Hester Peirce of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission is well-known as a regulator who has shown consistent support for digital assets, so much so that her moniker “crypto mom” has become unshakeable.
In a new interview with the Thinking Crypto podcast, Peirce reflected on the United States’ regulatory approach to the asset class to date, arguing that, “I think we have missed the boat a bit on crypto. And I think a big piece of that comes from the failure to provide clarity in our rules.” She said that contrary to the persistent narrative that crypto is somehow indissociable from illegality and a desire to outwit the system, her own experience has been that industry participants want to comply with the rules, but have often struggled to do so without adequate guidance:
“Am I optimistic that we’re going to finally get to the point where we do provide more clarity? I think we have a good chance. […] We’re likely about to get a new chairman, Gary Gensler, who had his hearing in front of the Senate. That’s one step in the process. Then he has to get voted on. And if he does get confirmed and come to the SEC, he brings with them really deep knowledge of this asset class.”
The Senate Banking Committee has now voted 14-10 in favor of Gensler’s nomination being sent to the Senate floor, after two Republicans joined ranks with 12 Democrats to support the choice.
Peirce underscored Gensler’s recent experience teaching courses on blockchain at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, noting that he’s been “surrounded by people who are enthusiastic about this technology.” In her view, Gensler understands the positive potential of the industry, as well as the need for more clarity in order to facilitate its development. Not having to convince him of these things will be “very helpful,” she said.
Peirce did note, however, that while the chairman does “set the agenda for the agency” and, in the case of Gensler, can be expected to support a…