Voyager Digital Taps Former OCC Boss Brian Brooks as Director

Voyager Digital, one of the publicly traded cryptocurrency platforms in the United States, has tapped the services of Brian Brooks, the current Chief Executive Officer of Bitfury, as one of its non-Executive Directors.

The appointment was announced on Monday, and per the company, Brooks’ works start immediately.

“On behalf of the Board, I welcome Brian to the Board as an independent, non-executive Director.” said Philip Eytan, Chairman of Voyager Digital, “Brian’s extensive background as an executive at major crypto companies and as the leader of important government regulatory initiatives in the crypto space will help propel the growth of digital assets and Voyager’s business.”

Brooks’ appointment was informed by the wealth of experience he has gathered in his professional career while serving as the Comptroller of the Currency under former President Donald Trump’s administration. Following his departure from the OCC, Brooks has taken on roles in the digital currency ecosystem, and this, to an extent, has broadened his perspective the more in the space.

Brooks is known for his proactiveness in helping to advance the growth of the nascent digital currency ecosystem. Under his reign at the OCC, the regulator permitted Federally Chartered Banks to keep custody of stablecoins, one of the first and crucial gestures of openness to the crypto ecosystem from a Federal Agency.

The recognition of Brooks as a crypto advocate is duly recognized across the entire digital currency ecosystem as he represented Bitfury in the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services to discuss cryptocurrencies. The ascension of Brian Brooks mimics that of Jay Clayton, the former Chairman of Security and Exchange Commission. He was appointed earlier in the year as an Advisor with One River Digital Asset Management company.

With the appointment of Brooks and Clayton making headlines, it is becoming evident that digital currency platforms are prioritizing the integration of former regulators in preparation for the future of the ecosystem.

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Former SEC Chairman, Jay Clayton Says He Believes Strongly In Crypto Technology

According to former chairman of the SEC, Jay Clayton, cryptocurrencies serve a variety of functions and are tied to a range of industries, and the SEC should regulate only those industries that are related to them.

Clayton Believes In Crypto Technology

Jay Clayton, the former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, was appointed to the position by ex-President Donald Trump in 2017.

Clayton frequently supported Bitcoin (BTC) as a store of value throughout his time as the SEC’s chairman. Jay discussed bitcoin and how it should be controlled in the future during an appearance with CNBC’s Squawk Box broadcast on Wednesday.

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The former SEC chair stated that he is a “huge believer in crypto technology” and that the benefits of its efficiency in the financial sector and tokenization are immeasurable.

Clayton tweeted:

“I am a huge believer in this technology. The efficiency benefits in the financial system and otherwise from tokenization are immense.”

Clayton’s comments come after the current SEC head, Gary Gensler, recently stated that the watchdog has no intentions to ban cryptocurrency, but that Congress may do so. However, Gensler cautioned that cryptocurrency in its current state is akin to the wild west without proper regulation.

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Related Reading | CBDCs to coexist with cash payments, according to FED Chairman Powell

When questioned if the current chairperson is imposing too many limitations on the crypto industry, Jay responded that cryptocurrencies serve a number of purposes and are linked to a variety of industries, and the SEC should only regulate those industries.

“Crypto is a wide variety of products, with a wide variety of functions, and the rules of our financial system are clear and long-standing. If you are raising capital for a project, you have to register your capital raising with SEC. If you are trading securities it has to be on a registered venue, But there are many crypto sectors like stablecoins that are not securities and outside of SEC purview.”

Feds Should Regulate Crypto Appropriately

Cryptocurrencies, according to Clayton, should be allowed, but with adequate regulation. He believes the government should be “reactive to people who are violating our well-defined laws but proactive in encouraging the adoption of this technology throughout our financial system.” according to him.

During Clayton’s tenure, a Bitcoin ETF was not approved, which will now happen in 2021 under Gary Gensler. Since then, the SEC has been chastised for rejecting spot ETF applications but allowing Bitcoin futures ETFs. “There is no basis for the position that investing in derivatives for an asset is acceptable for investors but not investing in the asset itself,” Grayscale said to SEC secretary Vanessa Countryman in a letter. Under the Administrative Protections Act, or APA, the SEC was accused of treating the two Bitcoin ETF proposals unequally.

Clayton believes in crypto

BTC Spikes after Fed confirmed it won't change interest rates. Source: Tradingview

Related article | Why Bitcoin Is The Answer To Central Bank Monetary Madnes

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Ex-SEC Chair Jay Clayton Says He’s a “Huge Believer” in Crypto

Former Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Jay Clayton expressed his trust in the nascent digital currency world saying he is a “huge believer” in the technology underpinning the industry. - 2021-12-17T095521.887.jpg

“I am a huge believer in this technology,” says Jay Clayton on crypto. “The efficiency benefits in the financial system and otherwise from tokenization are immense.”

