Why Is Jay Clayton Refusing To Comment On The Alleged Ripple Settlement?

December 17, 2021 10:44 am

Jay Clayton decided to bring a lawsuit against Ripple Labs during the final stretch of his tenure at The S.E.C. 

Many have speculated that this decision is based on favoritism, a pay to play dynamic, or hidden conflicts of interest which exist in virtually all government agencies.

It was recently reported that Ripple Labs and The S.E.C. are allegedly entering into settlement talks, yet former S.E.C. Chairman Jay Clayton has decided not to comment on the potential settlement.

Clayton says that because he was an employee of the government at that time he cannot make any comments on the pending legal case.

His silence is further conflated by the fact that he claims to be ‘very bullish’ on cryptocurrencies citing the important innovations to the financial sector—particularly on the issue of tokenization.

Perhaps his comments in 2018 can further clarify his position, but the question still remains as to why Clayton attempted to regulate XRP but not ETH:

By his own definition of what comprises a security, Ethereum, Cardano, and virtually all the altcoins based on these platforms can classify as securities.

Even an NFT could potentially classify as a security if it were used to raise money for an enterprise.

However since 2018 Clayton seems to have become more progressive on the topic of cryptocurrencies, he recently stated via The Wall Street Journal:

Clayton’s lack of commentary on the alleged Ripple vs SEC settlement appeared on ZY Crypto:

“They’ve done some mudslinging and said that you and others at the SEC were compromised in the decision. That you had input that was coming in from people who were maybe Ethereum fans, or others, along the way,” she asked.

In response, Clayton said that due to his position as a government official, he was not at liberty to comment on any pending investigation or action of the SEC. He also noted that the parties raising the allegations were free to hold their opinions as America was a free country.

Others pointed out that Clayton may have been compromised, as he now advises companies that have interests within the crypto space. He currently acts as Lead Independent Director for Apollo Global Management—a private equity firm.

Could institutional interests have played into the decision to create a legal stir for Ripple but not for the Ethereum Network, or Bitcoin?

Clayton claims that he did not know these companies while in government, but institutional cross-play between the private sectors and regulators is an all too common feature of regulatory agencies in The U.S.

Bein Crypto had more of Clayton’s recent comments on tokenization:

The former regulator confirmed that regulation of and tokenization assets is necessary but the government should not stifle innovation, saying:

The government should actively facilitate the adoption of technology in core U.S. dollar funding and payments markets.

These thoughts were echoed recently by Coinbase chief executive, Alesia Haas, who said that the crypto industry needs tailored regulations, not the same outmoded rules laid down for traditional finance.

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