SEC Commissioner Leaving Post; Presents on ICOs, Cryptos as One of His Last Tasks


Michael Piwowar, a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissioner, recently appeared as a presenter at a conference in which ICOs and cryptos were topics.

Specifically, the topics of whether they are securities came up. The subject of decentralization drew some fireworks, and there were talks about buckets from Piwowar.

Piwowar is submitting his resignation as standard procedure because his term ends on June 5, 2018.One of his last tasks related to cryptos was speaking at this conference.

Let’s discuss.

At this conference, things reportedly got a little heated. One participant reportedly minced no words, saying Bitcoin being called decentralized is “bullshit.”

That comment didn’t come from Piwowar, but it shows how the space draws passionate discussions.

One thing was clear, however, and that was related to cryptos not being securities, according to Piwowar. On that same note, ICOs are securities.

An interesting point brought out was that out of all the ICOs Piwowar said he examined, or SEC chairman, Jay Clayton examined, all of them comprised a security.

Piwowar reportedly told attendees that there are three buckets that ICOs and cryptos fall in, based on the regulations the SEC currently has in place.

Bucket one: In this bucket are registered public offerings, or initial public offerings (IPOs).

Piwowar told attendees that the SEC had not had anyone register a public offering for an ICO.

Bucket two: In this bucket are exempt offerings, and these include ICOs.

Bucket three: In this bucket, are basically all the other offerings, which tend to be illegal. Piwowar said about bucket three that if the offering does not fall into the first two buckets, the SEC has said “we’re coming after you.”

Furthermore, according to Piwowar, the SEC considers Bitcoin itself as not being a security, but as for the customized tokens for these initial coin offerings – most of them are.

Leave date
While his term ends in June, Piwowar intends to resign his position on the earlier of July 7, or the swearing in of his successor, according to his resignation letter to President Trump.

He began his career in public service at the SEC 16 years ago as a visiting academic scholar and later as a senior financial economist. He left, and returned to the SEC as a commissioner in 2013.