This comment was made while speaking in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box and it came as a shock to many seeing how Clayton treated the digital currency ecosystem under his tenure. The SEC, at the very tail end of his tenure as SEC Chairman last December, filed a damning $1.3 billion lawsuit against Ripple for selling XRP coins as securities. The case is still ongoing.

When asked about his take on the matter, Clayton refused to comment, saying the facts are before law enforcement. 

Clayton was appointed by former US President Donald Trump in 2017 and he served until 2020, a time in which the SEC rejected many applications for a Bitcoin or crypto-focused Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) product. Clayton’s successor, Gary Gensler has finally approved a Bitcoin Futures linked ETF, further highlighting the likely bias Clayton has against such products.

However, Clayton’s perspective towards crypto seems to have broadened since joining One River Digital Asset Management as an Advisor earlier this year. On the Squawk Box show, Clayton shared his thoughts on how crypto should be regulated.

“Crypto is a wide variety of products, with a wide variety of functions, and the rules of our financial system are clear and long-standing. If you are raising capital for a project, you have to register your capital raising with SEC. If you are trading securities it has to be on a registered venue, but there are many crypto sectors like stablecoins that are not securities and outside of SEC purview.”

In all, Clayton believes digital currencies should be implemented but in a systematic approach.

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One River Asset Management Closes $41M Funding Round Led by Goldman Sachs

One River Asset Management, one of the leading institutional asset managers in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, has completed a $41 million Series A funding round led by Coinbase Ventures and Goldman Sachs Group Inc, amongst others.

As noted by the firm, the funds will help deepen its ties with financial and digital industry leaders and provide capital to accelerate One River Digital’s ongoing development further. 

The One River Asset Management’s funding and its high-profile participants, including the two Wall Street giants named above, showcases the growing influx of mainstream players into the digital currency industry. With many ways to embrace crypto-related investments, active backing players in the space through venture capital funding has proven to be a very safe bet for many, including Goldman Sachs.

“We are thrilled to have the support of these five new strategic investors. Each institution is a leader of their specific category of finance, bringing with them unique experiences, connectivity, and capabilities,” said Sebastian Pedro Bea, President of One River Digital. “We are already collaborating to develop and distribute an expanding range of institutional digital asset strategies that best meet the needs of our global clients.”

One River Asset Management made headlines back in March when it employed former US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) boss Jay Clayton as one of its advisors. The aim was to get a headstart in navigating the regulatory landscape as the company seeks to roll out a number of products to increase its market share.

A number of digital currency firms and projects have raised funds successfully this year. Amongst the most notable ones include the $100 million Series C round announced by Singapore-based Digital financial service platform Matrixport and Avalanche’s recent $230 million raised from a group of investors led by Polychain and Three Arrows Capital, amongst others. 

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Former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton Now Fighting for Bitcoin ETF Approval

Former SEC chairman Jay Clayton has had a major role reversal as he now fights for a Bitcoin ETF approval.

Clayton Joins Fight for Bitcoin ETF Approval

While the newly-appointed SEC chairman, Gary Gensler continues to work toward establishing a regulatory framework for digital assets, his predecessor, Clayton finds himself on the opposite side of the table.

According to a report by Forbes published on July 31, Clayton is currently serving on the board of One River Asset Management. The firm recently submitted a registration statement for One River Carbon Neutral Bitcoin Trust.

The aforementioned fund is the latest attempt at getting the long-awaited Bitcoin ETF approval in the US and attempts to sell itself to the regulators on its environmental benefits under the ESG designation.

Interestingly, Clayton is actively involved in the application process, and considering the professional experience of the former SEC head, the One River fund possesses remarkably good odds at getting approved by the financial regulator.

Commenting, Adam Pritchard, a professor at the University of Michigan Law school, noted:

“He’s no longer a government official, he needs to earn a living to pay for his fancy Manhattan apartment and you’re not going to get paid for being neutral on these topics.”


“People are hiring you to be an advocate or endorse what it is they’re doing or lend credibility. So if you’re monetizing your reputation, you’re going to have to pick a side.”

Indeed, Clayton’s role in getting the ETF approved from the SEC will be crucial.

However, it must also not be forgotten that not a single Bitcoin ETF saw the light of the day under Clayton’s leadership during the last 4 years.

Will a Bitcoin ETF Be Approved in 2021?

