SEC's Hester Peirce voices support for new crypto laws in Congress citing agency focus on enforcement

Quick Take

  • SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce says the commission under Gensler has made her more favorable toward new legislation that would set boundaries on crypto instead. 

Hester Peirce wants to see new law to regulate crypto, following disappointment with the Securities and Exchange Commission under Chair Gary Gensler.

Peirce herself is an SEC commissioner who has been an outspoken advocate for crypto for years. On October 12, she spoke at a conference for the Security Traders Association in Washington.

Peirce described her change in stance over the prospect of legislation relative to optimism when Gensler came to the SEC “with a tremendous amount of knowledge about crypto” as an opportunity to set up a new approach to crypto regulation – namely an oversight regime that indicates when certain disclosure rules apply to certain crypto assets and when.  

“We haven’t really done anything except some enforcement actions,” she said. “So I think it is a good time for legislation.”

The commissioner did, however, gesture at the market chaos of the past seven months, which has spurred interest in new legislative efforts as well as more aggressive regulation of crypto.

“Obviously there are lessons that apply equally to crypto markets as to regular markets and some people in the crypto markets have been learning those lessons recently and people in the traditional markets probably could have warned them of some of those things,” Peirce said.

Peirce's comments come as one of the most conspicuous pushes on crypto legislation would carve out greater authority for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The other Republican commissioner at the SEC, Mark Uyeda, has similarly criticized the commission's approach, namely foregoing the rulemaking process in favor of what critics decry as "regulation-by-enforcement."

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