Former SEC Chair Jay Clayton joins Fireblocks advisory board

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Jay Clayton, the former chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, has accepted an advisory role with blockchain infrastructure provider Fireblocks — marking a significant addition to a company that only recently achieved unicorn status. 

In joining Fireblocks’ advisory board, Clayton acknowledged that he shares the company’s view that “digital asset custody requires the same level of service as traditional custody while also striving for better regulatory outcomes.”

Michael Shaulov, CEO and co-founder of Fireblocks, said Clayton will “help to advance further the safety and security of the Fireblocks infrastructure for capital market participants and investors.”

Clayton headed the SEC between 2017 and 2020, where he helped navigate complex and frequently evolving regulatory requirements for the digital asset industry. Clayton was present during the 2017 cryptocurrency bull market where issues surrounding initial coin offerings and security tokens were at the fore.

Fireblocks represents Clayton’s second high-profile crypto engagement since leaving the securities regulator in December 2020. In March of this year, Clayton joined a regulatory advisory council for One River Asset Management, a crypto-focused investment manager. The asset manager said Clayton was tapped for his vast regulatory and policy experience.

Crypto regulations in general and tax-reporting requirements, in particular, have been top of mind for the digital asset market in recent months. Current SEC Chair Gary Gensler is reportedly keen on bringing more regulatory oversight to the cryptocurrency market. Meanwhile, the recently passed infrastructure bill has certain provisions that may classify blockchain infrastructure providers as “brokers,” which would subject them to tax requirements. However, there is growing hope that the Treasury Department will clarify crypto tax reporting rules in the near future.

Related: Treasury to the rescue? Officials to clarify crypto tax reporting rules in infrastructure bill: Report

On the SEC front, the securities regulator continues to receive applications for Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds, though the general consensus is that approval is unlikely this year.