Crypto Mom: "Don't Give Up On The US"
Peirce's words won't reassure crypto entrepreneurs, who know they are in for harsh treatment.
SEC commissioner Hester Peirce, known in the community as "Crypto Mom" for her favorable approach towards blockchain technologies, has urged crypto companies not to give up on the US despite a slew of enforcement actions taken by her agency.
Peirce spoke with the Cointelegraph team at the Permissionless II conference in Austin, Texas earlier in September, and expressed surprise that the SEC had not moved faster in creating a viable regulatory framework for digital assets.
"I haven’t seen a lot of changes for the better," she told Cointelegraph. "You do have a lot of people who know quite a bit about crypto at the agency, whether that’s in FinHub or throughout the divisions. You have people who are actually quite knowledgeable, and I think that that has changed in the time that I’ve been there." Unfortunately, this has not translated into positive action.
Peirce is one of five SEC commissioners, and joined the agency in 2018. In recent months, she has vocally dissented from some of the regulator's harsher decisions, including mainstream TradFi enforcement, but particularly those made against crypto and NFT projects.
When the SEC fined Impact Theory—its first ever NFT enforcement action—Peirce and another commissioner, Mark Uyeda, published a press release explaining why they disagreed. They compared the sale of NFTs to other collectibles, noting: "We do not routinely bring enforcement actions against people that sell watches, paintings, or collectibles along with vague promises to build the brand and thus increase the resale value of those tangible items."
The same two commissioners objected to the enforcement taken against Stoner Cats, which was fined $1 million for issuing unregistered securities last week.
The SEC is also locked in legal battles with Coinbase, Binance.US, and Ripple—though it was recently served a significant defeat in the Ripple case, and suffered a major blow from Grayscale when the court told them to reconsider the GBTC ETF.
Peirce appealed to crypto businesses: "Don’t give up on the United States. This too shall pass, the confusion shall pass. The United States is a good place to build things, and I want it to stay that way."
However, crypto entrepreneurs know they cannot currently expect fair treatment in the US. Crypto businesses that have taken the SEC up on their offer to "come in and talk to us" have found themselves at the front of the line for enforcement action. Needless to say, an increasing number of entrepreneurs are finding it safer to set up overseas.
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