In a Wall Street Journal interview, last August 30, The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Jay Clayton signaled that the commission may relax regulation to give ordinary investors the chance to invest in non-stock exchange-listed companies.
The comments from the chairman reflect the gradually falling number of publicly traded companies, plus the fact that many tech firms remain privately funded for years before any possible Initial Public Offering (IPO) even happens. Clayton comments that investors should ask “who is participating” in funding companies. Critics allege that only a small circle of investors from Wall Street and Silicon Valley are able to take advantage of investing opportunities. A survey from Mckinsey reveals that 91 percent of investors believe private markets generate better returns than public assets.
Meanwhile, although Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) collected over $11bn in the first half of 2018, these investment opportunities remain off-limits to US citizens due to SEC rules.
Dima Zaitsev, the PR Director of ICOBox, commented on the news, saying:
“The SEC’s comments are welcome as investing in the hottest startups shouldn’t be reserved for just a “chosen few.” The SEC has an important role to play in preventing fraud and market manipulation but shouldn’t bar people from making their own investment decisions just because they, for example, “only” make $199,000 per year. Cryptocurrencies and decentralized networks are democratizing finance and technology but the US has until now seemed content to lag behind the rest of the world.”
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