US May Lose First Mover Crypto Advantage if Bitcoin ETF Not Approved, Says SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce


SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce is sharing her thoughts on the possibility of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) coming to the US market.

In a new interview on Thinking Crypto, Commissioner Peirce critiques the SEC’s continued decision to withhold approval of a Bitcoin ETF in the US.

Peirce remarks that while she understands the hesitancy surrounding the issue because Bitcoin is part of a new asset class, she believes executing too much caution in this case may lose the US an economic advantage over other markets.

“The real question is, will the product trading in our markets, the exchange-traded product trading in our markets work? And are there things that we’re worried about that could go wrong, could go awry? Those are legitimate questions to ask, and I get that this is a new asset class. We’re all trying to get our arms around how it works, but at some point you just have to move forward and say, ‘Okay we’re going to allow this to go.’

You mentioned the exchange-traded products that are trading now in Canada. They’ve decided they can move forward. Their standards, I don’t know what they are – they may be different than ours – but we’re also seeing a lot of other kinds of products where people are able to get access to Bitcoin.

Things are moving forward and we don’t want to wait too long because it becomes then much more important who the first mover is. If you wait a really long time, it gets complicated for us too.”

Peirce says her view on the matter may diverge from those of her colleagues, and says the standards that the SEC have applied when determining whether to approve a Bitcoin ETF, are not consistent with the degree of oversight other similar assets have been subjected to in the past.

“This is another area where I haven’t seen eye to eye with my colleagues because I think that we’ve applied a standard in this area to try to figure out whether to approve one of these exchange-traded products that isn’t necessarily consistent with how we’ve looked at other similar products in the past.

One of the things we’ve said is we want to better understand the underlying markets, we want to know that there’s some kind of regulatory oversight of those markets and so people have been playing around with different ways… You know is there some kind of agreement that you can get to oversee these markets?

My view is that we really just need to apply the same kind of standards that we would apply to any other similar product, which would not mean that we go in and really have to have this regulatory…I don’t want to say regulatory authority, but this control over the spot market or understanding of exactly how every spot market works.

I think I’m being a little bit unfair here in characterizing the way that the negative decisions were given, but I really thought we spent too much time trying to get a handle on the spot markets.”

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