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It's 'a real shame' the way the SEC is regulating crypto: SEC commissioner

·Senior Writer
·2 min read
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At least one voice at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is growing louder in speaking out against the way the agency is regulating cryptocurrencies.

Commissioner Hester Peirce, affectionately dubbed "crypto mom" by crypto enthusiasts for her understanding of the technology, has not been shy about her desire to provide a more clear regulatory framework around the industry. But in a new interview with Yahoo Finance, she may have delivered her harshest assessment yet.

"It is disconcerting to me that for three years now I've been asking for regulatory clarity, and we can't seem to provide any," she said on Yahoo Finance Live. "I think this is really becoming a huge barrier to this industry being able to develop in a way that's safe, but also in a way that allows innovation to happen. And it's a real shame to me that we are not just taking up the mantle as regulators to develop a regulatory framework."

Hester Peirce testifies to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on his nomination to be a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 24, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Hester Peirce testifies to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on her nomination to be a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The SEC has recently been stepping up its regulatory power over cryptocurrencies, most recently by blocking Coinbase from rolling out a way for customers to earn interest on their crypto assets. According to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, the agency threatened to sue the company if they moved forward with that planned service which was later scrapped. Other crypto platforms, however, are still offering similar services. 

"I will say that there is jockeying for position among financial regulators now at the state and federal. I think primarily we're seeing it now at the federal level of people trying to assert jurisdiction," Peirce said. 

Peirce, one of five SEC commissioners, has served since 2018 after being appointed by former President Trump. She was nominated by former President Obama in 2016, but the Senate failed to vote on her nomination.

Zack Guzman is an anchor for Yahoo Finance Live as well as a senior writer covering crypto, cannabis, startups, and breaking news at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @zGuz.

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