be effective ways for entrepreneurs and others to raise capital. However, the novel technological nature of an ICO does not change the fundamental point that, when a security is being offered, our securities laws must be followed.”
According to him, the creation of the FinHub and other SEC activities this year demonstrate that their “door remains open to those who seek to innovate and raise capital in accordance with the law.”
So, to him, the ICO will continue to crack down on ICOs because they are fundamentally securities.
But, he also acknowledges the continued death of the IPO as a fundraising tool as more and more companies seek private investment.
What interested me is his remarks on the state of private capital formation.
“Our “patchwork” private offering system is complex and it is time to take a critical look to see how it can be improved, harmonized and streamlined. The staff is working on a concept release to solicit input about key topics, including whether our accredited investor definition—a principal regulatory threshold for participation in private offerings—is appropriately tailored to address both investment opportunity and investor protection concerns.”
As we covered last week, the accredited investor exemption is a big concern for the future of this space. Specifically, as we see security tokens develop, we want their to be an ample opportunity for non-accredited investors to participate.
This is not the first time Clayton has expressed this.
I eagerly await what their conclusions are and if the exemption can be reworked.
As Clayton said, “Accordingly, we are looking at initiatives to facilitate access to capital for issuers and to make sure Main Street investors have the best possible mix of investment opportunities.”
I think that the next year will see regulators working closer with this space to help enable investment vehicles that are representative of the needs and desires of the Main Street investor. Of course, that is a bit of a pipe dream, but I think initiatives like Security Tokens really represent a natural progression in how we fundraise.
It’s up to regulators to see that these opportunities are able to grow and mature, just like this market.