Hester Pierce, an SEC Commissioner known for her pro-Bitcoin stance, recently appeared on the “What Bitcoin Did” podcast where she talked about her involvement with the SEC, cryptocurrencies, regulations, ETFs and more.
During the episode, Pierce said something that caught the attention of every listener. While discussing the possibility of a potential Bitcoin ETF being approved, she explained that while it is not necessarily inevitable, it is “definitely possible”.
However, it’s important to note that she is not speaking on behalf of the SEC but rather voicing her own opinions. Regardless, Pierce has a deep understanding of the regulatory framework regarding cryptocurrencies and spoke about this during the episode.
Hester Pierce’s Dissent with the SEC
Months before Pierce appeared on the podcast, she became well-known in the crypto community for her statement of dissent following the SEC’s denial of the Winklevoss ETF application.
Disapproving of the SEC’s decision, Pierce had stated:
I reject the role of gatekeeper of innovation—a role very different from (and inconsistent with) our mission of protecting investors, fostering capital formation, and facilitating fair, orderly, and efficient markets. Accordingly, I dissent.
In the podcast, Pierce touched on her statement of dissent, stating that the SEC follows a regulatory framework they must abide by.
However, she said they should allow for innovation within their regulatory framework to become more open and not so interventionist:
Just because you are calling something crypto does not mean you can ignore the rules we have had in place for years, but I do think we also need to be willing to open the doors a little bit wider for innovation.
Pierce also explained that the SEC has brought in cryptocurrency specialists who have led the regulatory agency to be more cautious in their approach to this new and innovative industry. She agrees with this approach of protecting people from cryptocurrency scams, but is pushing the SEC to be more open to innovation.
She noted that while the SEC has rejected all ETF applications; they are still open for approval. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are such a new asset class in the eyes of the SEC and the long and delayed ETF process is normal.
The Ongoing Battle
It‘s well known that the SEC and most government authorities are very slow to change and act on innovative developments. While some view this as a good thing due to the precautions taken to protect the general public, many people in the crypto community are impatient. They believe in the full potential of the industry and want it brought to fruition.
Pierce noted that the SEC is not denying the potential of cryptocurrencies, but they are diligent in pointing out the need to solve issues. She also said commissioners are inviting comments from the public, process that she encourages because it is useful feedback.
She also explained the different design of each stage of applications for an ETF approval. Each denial of an ETF application doesn’t mean the ETF will always fail the approval process; it may just need time.
As Pierce suggested, it must run its course.
When do you think a Bitcoin ETF will finally pass the SEC approval process? Let us know in the comment section below.