Hester Peirce and Regulatory Realism
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Hester Peirce has taken a position on bitcoin technologies. In her view, the SEC should not act as the gatekeeper to such technology. Peirce presented her position in an interview with CoinDesk, conducted after the SEC confirmed an ETF filed by Tyler and Cameron and Winklevoss.
According to Peirce, the decision to reject the ETF is a disservice to market investors. In her own words, Peirce stated “From my perspective, we need to be mindful of what our role is, and it’s not to be the ones who decide which innovations and which technologies get through and which one’s don’t” and “I think that’s a very dangerous position to put ourselves in, and I think it really does harm investors because it denies them opportunity.”
Interestingly enough, Peirce’s position is contrary to the one generally presented by the SEC and is more in line with that of the crypto community. Just like Peirce is heralded by the crypto community for her comments, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission chief Christopher Giancarlo has been as well for his own comments. His position, which is in line with that of Peirce, has been dubbed “crypto dad” in the community.
Peirce has pushed backed on the interpretation of her comments, stating that her position is not meant to support bitcoin, instead, it is a defense of new technologies and the people who invest resources and time to develop them.
As she stated, “I’m mot taking a view whether bitcoin is going to succeed or fail. I’m excited by the fact that people are thinking of new ways to do things” and “Bitcoin is one of those things, blockchain is one of those things, other cryptocurrencies – but again I’m not weighing on any particular innovation or any particular asset.”
Peirce’s Position on Winklevoss ETF
Contrary to the SEC lack of favor concerning Winklevoss’ ETF, Peirce saw it worthy of approval. Pierce stated in her interview and in a statement that followed that the proposed rule changed filed by Bats BZX Exchange satisfied the SEC requirements. She further mentioned that the agency erred by focusing on manipulation in the spot market. As she said,
“I think the exchange, in making a decision to list this particular product, had looked into whether it thought investors were interested in it, and if investors are interested in it, I don’t see why we should stop them from having access to it.”
Peirce also contended in her interview with CoinDesk that “approval of this order would demonstrate our commitment to acting within the scope of our limited role in regulating the securities markets” and “If someone is trying to raise money for a legitimate project, as long as the person explain what he’s trying to do and what he’s going to do with the money that reveals everything material that investors need to know – I don’t think we should stand in the way.”
Perice Receives Support from Crypto Community
Peirce’s statements have led to praise from the crypto community. On twitter, her following has grown to 15,800 and according data analytics website SocialBlade, her following increased by 1,275 since the beginning of the money.
Further, although Perice clarified her statements and noted that she is not an advocate of bitcoin, she did mention that she finds work concerning the technology to be “really exciting.” Peirce further added, “It’s not that I’m supporting any one asset, it’s just that I’m supporting the ingenuity and the creativity and the curiosity that’s motivating people to invest their time and money in these technologies” and “I think that’s exciting. But again, I can’t weight in on any particular asset, including bitcoin.”
For those who are following her on social media, Peirce mentioned that they should not expect too many fireworks and that most followers will find most of her tweets “very boring” and about “very dull regulatory things.”