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Former SEC chair Clayton joins Fireblocks advisory board

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Former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  Chair Jay Clayton has taken on a role on the advisory board at crypto security firm Fireblocks.  

This is the second advisory role Clayton has taken on since his departure from the SEC in December. In March, he signed on to advise digital hedge fund One River.

In today's announcement, Clayton called the firm a "leader in the evolving digital asset space." In the role, Clayton will help Fireblocks navigate the current regulatory landscape in the U.S.

"My primary role is to help Fireblocks understand how these new digital solutions and investment opportunities best fit within existing market practices and regulations," he said in an email to The Block. "In short, how they can improve the function and resilience of our infrastructure."

Clayton was former President Donald Trump's pick for the securities regulator back in 2017, and his exit made room for President Joe Biden to nominate Gary Gensler to the office.

During his time as a regulator himself, Clayton took a technology-agnostic approach to crypto regulation. He guided the SEC through the initial coin offering boom in 2017 by applying existing regulation to crypto projects. He has continued to hold this sentiment. Still, he said regulators need to "embrace a focal point for regulatory coordination" with "function-based analysis" in order to effectively regulate crypto's activity in securities markets.

"If you look at the function that crypto assets are providing, they will be regulated in the same way as the incumbent assets that serve a similar function are," he told The Block. "To the extent a crypto asset is a means of payment nationally and internationally, I expect that it will be subject to the same Anti-Money Laundering, Know Your Customer, and Bank Secrecy Act types of requirements that international wire transfers are subject to."

As for Fireblocks, it scored unicorn status last month, raising $310 million at a $2 billion valuation.

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