April 19, 2024
SEC in Court; Peirce Urges Crypto Firms to Stay in the US
Latest Cryptocurrency News

SEC in Court; Peirce Urges Crypto Firms to Stay in the US

Hester Peirce, a commissioner at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a prominent advocate for cryptocurrencies, has called on lawmakers and regulators to provide clarity on digital assets.

Peirce expressed her surprise at what she saw as the SEC’s slow progress in developing a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies since her appointment to the commission in 2018. She noted that countries like Switzerland and Singapore seemed to be further ahead regarding crypto regulations but cautioned against making direct comparisons with the United States.

Peirce mentioned that while there were individuals within the SEC who had substantial knowledge about cryptocurrencies, she hadn’t observed significant improvements in the regulatory landscape, saying, “I haven’t seen a lot of changes for the better.”

Under the leadership of Chair Gary Gensler, the SEC faced criticism for its approach, which some perceived as “regulation by enforcement” in the digital asset space. At the time of the interview, the SEC was involved in civil actions against major crypto firms such as Coinbase, Binance, and Ripple. Additionally, the SEC had not yet approved a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) for listing on U.S. markets. Notably, Grayscale Investments had recently won an appeal against the SEC’s rejection of its spot ETF application, potentially prompting a review.

Peirce refrained from commenting on specific court cases involving the SEC but encouraged participants in the crypto industry to engage with the commission to find a way forward. She hinted at the possibility of a “change of heart” within the agency regarding crypto-related policies, saying.

“Don’t give up on the United States. This too shall pass, the confusion shall pass. The United States is a good place to build things; I want it to stay that way. But come forward with very concrete ideas, […] be thinking of concrete ways that you need clarity.”

At the time of the interview, SEC lawyers were meeting with counterparts from Binance.US in a Washington D.C. courtroom to discuss a motion for expedited discovery in a civil suit. This development followed the announcement by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao that Binance.US CEO Brian Shroder was taking a break from the crypto firm amid reports of other executives departing.

Image by vectorpouch on Freepik

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