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What to Do about Cryptocurrency – Boston Faculty Legislation College Journal


SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce joined college students in a casual Q&A on February 24 to debate the regulation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and digital asset choices. She has a protracted historical past in monetary regulation.

The occasion was moderated by adjunct professor Mari Tomunen who teaches the course Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and Digital Belongings on the Legislation College.

To start the dialog, Peirce was requested about her introduction to blockchain. She recounted listening to the time period “cryptocurrency” for the primary time in connection to Bitcoin over a decade in the past when she labored on the Mercatus Middle at George Mason College. There, she carried out analysis on monetary market regulation from 2012 till she was appointed by former President Trump to function one of many 5 commissioners on the SEC.

Some of the notable points she has taken on since changing into a commissioner in 2018 is easy methods to create a good regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and their traders.

Peirce spent the remainder of the time at BC Legislation partaking forwards and backwards with college students on the subject. The dialog flowed from the place the answer for cryptocurrency regulation ought to come from, who ought to be the last word regulator for blockchain, and the way the latest collapse of FTX has modified regulators’ sentiments in the direction of cryptocurrency.

Peirce stated that within the present surroundings, the nation must ponder—and significantly query—whether or not cryptocurrency can match into current regulatory frameworks. This was adopted by a dialogue about the kind of regulatory world the nation desires because it pertains to blockchain.

“We need to have a steadiness. There are some folks, like me, who’re like, ‘Let’s have a little bit bit extra of a free-for-all.’ Let’s educate folks in order that [when] they go into that free-for-all the place they make their very own selections, they’re in control of their very own lives,” she stated. She contrasted this with one other view that blockchain and cryptocurrencies want extra vigilant regulation. The duty transferring ahead is to steadiness competing pursuits to create an environment friendly and honest regulatory scheme.

Earlier in her profession, Peirce was a senior counsel on the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and City Affairs, the place she suggested Rating Member Richard Shelby and different members of the committee on securities points. She additionally served as counsel to SEC Commissioner Paul S. Atkins, and labored as a employees lawyer within the SEC’s Division of Funding Administration. She earned her JD at Yale Legislation College.

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