The scene was straight out of the era of bitcoin mania: a man on an Amtrak train to New York speaking loudly into his mobile phone, discussing a digital token he was promoting and bragging about how he planned to pump up the price.
But unknown to the crypto entrepreneur, sitting a few seats away was Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton, the U.S.’s top market cop. Clayton had been growing increasingly concerned that many initial coin offerings — a twist on an IPO where investors get tokens instead of stock — were scams. He listened for a while, his anger building, and then stood up.
“I didn’t tell him who I was,” Clayton recalled. “I just said, ‘you don’t want to talk about this in front of me.”‘
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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