In a speech at the Securities Enforcement Forum in California on May 9th, Peirce, a fierce supporter of bitcoin and the industry, called out the body that she works for and pointed out the different ways that regulations and bureaucracy are halting progress.
The main issue for her was the securities problem that is facing many ICOs and others in the crypto industry. This regulation, set up after the Howey Supreme court decision, means that certain assets must be listed as securities.
However, instead of the problem being that the SEC is enforcing this law too often and vigorously, it has not done it enough making the situation murky and left many burning questions for investors. The questions have been met with ‘silence’ according to Peirce which has done nothing but frustrate those in the crypto community.
Peirce went on to say:
“It is not the SEC’s overzealous action that has stifled the crypto industry, but its unwillingness to take meaningful action at all.”
Peirce does note that the SEC has not been entirely inactive when it comes to clarifying the questions that many have on regulations, specifically the Howey part. The SEC published its Framework for “Investment Contract” Analysis of Digital Assets, a document designed to clarify how the Howey test is applied to digital assets on April 3, 2019.
Instead of bringing transparency, the document left Peirce and others even more frustrated due to its complexity. The Howey test itself only has four factors to consider, the framework details 38 separate considerations and their accompanying subpoints and this meant, ‘only a seasoned securities lawyer’ could understand.
This is not the first time Peirce has leapt to the defense of Bitcoin. Earlier this year the commissioner, who was brought into office by Donald Trump, was a lone voice of dissent in the commission’s decision to reject Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’s application for a bitcoin-related exchange-traded fund (ETF).
Now the issue of complexity, confusion, and lots of red tapes appeared to be Peirce’s main gripe towards the SEC. Commissioner Peirce is reaching out to the crypto community once again with this speech, and she sees a place for the crypto community in the world.
Her belief is so great that she feels the actions from the SEC towards the crypto industry could have serious ramifications for the overall outlook towards the regulatory body.
“I do not want heel-dragging by the SEC in crypto to mar that well-deserved reputation.”
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