In a rare extended public interview accorded to the makers of the What Bitcoin Did podcast, aired for the first time yesterday on the occasion of the programme’s first anniversary, SEC commissioner Hester Peirce stated her belief that she saw a future cryptocurrency ETF as “definitely possible” – although she did iterate that the views she was expressing were not necessarily those of the SEC itself.
During the interview, host Peter McCormack asked Peirce whether a future Bitcoin ETF was an “inevitability”, phrasing which she herself did not want to accommodate but in answer to which she acknowledged that there was “significant intellectual capital” being invested by exchanges and institutional investors to that end – although she gave no judgement on the likelihood of such an outcome.
SEC’s Crypto Dissenter
Peirce, one of the SEC’s five commissioners appointed by the US president to overlook the regulatory landscape for security investments in the US, first came to the attention of the crypto community in September after writing a so-called letter of dissent in relation to the SEC’s refusal to approve the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust ETF.
In her ruling, Peirce expressed her belief that the four other commissioners had overstepped their remit by looking at the underlying risk of the asset class involved (Bitcoin) as opposed to the ability of the exchange to counteract potential market manipulations within their product offering.
During the podcast, she also re-iterated her belief – which had formed part of her original dissenting argument – that a conservative approach to handling questions raised by the crypto phenomenon could stifle technological innovation in the US.
Peirce’s comments come at a moment when other commentators are calling into question the long-term viability of crypto-currencies, after a second week of bloodletting in the crypto markets which have seen the total market capitalisation of cryptos fall to levels not seen since August 2017.