Hester Pierce – playfully known as the “Crypto Mom” thanks to her loose attitude towards digital currencies – has had it with the government agency she works with – the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – and all the people in it working to prevent a bitcoin or crypto-based exchange-traded fund (ETF).
Hester Pierce: The SEC Is Too Slow
Bitcoin ETFs have been all the rage for several years amongst crypto heads. They all think an ETF will be the next revolutionary step to take and will ultimately bring bitcoin and crypto closer towards mainstream territory. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks that way, and several of these individuals are employed by the SEC. As it turns out, the organization has been rather obstinate towards permitting such a product, claiming that the crypto space is too wrought with fraud and other problems.
Several companies – including Bitwise and Van Eck – have tried hard for a period of four years or even longer to get a bitcoin ETF approved by the SEC, though their efforts have proven fruitless, as the SEC practically throws their applications back in their faces or the companies wind up having to cancel out their applications themselves due to a lack of action.
Pierce has had enough. She points out that the SEC has been so slow in the past that other nations have ultimately beaten the U.S. to the punch. Regions such as Canada have unveiled bitcoin and even Ethereum-based ETFs first, meaning the U.S. may be losing its competitive edge.
In an interview, she states:
I would never have imagined that I would be in this situation where we would not yet have approved one and other countries are moving ahead… We’re not a merit regulator, so we shouldn’t be in the business of deciding whether something is good or bad. An investor is thinking of their entire portfolio and sometimes we’re thinking in one-off terms of a particular product standing on its own and we forget that people are building portfolios.
The situation does not appear to have improved much this year. On the one hand, there are approximately nine separate companies right now that have bitcoin ETF applications on the desks of SEC office officials awaiting approval. At the same time, it appears the organization has delayed making decisions (once again) on all of them.
Will Other Things Get in the Way?
In addition, the bitcoin and crypto space has been ravaged by bears over the past three months. Bitcoin, for example, was trading at a new all-time high of approximately $64,000 per unit but has since dropped down by half. Several other altcoins have lost value as well, and it is possible the SEC may see this as a clear excuse for further rejection.
Either way, Pierce has made it clear that she thinks the U.S. is past due when it comes to providing approval.