In a recent interview, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce opened up about cryptocurrency regulation, special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), and money market fund reform.
Commissioner Peirce acknowledged the challenges posed by the cryptocurrency industry in terms of transparency. She stressed the importance of balancing the need for transparency with the evolving nature of blockchain technology.
In conversation with Blockworks Macro, Peirce suggested that while the SEC has a long history of being a disclosure regulator, it should also recognize the unique features of blockchain technology. She mentioned that some aspects of the crypto space, such as on-chain transparency, are new and different and should be leveraged.
“I think it is a very active time at the SEC. The number of rulemakings and the number of really big rulemakings that are going on is quite astounding. If they’re all adopted, we’ll fundamentally change how our markets work. So it’s an active time; there’s a lot to learn about and work on.”
She explained that tokens are just one part of the picture in the digital asset world and don’t automatically count as securities. The United States has a broad definition of what qualifies as a security, which includes traditional assets like stocks and bonds, but it also encompasses things like investment contracts.
When it comes to applying this test to cryptocurrencies, it can be tricky. Sometimes, it’s not just the asset itself that matters but also any promises that come with it, whether clear or implied. It’s essential for regulators and industry players to be precise about assessing whether something qualifies as a security.
“I think we can all sit down and think about crypto and identify some things that labeled themselves as crypto that then really went to town and ripped people off and at the SEC one of the things that we do as a commission is we review these Enforcement cases,” she added.