United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, Commissioner Hester Peirce has been confirmed for a second term, lasting through 2025.
The news will be welcome for the crypto industry, as Pierce has, in the course of her first term, acquired the affectionate moniker of “crypto mom” as a result of her nuanced and positive regulatory vision for cryptocurrencies. Her new term as commissioner will last until June 5, 2025.
Following a vote in the Senate on Wednesday, Pierce’s successful confirmation was announced yesterday in a statement from SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and commissioners Elad Roisman and Allison Herren Lee.
Pierce’s vision for cryptocurrency regulation
In February of this year, Pierce presented a draft proposal to provide a safe harbor for digital tokens, which would grant developers a three-year grace period to build a decentralized network without fearing SEC legal action.
While the proposal remains an unofficial intervention from Commissioner Pierce, rather than a statement of agency policy, crypto industry members welcomed the idea at the time as containing the potential for “the most groundbreaking development for the U.S. cryptocurrency market to date.”
Pierce has, more than once, diverged from the agency’s line toward decentralized, private cryptocurrencies, publicly disagreeing with the SEC’s rejection of Wilshire Phoenix’s Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund application this spring.
In light of the agency’s repeated rejections and/or deferrals of Bitcoin ETFs, Pierce has published a dissenting statement warning that the agency’s approach “impedes innovation in this country and threatens to drive entrepreneurs, and the opportunities they create, to other jurisdictions.”
She has also been a proponent of fostering self-regulation for cryptocurrency markets when possible.
In late July, Pierce publicly positioned herself in opposition to the SEC’s action against the Telegram Open Network for the first time. She raised concerns as to the global reach of the SEC’s authority by noting that the regulator “should be cautious about asking for remedies that effectively impose our rules beyond our borders.”
In her nomination speech delivered before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on July 21, Pierce said she believed the commission can do better to mitigate the difficulties that regulatory agencies, as “large bureaucratic organizations” have in “dealing appropriately with innovation in and disruption of” the industries they oversee.