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Hester Peirce Reaffirms That the SEC’s Current Approach to Crypto Is ‘Not a Good Way of Regulating’

Decrypt | Sander Lutz | Oct 31, 2022

Hester Peirce 2022 - Hester Peirce Reaffirms That the SEC's Current Approach to Crypto Is 'Not a Good Way of Regulating'Industry leaders have long accused the SEC of taking a uniquely unfair and unreasonable approach to crypto regulation; now, one of the SEC’s own is singing the same tune. 

  • Revolving door: There’s not much that’s healthy about how the SEC interacted with crypto companies thus far, according to the Commissioner: bringing them in one at a time—not to collaborate on policy, but to dictate the terms of a particular enforcement.
  • My way or the high way: The SEC’s current chair, Gary Gensler, has repeatedly insisted that he treats crypto no differently than any other market under his purview. He’s also made a point of responding to criticism of his crypto policies by putting the onus on crypto companies, encouraging them to “come in and talk” if they are unhappy about regulations being generated.

Hester Peirce, SEC Commissioner:

Typically, when we write a rule, we go out with a proposal.  People are talking to the regulator, we're talking to the public. It's a very healthy conversation.

If you're going to tell people to come in, people need to see people walking in the front door and coming out again, holding an exemptive order or something that allows them to move forward with their business and allows us to achieve our regulatory objectives.  But if you just see people walking in and then you see them walking out either with an enforcement action, or with nothing, people aren't going to want to come in the door.

Nobody else is in the room. The customers aren't in the room. The competitors aren't in the room. And the regulator has the leverage because the regulator's about to bring an enforcement action. It’s just not a good way of regulating.

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