Hester Peirce, SEC commissioner

Key facts:
  • For the delegate, the regulatory agency often does not handle innovation.

  • Denying bitcoin as an opportunity hurts investors, Peirce said.

For the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to show a timid attitude about Bitcoin would be hurting investors. For Commissioner Hester Peirce, the body does not always handle innovation, an aspect that concerns her since, she explained, her country could be left behind by not offering publicly traded products related to cryptocurrency.

The official acknowledged that various financial sectors have asked the commission for more clarity about cryptocurrency custody services, types of products that could be listed on the exchange or whether a certain digital asset represents a security.

“I’m worried we’ll be left behind. I don’t think we can rest on our laurels. We have big markets here and we have big innovators here ( … ) I think it can be easy for a country like ours to focus a lot on the rules,” Peirce explained during his speech at the virtual conference “The, Word,” an event on how institutions can adopt bitcoin.

“Protect” the investor over bitcoin

According to the commissioner, the SEC is trying to protect investors from getting “hurt.” However, in his view, the best way to cater to traders is for them to have access to the “full range of opportunities,” which would encompass funds or products related to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Peirce’s concern is that other countries such as Canada or Singapore are already marketing financial products associated with cryptocurrencies. As the United States is the largest capital market on a global scale, then the desire of the official is magnified even more since the country could inject large amounts of money in Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), for example.

When asked whether the SEC has debated the fact that U.S. companies are adding bitcoin to their treasury balances, the official indicated that they, as an institution, cannot tell companies how to manage their funds. The commission’s task, according to Peirce, is to ensure that investors get the best possible information for them to make their decisions.

“Companies are the ones to tell their investors what they are doing, to be honest about what their plan is. In that sense, I think a lot that the adoption of Bitcoin is a kind of individual and organization,” the commissioner added.

Peirce’s participation in the virtual forum was moderated by the podcaster Anthony Pompliano. The agenda of talks also included a debate on policies to minimize cryptocurrency money laundering and a legislative look at Bitcoin.

Peirce is a believer in Bitcoin as a digital system and as a cryptocurrency. In March of this year Crypto news reported that the commissioner advocated again for approval of a Bitcoin ETF, which the SEC has postponed on multiple occasions.

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