SEC Commissioner says Agency Should be Easier on Cryptocurrencies
The SEC has always been one of the most important United States agencies when it comes to the long-term future of cryptocurrencies and crypto trading. The Securities and Exchange Commission is tasked with the regulation of financial securities and stocks as they are traded within the borders of the United States. The federal authority has historically taken a slow approach to adopting cryptocurrencies, only recently ruling that some cryptocurrencies can indeed qualify as securities, meaning big things for the entire market.
Recently, the cryptocurrency community has been fixated on a single acronym, with just three letters—ETF. An ETF, or Exchange-Traded-Fund is a way that investors can invest in cryptocurrencies without actually holding the currency itself.
This is very good for the investor that wants to capitalize on the fluidity and quick profits native to the crypto markets, but who also does not believe that there is an inherent long-term value to the investment. In a time where crypto scams and theft is incredibly prevalent, it is also important to note that the ETF decision could help to restore valuable institutional faith in the cryptocurrency and ICO markets.
Apparently, bitcoin is not ripe enough, respectable enough, or regulated enough to be worthy of our markets. I dissent: https://t.co/gH5zXaKtmj
— Hester Peirce (@HesterPeirce) July 26, 2018
Hester Peirce has been one of the rare allies to the cryptocurrency community within the agency. She was the dissenting opinion on the move to deny the application for the ETF from Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss in July. But now, the former lawyer and SEC commissioner has come out further in support of cryptocurrencies, outlining her belief that the SEC needs to be more committed to helping establish some sort of a Bitcoin ETF.
The Winklevoss ETF Dissent
In an interview, Peirce spoke at-length on her reasoning behind the dissent in the ETF decision last July. For the most part, her view was that the decision was based on an erroneous and unfair examination of the realities “below the market.” In her opinion, it seemed that it would have been more correct to examine the plan that the market has to expand or trade the product.
She expanded on this view, saying that the SEC needs to look to the future of the markets, rather than merely consider the most pessimistic current realities. In this view, it makes sense that the regulatory authority should consider a market for an ETF, even if it is not fully matured. This word in particular, matured, seems to provide some valuable insight into why the SEC was so quick to deny the Winklevoss ETF application last month.
The SEC Is “Behind the Curve”
Using a dead language to look at a live issue: fiduciary vs. best interest: https://t.co/zuQu1RQHC9
— Hester Peirce (@HesterPeirce) July 31, 2018
Another opinion outlined by Peirce in this interview was that, while the SEC is certainly moving too slowly to keep up with the crypto markets, most regulatory authorities are also behind the curve.
This is due, in her opinion, to the quick pace at which the market changes. But she remained optimistic, quickly acknowledging that the SEC as “some really good people” working on the issue.
SEC's Division of Investment Management has a lot of questions related to crypto funds. I'm happy that there's finally an online forum for people to respond: https://t.co/A78o4y1ulS
— Hester Peirce (@HesterPeirce) August 8, 2018
Bitcoin ETF is Uncertain
Unfortunately, interviewers were unable to get Peirce to speak one way or another on if we can expect a Bitcoin ETF in the coming months. She made it clear that she was trying her best to convince the other people in charge of making the decision, but that the question itself is difficult to answer because of the specific details that change with every ETF application that the SEC considers.
The SEC Needs to Keep Up
The final opinion expressed by the dissenter in the SEC was that the agency needs to work harder to keep up with the quickly evolving markets for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. She even expressed her disappointment in her own knowledge, saying that the wide range of topics and subjects covered by terms like “cryptocurrencies” and “blockchain” make it harder and harder to have the type of understanding necessary for effective regulatory action.
As for the rest of the SEC, Peirce was direct in her expression that she would continue working to try to change minds and convert her colleagues in favor of the Bitcoin ETF. For the market, it is incredibly clear that a Bitcoin ETF would be a major win, and might be just what cryptos need to truly go mainstream.
In English: the Commission (Chairman and Commissioners) delegates some tasks to its staff. When the staff acts in such cases, it acts on behalf of the Commission. The Commission may review the staff's action, as will now happen here.
— Hester Peirce (@HesterPeirce) August 23, 2018