Bitcoin ETFs getting approved is no longer a rare occurrence as several countries such as Canada, Brazil, and Switzerland have embraced the premier cryptocurrencies by approving ETFs trading on their major public exchanges.

However, the story in the US is far less encouraging as repeated attempts at getting a Bitcoin ETF approved have failed.

In recent news, BTCManager reported that Ark Investment had become the latest firm to submit its application to the SEC seeking the approval of its ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF.

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Former SEC head and treasury undersecretary defend US crypto regulations

The regulatory pressure is mounting in the U.S., with more politicians questioning whether the current framework is adequate.

An opinion piece penned for Wall Street Journal by former SEC Chairman, Jay Clayton, and former Undersecretary of the Treasury, Brent McIntosh, have defended the United States’ existing regulatory apparatus regarding crypto and warned that excessive rulemaking could stifle innovation.

The discussions come as cryptocurrencies have been thrown into the regulatory spotlight once again in the wake of two crippling ransomware attacks in the U.S. Over the weekend, two senators deliberated on the prospect of banning cryptocurrencies as a solution to the ransomware attacks.

Clayton served as SEC head from May 2017 until December 2020 and stated that the agency did not take up Bitcoin regulation because the asset was declared not to be a security before he took up his position as its head. Clayton has remained in the industry following his departure from the SEC and currently advises One River Asset Management on cryptocurrencies.

McIntosh was the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs from September 2019 until January 2021, previously serving as General Counsel to the Department of the Treasury between 2017 and 2019.

The pair emphasized the challenge of finding a pragmatic regulatory balance that ensures basic consumer protections without stifling the crypto industry’s growth, warning that the sector could easily be subjected to excessive or insufficient regulatory oversight while praising existing guideline:

“Existing regulatory frameworks provide the tools to address many of the risks of new technologies without stifling their promise.”

They advised policymakers to ground their efforts in the principal objectives underpinning existing financial regulations. These include financial stability and the prevention of fraud and illicit activity.

The pair concluded that a coordinated approach is required that ensures the U.S. retains its role as a financial leader:

“A prompt, coordinated approach to regulatory clarity that builds on our existing knowledge base will empower responsible innovation and ensure that the U.S. financial system continues its leadership role in the formation of capital, the provision of credit, and the maintenance of stability on which the modern global economy depends.”

Those in power appear to be angling for a heavier-handed approach, with Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, stating that the misuse of crypto is a growing problem in February.

SEC chairman Gary Gensler also


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Former SEC chair Jay Clayton tips new Bitcoin regulations are coming

Former US Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Jay Clayton has stated that Bitcoin has not been classified as a security for a long time.

But speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box on March 31, Clayton warned that its status as a non-security still does not protect it from the imposition of new regulations which, he warned, could be coming soon.

Host Andrew Ross Sorkin pointed out that under Clayton’s watch the SEC did not take a position on Bitcoin regulation. Clayton responded that was because the asset was declared not to be a security before he even took up his position as the head of the regulatory body.

“Bitcoin was decided to be not a security before the time I got to the SEC. Therefore, the SEC’s jurisdiction over Bitcoin was rather indirect.”

Clayton has remained in the industry following his departure from the SEC in December 2020 and currently advises One River Asset Management on cryptocurrencies.

Although he professes not to have any special insights into what new laws are coming from his time heading up the SEC, he believes the regulatory environment is due for a shake up.

“Where digital assets land at the end of the day […] will be driven in part by regulation—both domestic and international—and I expect, and I’m speaking as a citizen now, that regulation will come in this area both directly and indirectly whether it’s through how these are held at banks, security accounts, taxation and the like. We will see this regulatory environment evolve.”

Clayton’s comments come just a week after billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio warned that the U.S. may ban Bitcoin outright just as they did with gold in the 1930s.

His comments about Bitcoin’s status as a non-security are also interesting in light of Ripple’s appeals to the SEC for documents from the agency to determine how exactly it came to the conclusion that Bitcoin and Ethereum were not securities.

The company and its backers have repeatedly argued that XRP is not a security however the SEC believes it is markedly different due to being morcentralized. Former SEC attorney Marc Powers told Cointelegraph that the agency is executing significant overreach in its case against Ripple and its executives.


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Jay Clayton Joins Bitcoin-Rich Asset Management Firm

Key Takeaways

  • Clayton has joined the advisory council of One River Digital Asset Management, which oversees Bitcoin investments.
  • The investment firm itself owns over $600 million of Bitcoin.
  • After ending his term as chairman of the SEC, Jay Clayton is returning to legal roles in various locations.

