The SEC's Hester Peirce Isn't a Bitcoin Champion, Just a Regulatory Realist
Regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission shouldn't be acting as gatekeepers to new technologies like bitcoin, according to Commissioner Hester Peirce.
Peirce's remarks, made during an interview with CoinDesk, follow the agency's decision to confirm the 2017 rejection of a bitcoin-tied
exchange-traded fund backed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, which reinforced the argument made in a publicly-issued dissent published alongside last week's announcement.
According to Peirce – who was sworn into office this past January and previously served as a staffer in the U.S Senate – the decision actually does a disservice to investors who are operating in the market.
"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 ones don't," Peirce told CoinDesk.
"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."
Perhaps unintentionally, Peirce's dissent made her a kind of hero in the eyes of the
crypto community, netting comparisons to the effect comments made by Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chief J. Christopher Giancarlo had on his own social media following earlier this year.
In the days following what were perceived as his positive remarks about the technology, Giancarlo was quickly dubbed "Crypto Dad," a nickname that's now been extended to Peirce, who some have sought to label the "Crypto Mom" of seemingly supportive U.S. regulators.
But according to Peirce, her statement on Friday wasn't intended as a remark in support of bitcoin; rather it's in defense of new technologies and the people who invest time and resources in developing them.
"I'm not 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," Peirce told CoinDesk. "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."