A commissioner of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Friday, Feb. 8, that the delay in establishing crypto regulation may allow more freedom for the industry to move on its own.
Heister Peirce, who is widely known as the “Crypto Mom” in the community for her dissent against the SEC’s decision to reject a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposed by the Winklevoss twins, made the comments in a speech on the issues of state regulation at the University of Missouri School of Law.
Discussing the current delays in delivering a clearer legal framework for crypto, Peirce said that ambiguity is not that bad. She further explained:
“We might be able to draw clearer lines once we see more blockchain projects mature. Delay in drawing clear lines may actually allow more freedom for the technology to come into its own.”
The commissioner noted that the process of regulating a new industry might be lengthy and stressed that the SEC has to act appropriately in order to enable the industry to evolve without compromising the current laws:
“If we act appropriately, we can enable innovation on this new frontier to proceed without compromising the objectives of our securities laws — protecting investors, facilitating capital formation, and ensuring fair, orderly, and efficient markets.”
On the other hand, however, overregulation sometimes takes place, Peirce lamented. She stated that enforcement actions are not her preferred method for setting expectations for crypto investors. Moreover, she added that some crypto projects are simply unable to make any progress within existing framework because “securities laws make them unworkable.”
Peirce also believes that the SEC is sometimes too hesitant in dealing with crypto projects and that investors willing to raise money might be deluded by this excessive caution:
“We rightfully fault investors for jumping blindly at anything labeled crypto, but at times we seem to be equally impulsive in running away from anything labeled crypto. We owe it to investors to be careful, but we also owe it to them not to define their investment universe with our preferences.”
Peirce concluded that the U.S. Congress might resolve the ambiguities related to crypto by simply requiring that at least some digital assets be treated as a separate asset class.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, such an initiative has already been introduced to the House of Representatives in late December 2018. In the bill, two U.S. representatives sought to exclude digital currencies from being defined as securities by amending the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Act of 1934.
Earlier this year, Peirce had admitted that she was trying to convince her colleagues “to have a bit more of an open mind” when it comes to crypto adoption, but warned that it might take a long time. Back then, she also urged investors not to hold their breath waiting for a BTC ETF, as, in her opinion, it might happen tomorrow or in 20 years.