SEC Chairman Jay Clayton emphasized the need for early regulation during a Princeton University speech entitled "Cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offerings." He noted that "distributed ledger technology has incredible promise for the financial industry" but decried the lack of adequate regulation and enforcement, warning "if we don’t stop the fraudsters, there is a serious risk that the regulatory pendulum – the regulatory actions will be so severe that they will restrict the capacity of this new security."
U.S. brokers have been hesitant to add bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to current product offerings, worried about high volatility, lax oversight and client suitability. However, that hasn't stopped E*TRADE Financial Corporation (ETFC), Forex.Com, Just2Trade and Interactive Brokers from offering bitcoin futures through the fully regulated CME and CBOE exchanges.
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