Barry Lewis/In Pictures via Getty ImagesSummary List Placement
- The SEC's "crypto mom" Hester Peirce said it would be foolish for the US government to ban bitcoin.
- It's hard to stop people from trading digital assets even if the government restricts efforts, she said.
- Peirce is optimistic that the SEC's new chairman will make a key difference to crypto ETF approval.
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SEC commissioner Hester Peirce said at a virtual event on Wednesday that the possibility of a bitcoin ban has passed and governmental attempts to do so would be pointless.
"I don't see how you could ban it," she said at an "Investing in Crypto" event hosted by MarketWatch. "A government could say it's not allowed here, but people would still be able to do it," she added, saying it would be hard to stop anyone from trading in digital assets. "So I think it would be a foolish thing for the government to try to do that."
Peirce, who hopes 2021 will mark a turning point for crypto regulation, said she wasn't sure whether a bitcoin exchange-traded fund would be approved just yet since the SEC is in a period of transition. She won the nickname "crypto mom" in 2018 after disagreeing with the SEC's decision to reject a bitcoin ETF application by the Winklevoss twins.
Regulatory veteran Gary Gensler's nomination for SEC chairman was approved by the Senate Banking Committee last month. His confirmation will make a big difference to whether a crypto ETF gets approved, Peirce said.
Peirce thinks the US is behind the curve in regulating digital assets in comparison to other countries. But she's optimistic about Gensler's knowledge of crypto, and expects to have productive conversations about the space with other regulators soon enough.
"Our approach has been much more of a 'say no and tell people to wait' approach, so we need to turn that around, be willing to work to build a framework that is appropriate for this industry," she said.
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