SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce compares the Bitcoin ban to shutting down the internet, saying it would be stupid to try governments. It also offers some insight into whether the SEC will approve a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) this year.
Governments would be foolish to try to ban Bitcoin
Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Peirce shared her view on governments banning Bitcoin and cryptocurrency regulation in an interview at Marketwatchs Investing in Crypto event last week. She was also asked about the likelihood of the securities commission approving Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) this year.
Peirce, sometimes known as “Crypto Mom”, has been pushing for the SEC to approve a Bitcoin ETF for several years. During the interview, she was asked if a cryptocurrency ban was possible as some people still believe governments can always ban Bitcoin, including Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, Michael Burry of The Big Short, and Ron Paul. The commissioner replied:
I think we were past this point very early because you would have to shut down the internet. As I’ve said in the past, I don’t see how you could ban it … I think it would be a stupid thing for the government to try.
However, she pointed out that governments “could certainly go to the trouble” banning Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. She explained, “A government could say that this is not allowed here, but people would still be able to do it and it would be very hard to stop people from doing it.”
However, the Commissioner stressed that the cryptocurrency ban was “a bigger problem”, namely “that if we tried to stop it, we would be missing out on innovation in Bitcoin and other digital assets”.
Will the SEC approve Bitcoin ETFs this year?
Commissioner Peirce was also asked if the SEC will approve a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) this year, as many investors expect. “That’s the big question everyone has,” she replied, adding that her answer is the same as she had for the past three years, “which I don’t know.”
She noted that the SEC is in a transition phase with a new chairman, Gary Gensler, who is expected to be confirmed in the next few weeks and expected to begin shortly thereafter. “It will make a big difference in whether and when an exchange-traded product is approved,” said the commissioner.
As for the Bitcoin market, Peirce has detailed the following:
In the three years that I have been on the Commission, the market has matured enormously. We see great institutional interest in the market. We see it as a kind of exchange-traded product.
Peirce pointed out that Canada has already approved some Bitcoin ETFs. “They are seeing a lot more institutional involvement in the underlying market,” she noted, adding that these are “the kind of things that we might be comfortable with about how this underlying market works.”
The Commissioner stressed: “The Bitcoin market, for example, will never look like a stock market, so I think it would be inappropriate to impose such a structure on the underlying market. This has been pointed out in some of these earlier disapprovals. “
Commenting on how other countries could be ahead of the US in terms of innovation, Peirce commented:
I think we are definitely behind the curve. We have seen other countries take a much more productive approach to regulating crypto, in the sense of not saying that we shouldn’t have any regulations at all. They just said we should put in place a working regulatory framework for crypto.
“Our approach was much more of a ‘say no and tell people to wait’ approach,” she said. “I think we really need to change it, be ready to work and create a framework that is appropriate for this industry. I am optimistic that with the new chairman having extensive knowledge of these markets, the crypto markets, is something we could do together to create a good legal framework. “
Do you agree with SEC Commissioner Peirce that governments would be stupid to ban Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.
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