SEC’s Peirce Warns Against Stifling Crypto Innovation

SEC’s Peirce Warns Against Stifling Crypto Innovation

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce said overzealous regulation of cryptocurrency in the U.S. could hinder innovation, in an interview in the Financial Times.

“I am concerned that the initial reaction of a regulator is always to say ‘I want to grab hold of this and make it like the markets I already regulate’,” Peirce told the FT. “I am not sure that’s going to be great for innovation.”

Second-term Commissioner Peirce has been a long-time advocate of a calibrated approach in regulating crypto. During CoinDesk’s recent Consensus21 event, she said custody rules in the U.S. should be modernized to accommodate the new digital-asset paradigm .

Peirce pointed out that self-regulation remains a “pretty effective” way to address digital assets, a comment the FT suggested exposes a split at the top of the SEC, as its new chair, Gary Gensler, looks to tighten regulation of cryptocurrency.

The SEC commissioner also defended what she called the “gamification” of capital markets seen last year with retail traders using the Robinhood platform and the response of stocks such as games retailer GameStop – a phenomenon that is also under the scrutiny of regulators.

“Gamification is not necessarily a bad thing; making financial platforms more user-friendly is not a bad thing,” Peirce said. “Platforms like this should look like the other platforms in people’s lives.”