SEC Monitoring Jumpers on Blockchain Bandwagon

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said that the regulator was closely monitoring companies that claim to move their business to promote and support blockchain.

ay Clayton, chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has warned that companies changing their name to include the buzz word “blockchain” should think twice before doing so. He stated this week that the regulator would keep an eye on enterprises claiming a relation to blockchain or Bitcoin./p>

opening remarks at a meeting held at the Securities Regulation Institute in Washington, DC. The SEC chairman said he was disturbed by companies that suddenly start promoting the blockchain technology, change their name, and try to raise capital right after that.

“The SEC is looking closely at the disclosures of public companies that shift their business models to capitalize on the perceived promise of distributed ledger technology and whether the disclosures comply with the securities laws, particularly in the case of an offering,” he warned.

Referring to initial coin offerings (ICOs), Clayton said that lawyers fail to provide decent legal support for startups looking to organize such events.

“With respect to these two scenarios, I have instructed the SEC staff to be on high alert for approaches to ICOs that may be contrary to the spirit of our securities laws and the professional obligations of the U.S. securities bar.”

“I recognize that in some ICOs there is no market professional involved. The SEC is undertaking significant efforts to educate the public that unregistered securities investments offered by unregistered promoters, with no securities lawyers or accountants on the scene, are, in a word, dangerous,” Clayton added.

Some examples of companies that have renamed themselves to reflect their shift to the blockchain technology are Riot Blockchain (formerly known as Bioptix) and Long Blockchain (previously called Long Island Iced Tea). Both companies have tried hard to convince the public that their pivot was backed by real actions.

In mid-October, Riot Blockchain acquired 52% of blockchain startup TESS and shortly after that agreed to purchase 1,200 Bitcoin mining machines from Bitmain.

A few weeks ago, Long Blockchain announcedit would buy 1,000 miners, also from Bitmain.

Last week, the SEC refused to approve the launch of a mutual fund and some EFTs that were meant to hold Bitcoin and Bitcoin-related assets.