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US SEC Commissioner: Our role is to tell world that our capital markets are open to innovation
Editorial Team

US SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce gave an exclusive interview at CNBC’s Ran Neurer and explained the reasons why she is favour of Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) and the reasons why the Securities and Exchange Commission rejected Winklevoss’ brothers’ application for the second time.

Peirce was working as a staff attorney at SEC before and returned to the agency as commissioner six months ago. She expressed her dissent from the commission in a public statement a week ago.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunities to weigh in on debates on cryptocurrencies. I think we have an important role to play telling the US and world that our capital markets are open to innovation and that sort of what drove me to come back to the agency as the commissioner.”

Generally, the number of SEC’s commissioner is five, but currently, the number is four. In the case of Winklevoss’ application, the analogy was 3-1 with Peirce being the only pro-crypto ETF on the panel.

According to the bcfocus.com publication, Peirce elaborated that the decisions normally happen at the staff level at the first instance before it comes to the commissioners. Bitcoin ETF was initially rejected at that level. When it was re-appealed, the commissioners were confronted with the application.

She stated that Commission claims that the proposed change was not in line with the governing statute, which is Securities Exchange Act here. However, she differs with them.

“I take the position that actually the change that was put before us was consistent with the Exchange Act so there’s no reason for us to not allow this product to go ahead. Therefore I would have let it go forward whereas my colleagues believe that it should not go forward,” she said.

Peirce clarifies that SEC looking at the specific market where ETF product would be traded and not at the underlying asset Bitcoin and its possible price manipulation in a market is beyond the agency’s jurisdiction.

She highlighted that in the oil and gold markets, the actual underlying assets are not scrutinized.

“It’s not within our purview to go and look at how those [gold, oil] markets are actually working, we should be focused on the market that’s trading the security, which in this case would be the exchange-traded product,” she said.