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Former SEC chair Jay Clayton has joined the advisory council of One River Digital Asset Management, a digital asset investment firm.

Clayton Now Advisor at Crypto Company

Jay Clayton, who served as chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission between May 2017 to December 2020, has taken advisory roles at multiple firms.

Most recently, he has been appointed to the advisory council of One River Digital Asset Management, a prominent crypto investment firm.

Clayton said about One River CEO Eric Peters: “We were impressed by Eric’s willingness to hear our varying views on the digitization of our monetary, banking, and capital markets ecosystem and One River’s commitment to transparency.”

Clayton is regarded as one of the crypto industry’s top villains because the SEC declined to approve Bitcoin ETFs under his leadership. Under Clayton, the SEC also made it harder for startups to run ICOs and most other types of initial tokens sales.

However, Clayton’s willingness to work with Bitcoin-adjacent firms should not be entirely surprising, given that he stated that Bitcoin is not a security in 2018. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin never went through an ICO or any other fundraiser.

Along with serving on One River’s advisory council, Clayton will rejoin his former law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP as a policy council advisor. He will also act as non-executive Chair of Apollo Global Management Inc. and serve as Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.

One River’s Cryptocurrency Bet

Prior to the economic crisis resulting from the response to COVID-19, One River CEO Eric Peters focused his strategy based on volatility, bringing in returns of around 35% in 2020. 

SIMETRI Research

The firm has made significant investments in Bitcoin. In November, it announced a $600 million Bitcoin purchase. In recent statements, Peters additionally confirmed that One River plans to increase its Bitcoin and Ethereum holdings to $1 billion in the first half of 2021.

One River has also received financial backing from the Brevan Howard Asset Management Fund and Ruffer LLP.

At the time of writing this author held Bitcoin and less than $15 of altcoins.

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Former SEC Chair Jay Clayton Joins Crypto Advisory Board

The former Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton has taken up an advisory role with digital asset investment firm One River Digital Asset Management, keeping him in the cryptocurrency space for the foreseeable future.

As detailed in the official press release, Clayton’s appointment comes alongside that of Kevin Hassett, and Jon Orszag. Together, they will help stir policy recommendations for One River Digital Asset Management’s newly formed Academic and Regulatory Advisory Council.

Jay Clayton resigned from the SEC back in December, following a 3-year stint navigating affairs with the market regulator. Under his leadership at the time, Clayton fought for investor’s protection as well as market integrity, remarkably clamping down on scams in the crypto ecosystem. 

Notable projects such as the Facebook-Libra project now rebranded as Diem as well as Telegram’s TON Network were prevented from seeing the light of day under Clayton and he notably spearheaded the ongoing court duel between Ripple and the SEC, over alleged unregistered XRP securities.

The understanding of Clayton within the United States regulatory landscape has been highlighted as a boost for One River Digital Asset Management, according to the company’s CEO, Eric Peters.

“It is crucial to understand how digital assets will interact with existing laws and regulatory bodies while engaging with governments in an open and transparent manner,” explained Mr. Peters. “The One River Academic and Regulatory Advisory Council will help us consider how these new digital systems and the investment opportunities they present will best fit within existing policy, while also helping us think through how to advance these frameworks in ways that ensure the US continues to lead the world in financial innovation and asset management.”

While Clayton and his fellow appointees will be active in One River’s regulatory adherence affairs, the former SEC Chairman appears to have returned to his former law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell L.L.P. as a Senior Policy Advisor.

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Reuters: Gary Gensler, MIT blockchain professor and Obama’s CFTC chair, to head Biden SEC

President-elect Biden has finally decided on his nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.

At least according to Reuters’ anonymous sourcing in a Tuesday report, Gary Gensler will be Biden’s nominee as SEC Chair. During the Obama administration, Gensler was the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in which capacity he was in charge of enforcing the many new provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act that followed the 2008 financial crisis.

Gensler has spent most of the Trump years at MIT, teaching courses on digital assets and blockchain. If nominated, there is little doubt that a now-Democrat-controlled Senate would be willing to confirm him. Gensler would likely be the most crypto-informed person to lead the SEC. 

Former SEC Chair Jay Clayton, who stepped down in December, was known for pursuing initial coin offerings throughout his term. It was early in his tenure that the commission released its DAO Report, its first declaration that digital assets could be securities and would, therefore, be subject to the SEC’s jurisdiction. 

Gensler has been a leader in financial policy on Biden’s transition team since shortly after Biden’s electoral win at the beginning of November. There was a great deal of speculation at the time as to Gensler’s prospective role in the coming administration, with many predicting the SEC.