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Pro-Bitcoin SEC Commissioner Warns Against One-Size-Fits-All Crypto Laws

Samantha Chang
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:39 PM

Pro-bitcoin SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce says adopting a single global regulatory framework for crypto is an “unwise” approach to governing the budding industry.

Peirce says continued communication among the world’s financial regulators is the key to unlocking the opaque regulatory puzzle we find ourselves in.

“While I believe a single global regulatory framework would be unwise, regulators can create a healthy environment for this new market to grow by sharing information that will smooth cross-border transactions while stamping out fraud and other harmful activity.”

Hester Peirce: One set of crypto rules not the answer

Peirce made the remarks  this week at the Singapore University of Social Sciences’ Convergence Forum, where she discussed crypto regulations.

At the event, Peirce — who has been dubbed “Crypto Mom” for her pro-bitcoin viewpoints — underscored the need for global cooperation as the worldwide market grows.

Peirce says because so much crypto activity occurs outside the United States, the SEC has to approach regulations with “a sensitivity for cross-border considerations, cooperation, and co-learning.”

pro bitcoin SEC commissioner hester peirce crypto regulations
SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce says different nations should have their own set of crypto rules. | Source: SEC.gov

Peirce stressed that international dialogue about “how and whether to regulate crypto” in different countries is critical for nurturing this nascent industry.

However, Peirce says a single worldwide regulatory framework is not the answer. Why? Because it’s important to have regulatory competition to ensure a healthy, non-monopolistic marketplace.

“My fondness for competitive markets extends to regulatory markets. The resulting regulatory competition will allow us to see what works well and what does not work at all.”

Peirce says the SEC should continue to talk with its international counterparts for ideas on how to address crypto laws and policies. However, she says each nation should have its own set of rules tailored to their own jurisdictional needs.

“We can look to our fellow regulators for shared consideration of difficult issues and coordination, but not for regulatory directives.”

Peirce: SEC should have approved a bitcoin ETF already

As CCN.com reported, Hester Peirce blasted the SEC for being a backward relic that’s taking too long to issue regulatory clarity governing cryptocurrencies.

Specifically, Peirce is concerned that the murky regulatory framework in the United States will chase crypto businesses offshore.

In June 2019, Peirce slammed the SEC for not approving a bitcoin ETF, saying it should have done so already.

Hester Peirce is one of five commissioners at the Securities and Exchange Commission. They each have differing opinions on cryptocurrencies.

pro bitcoin SEC Hester Peirce
SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has been nicknamed “Crypto Mom” for her advocacy of bitcoin and blockchain. | Source: SEC.gov

In July 2018, Peirce was the only SEC commissioner who wanted to approve the bitcoin ETF application submitted by the Winklevoss twins, Tyler and Cameron.

As CCN.com reported, the SEC twice rejected a bitcoin ETF application submitted by the Winklevoss twins. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss own the New York-based crypto exchange Gemini.

The rejections — in March 2017 and again in June 2018  — cited the twins’ failure to demonstrate how their bitcoin ETF could prevent market manipulation.

Peirce to SEC: Welcome to the 21st century

Peirce says her anti-crypto colleagues rejected the Winklevoss twins’ bitcoin ETF application because they’re uncomfortable with new ideas. She says that’s a terrible attitude that stifles innovation.

“We want people to come in with innovation. We want to see change, because those innovations ultimately serve investors well.”

Peirce said the SEC has had an antiquated, counterproductive approach to innovation for years. She says the agency must evolve with the times and be more open-minded about embracing innovation such as bitcoin and blockchain.