Home Crypto ‘Vast majority’ of cryptocurrency tokens, according to former SEC head Jay Clayton, are securities

‘Vast majority’ of cryptocurrency tokens, according to former SEC head Jay Clayton, are securities




Jay Clayton, the former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), recently expressed his belief that the “vast majority” of crypto tokens should be classified as securities. This statement has sparked discussions and debates within the cryptocurrency industry. We will examine Jay Clayton’s viewpoint and any potential repercussions for the regulatory environment surrounding cryptocurrencies in this blog post.

Even as the cryptocurrency industry fights the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over the regulator’s restrictive posture towards the industry, former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has repeated his belief that many cryptocurrencies might be classified as securities.

I’ve been saying for a while that I believe the market has changed, but many, if not the great majority, of the tokens that were sold for cash will plummet, within the definition of a security in America,” Clayton, now a senior policy advisor and counsel at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, said at the R3 CordaDay conference on Wednesday.

“Security” is “intentionally broad and flexible,” according to Clayton. But he went on to say that something that was formerly classified as a security “might not always be a security.”

So what might have changed? According to Clayton, current utility vs potential usefulness.

Clayton pointed to Broadway tickets as an example: If someone bought 1,000 tickets for $10 and told their friends and family they would be able to resell those tickets for If it is $100 or $1,000, he continued, it is a security. But it’s just a ticket if you buy it now and use it 10 years from now.

Intense, emotional arguments over classification have resulted from the uncertainty surrounding that and the terrible legal advice that has been given, according to Clayton.

1. Understanding Crypto Tokens and Securities:

It is essential to realise the difference between crypto tokens and securities in order to appreciate Clayton’s point of view. This section will provide a brief explanation of crypto tokens and their various forms, such as utility tokens and security tokens. It will also outline the characteristics that define a security under existing securities laws.

2. Clayton’s Perspective:

From 2017 to 2020, Jay Clayton chaired the SEC and oversaw the organization’s oversight of the cryptocurrency sector. He argues that many crypto tokens should be considered securities due to their investment nature and the expectation of profit derived from the efforts of others. This section will explore Clayton’s justification for holding this position while taking into account elements like token sales, token offerings, and the existence of decentralised networks.

3. Implications for the Crypto Industry:

Clayton’s claim that the majority of cryptocurrency tokens are securities could have an impact on the cryptocurrency market. This section will discuss how such classification could subject tokens to existing securities regulations, including registration requirements, disclosure obligations, and investor protection measures. It will explore the potential impact on token issuers, exchanges, and market participants.

4. Regulatory Challenges and Clarity:

The classification of crypto tokens as securities raises challenges for regulatory frameworks. The challenges of applying conventional securities rules to decentralised blockchain networks and international cryptocurrency markets will be covered in this section. It will draw attention to the demand for updated frameworks that take into account the particularities of cryptocurrencies and regulatory clarity.

5. Evolving Regulatory Landscape:

The regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies is constantly evolving. This section will cover recent events, such as regulatory measures and enforcement actions, that point to efforts to give market participants clearer rules. To encourage innovation and ensure investor protection, it will emphasise the value of cooperation between regulators, industry players, and legal experts.

6. The Future of Crypto Token Regulation:

The final section will present different perspectives on the future of crypto token regulation. It will draw attention to the necessity of a well-rounded strategy that promotes innovation while protecting investors and upholding market integrity. It will discuss potential regulatory approaches, such as tailored regulations for different types of tokens, industry self-regulation, and international cooperation.


The majority of crypto tokens should be categorised as securities, according to Jay Clayton, which has sparked discussions within the cryptocurrency community. It is critical to strike a balance between promoting innovation and safeguarding investors as regulators continue to struggle with the classification and regulation of cryptocurrencies. The evolving regulatory landscape will shape the future of the cryptocurrency industry, and it is essential for stakeholders to actively engage in discussions to ensure a fair and effective regulatory framework.


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