Hester Peirce: US crypto laws can’t assume ‘everything is a financial asset’

SEC Commissioner Suggests Laws Should be “Reserved” for Cryptocurrencies

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission commissioner has suggested that laws concerning cryptocurrencies in the United States should be “reserved” and not treat the technology as though each utilization is for financial purposes.

On the 29th of June, Commissioner Hester Peirce – nicknamed “Crypto Mom” – took part in the Australian Blockchain Week virtually and was asked how she would regulate crypto, to which she responded.

Peirce noted that although crypto is typically viewed in terms of its financial implications, it can also be used for other purposes, such as allowing people to communicate without the need for a centralized entity.

“This is beneficial for financial purposes, but it can also be applied to the development of a social media platform or anything else,” she remarked.

Peirce advocates for a legal framework that is characterized by a “reserved approach” while still providing “enough clarity so that people feel empowered to take action”.

In an apparent criticism of the SEC’s current strategy – which has been censured by Peirce among others – the commissioner declared that laws “cannot be kept idle and then, all of a sudden, [regulators] arrive five years later with a plethora of enforcement actions.”

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Crypto Industry Urged to Take Self-Regulation Seriously

When questioned regarding her promotion of cryptocurrency, Peirce declared she believes the SEC “can do better” and that if she is not allowed to express her opinion openly, “then I don’t know why I’m in that position.”

“Crypto offers the SEC a chance to reconsider how we manage innovation […] I truly believe we have been taking a strategy that is not suitable,” she stated.

Peirce urged the crypto industry to take self-regulation seriously and be mindful of counterparty risks, potential conflicts of interest, and leverage in the wake of the failure of FTX and the accusations of misconduct that came with it.

“You don’t need to be told by a government regulator to do those things, however I believe they can assist with that.”

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