US regulator warns against stricter cryptocurrency rules


Leading US regulator Hester Peirce urges for more flexibility around cryptocurrencies.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce has warned that stricter regulation of cryptocurrency could discourage potential investors and stifle innovation

On Wednesday 9 June , Peirce was quoted in the Financial Times as being against fellow regulator’s demands for stricter control over the global  $1.5trn cryptocurrency market.

Peirce is one of two Republicans on the five-strong SEC commissioner team.  She told the FT that she was concerned that calls for stricter regulation were a reflex response to an emerging asset.

“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’. I am not sure that’s going to be great for innovation.”

Trump’s appointment

Peirce was appointed in 2018 by former President Donald Trump. She was previously a lawyer at the SEC and a researcher at the free-market think tank Mercatus Center.

Her comments have led to speculation that the SEC Chair Gary Gensler will meet resistance if he continues pursuing his agenda for tighter cryptocurrency controls.

Several U.S. government agencies are moving to look at ways of controlling cryptocurrency over fears of tax evasion and illegal activity.

Crypto regulation inevitable

Rami Cassis, CEO and founder of Parabellum Investments, said increased regulation of cryptocurrency is inevitable but urges regulators to find the right balance.

“On whichever side of the fence you sit, it is hard to ignore the fact that there remains a perception that you are embracing new technology when it comes to using bitcoin or crypto,” he said.

“I expect payment through bitcoin and crypto currencies to move into the mainstream as we progress over the next three to five  years, with many employers even starting to offer it as a means of payment.

“Additionally, as I am sure others who operate an international business portfolio will agree, there are many regions that have volatile currencies, where employees can lose up to half of their wages as their local currencies depreciates.

“What bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can offer over and above some currencies is a more stable valuation, offering employees a more secure way of payment, protecting the bottom line of what they actually earn.”

Further reading: Crypto momentum hit by SEC regulation comments