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‘New rules’ for SEC could follow example set by Wyoming, says Hester Peirce


Hester Peirce, commissioner for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and best known by the affectionate nickname “Crypto Mom,” says the regulator may not be able to get by if it simply incorporatesng digital assets into its existing regulatory framework.

In an interview with Santander Bank Managing Director John Whelan for the ‘Ethereum in the Enterprise – Asia Pacific’ online conference today, Peirce said the SEC could learn from other approaches on regulating crypto, specifically citing Wyoming as an “extremely progressive” regulator. The state’s banking board approved charters for crypto firms like Avanti and Kraken in October.

By contrast, at the federal level, Peirce said cryptocurrency and blockchain firms could “spend a lot of money and a lot of time and a lot of grief” waiting for a regulatory decision from the SEC without getting the results they want. Peirce said the commission’s existing regulatory framework may not be able to accommodate such an innovative space.

Hester Pierce at Ethereum in the Enterprise 2020

“I absolutely think we need new rules,” said Peirce. “Our securities laws are designed to be quite flexible to stand the test of time and I think they largely do.”

However, she added:

“I do think there are some issues that crypto raises that are not neatly solved by our existing securities laws. I would like to see a little more innovation on the regulatory side.”

The SEC commissioner has previously said the regulatory body was “very slow in giving guidance” despite a rapidly changing crypto landscape. She nevertheless encouraged firms to approach the commission, citing the SEC’s rare issuance of a no-action letter for coin offerings. The SEC has issued three such letters stating it “will not recommend enforcement action” against a platform issuing a digital currency.

Peirce began her second term as SEC commissioner in August and will remain in the position until 2025.



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