The Department of Justice released a late-night press release Friday from Attorney General William Barr who announced the SEC Chairman Jay Clayton to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Clayton was nominated by the U.S. Senate on May 2, 2017, by a vote of 61–37 to confirm Clayton as Chairman of the SEC and was officially sworn in on May 4, 2017.
Barr noted Clayton will accept the nomination of President Trump and his new post as U.S. Attorney will start on July 3. With respect to how the President felt Chairman Clayton had performed in his role at the SEC, Barr stated, “For the past three years, Jay has been an extraordinarily successful SEC Chairman, overseeing efforts to modernize regulation of the capital markets, protect Main Street investors, enhance American competitiveness, and address challenges ranging from cybersecurity issues to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Crypto industry thought leaders immediately noted this announcement and described what is at stake for crypto regulations.. Jake Chervinsky, who serves as general counsel at Compound and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, posted on Twitter regarding the announcement. Chervinsky states, ‘The SEC chair is one of the most important U.S. officials for crypto regulation. Chairman Clayton’s replacement will have a massive impact on the industry…clarity on a wide range of issues for years to come hangs in the balance.”
Michael Arrington, the Founder of TechCrunch, CrunchBase and Arrington XRP Capital, noted his thoughts of Chairman Clayton’s departure from the SEC. Arrington stated, “Whatever else, Jay Clayton leaving the SEC is a win for crypto and sound money fans across the world. Hopefully he does less damage as a US atty.”
Meanwhile, Preston Byrne, Attorney at Anderson Kill, responded to Arrington’s opinion of Clayton and defended the SEC Chair for his time in the oversight of the crypto industry. Byrne stated, “I think he did a good job at the SEC and read the tech more or less correctly. He determined Bitcoin wasn’t a security, after all.”