US SEC’s Crypto Mom: ‘I Think We Need to Be a Little Less Paternalistic’

United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce recently spoke on innovation in cryptocurrencies, calling regulators excessively paternalistic.

At the Digital Asset Compliance and Market Integrity (DACOM) Summit in New York Sept. 26, Commissioner Peirce led a Q&A session that featured extensive discussion of the future of regulation for crypto assets.

Hosting the summit were law firm Hogan Lovells and Solidus Labs, a market surveillance tool provider.

Peirce’s benign attitude towards digital assets has earned her the moniker Crypto Mom, towards which she expressed some fondness at the beginning of her appearance at today’s summit:

“It’s been an honor to be adopted by a group of people who are really thinking in such exciting and interesting ways and trying to think about ways to change the world.”

Regarding cryptocurrencies, she predicted today that:

“As technology changes, we’ll see them becoming much more the money of the internet.”

In other comments, the commissioner expressed some degree of frustration with the pace of the SEC’s regulation, saying “Frankly, sometimes the SEC needs a push from Congress.” She continued:

“If you want a government that’s more forward-thinking on innovation, that means that if something goes wrong, you can’t go running back to the government and say ‘Hey, you didn’t protect me from myself!’ […]I think we need to be a little less paternalistic.”

Several commissioners from the SEC including Peirce testified before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, Sept. 26. Peirce’s commentary at the time expressed similar suspicion towards regulatory overreach.

As the commissioner phrased it at the time, she promoted a philosophy of “regulatory humility,” the need to “always be asking if what we’re doing is right.”

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