The Financial Post reports in its Wednesday edition that last year, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Jay Clayton overheard a man speaking loudly on a train to New York into his mobile, bragging about how he planned to pump up the price of Bitcoin. A Bloomberg dispatch to the Post says that the encounter helped frame his view that virtual coin investments, once largely the province of tech geeks and anti-government weirdos, had gone mainstream and needed to be policed under securities laws. Now, that stance is setting him up for a potential clash with one of the most high-profile companies in the world, Facebook, which in June said it was developing its own token, called Libra, for use by the company's two billion subscribers. Libra is a payment system that's outside of the government's control. In one sign of Facebook's hesitance to engage with the SEC chief, no one from the company met with Mr. Clayton in the weeks leading up to the Libra proposal. If the SEC gained oversight, the token's launch would likely be delayed while the matter underwent a lengthy and cumbersome approval process. Such supervision flies in the face of the Silicon Valley tendency to innovate first and ask questions later.
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