U.S. Senate confirms crypto-friendly SEC commissioner Hester Peirce for second term in office

The U.S. Senate confirmed Securities and Exchange Commission commissioner Hester Peirce for a second term in a voice vote on Thursday.

The Senate Banking Committee cleared Peirce's nomination alongside the nomination of Caroline Crenshaw on Wednesday. Peirce took office in 2018 and was formally nominated for a second term in early June. Peirce's second term will expire in 2025.

Peirce is likely to continue advancing policy goals that have drawn cheers from the crypto industry, including her advocacy for the approval of a bitcoin ETF — efforts to date have been stymied amid concerns about price manipulation and the lack of surveillance-sharing agreements across major marketplaces. In February, Peirce wrote in a dissenting statement about the agency's rejection of the United States Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust: "The Commission's approach to these bitcoin exchange-traded products is frustrating because it evinces a stubborn stodginess in the face of innovation."

That same month, Peirce unveiled a safe harbor regulatory proposal for startups that conduct token sales. In exchange for giving token projects a three-year period in which to develop their networks and pursue a path of decentralization, such startups would be required to adhere to disclosure standards and SEC oversight.

In a statement published Thursday night, SEC chairman Jay Clayton and fellow commissioners Elad Roisman and Allison Herren Lee congratulated Peirce and Crenshaw. "On behalf of our 4,500 dedicated colleagues, we applaud their long standing commitment to investors and look forward to their continued work to advance the SEC's vital mission of protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitating capital formation," they said.