Hester Peirce of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission is well-known as a regulator who has shown consistent support for digital assets, so much so that her moniker “crypto mom” has become unshakeable.
In a new interview with the Thinking Crypto podcast, Peirce reflected on the United States’ regulatory approach to the asset class to date, arguing that, “I think we have missed the boat a bit on crypto. And I think a big piece of that comes from the failure to provide clarity in our rules.” She said that contrary to the persistent narrative that crypto is somehow indissociable from illegality and a desire to outwit the system, her own experience has been that industry participants want to comply with the rules, but have often struggled to do so without adequate guidance:
“Am I optimistic that we’re going to finally get to the point where we do provide more clarity? I think we have a good chance. […] We’re likely about to get a new chairman, Gary Gensler, who had his hearing in front of the Senate. That’s one step in the process. Then he has to get voted on. And if he does get confirmed and come to the SEC, he brings with them really deep knowledge of this asset class.”
The Senate Banking Committee has now voted 14-10 in favor of Gensler’s nomination being sent to the Senate floor, after two Republicans joined ranks with 12 Democrats to support the choice.
Peirce underscored Gensler’s recent experience teaching courses on blockchain at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, noting that he’s been “surrounded by people who are enthusiastic about this technology.” In her view, Gensler understands the positive potential of the industry, as well as the need for more clarity in order to facilitate its development. Not having to convince him of these things will be “very helpful,” she said.
Peirce did note, however, that while the chairman does “set the agenda for the agency” and, in the case of Gensler, can be expected to support a better rulemaking approach to crypto, a considerable degree of day-to-day continuity at the SEC in its interaction with the crypto industry will be assured regardless of who’s chairman:
“The intent of having a five member commission is to have continuity over time, so that you don’t see massive swings in policy […] so it is important for people to know that the work of the commission […] [is] not going to change dramatically when a new chairman. […] The regulatory agenda may change quite a bit, but the work of the commission, [its] day-to-day work, […] will continue on regardless of who’s chairman.”
On this note of cautious optimism, Peirce also commented with good humor on her affectionate nickname in the U.S. crypto space, saying, “You know, I’ve always loved the idea of being a mom, and I’m not a mom in the real world. So being a mom in the virtual world is not a bad thing at all.” However, she quickly pushed back gently against any unwanted implications, commenting:
“I think it’s really important to say, no, regulators can’t be your parents. They’re not going to make your decisions for you and they’re not going to bail you out when you run into trouble.”
Peirce stressed that she’s “not an advocate for any particular asset class,” but rather “I’m an advocate for people having the ability to invest in the asset classes that they deem valuable for whatever their end objectives are.” Having first learned about Bitcoin (BTC) when she was at George Mason, she said she is a “big believer in the power of decentralization” and that cryptocurrency “fit really nicely into that.”
Coinbase CEO Shows Support for Ripple and XRP Amid Battle with SEC
The XRP Army believes that Brian Armstrong could be hinting at relisting the cryptocurrency
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has displayed support for Ripple in its fight against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
In a series of recent tweets, Armstrong writes that the company’s case is seemingly going “better than expected.”
Armstrong stressed that launching attacks against the crypto industry and hurting investors is “politically unpopular.”
The head of the largest American exchange then channeled Ripple’s oft-repeated talking point about the SEC hurting consumers instead of protecting them:
The irony is that the people they are supposedly protecting are the ones attacking them.
XRP relisting rumors get a new life
Armstrong’s tweets inevitably reignited rumors about Coinbase potentially relisting XRP on its platform.
The exchange moved to suspend XRP trading after the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple on Jan. 19, which triggered a massive price drop.
As reported by U.Today, Coinbase relisting rumors started making the rounds on social media after XRP trading pairs started showing up on the company’s mobile app last month, but it ended up being a bug.
Despite its legal troubles, XRP has remained resilient, with crypto mogul Mike Novogratz recently noting that the cryptocurrency has tripled in value since the agency filed its complaint.
The value of $XRP has actually almost tripled since the SEC actions. It hasn’t plummeted. It’s a testament to the fact that once communities are formed with shared interest they are damn resilient. https://t.co/0IPcd8wyuN— Mike Novogratz (@novogratz) October 17, 2021
Coinbase’s run-in with the SEC
Ripple started alighting itself with Coinbase after Armstrong publicly called out the SEC for threatening to sue the leading exchange over its yet-to-launch lending offering.
Even though the company caved in to the SEC’s demands and shelved the product in question, it seems like it hasn’t buried the hatchet with the formidable regulator.
Earlier this month, Coinbase proposed replacing the agency with a new cryptocurrency-focused regulator, arguing that the laws from the 1930s were not suitable for the “technological revolution.”
The exchange will have to convince Congress to pass a legislation that will establish a dramatically different regulatory regime that it envisions.
Legendary Trader Peter Brandt Challenges Binance with Four Questions about 88% BTC Crash
Here’s what is unclear for Mr. Brandt about mysterious Bitcoin (BTC) flash-crash of Oct. 21, 2021
Prominent trader and analyst Peter Brandt has taken to Twitter to ask his four questions in the context of the flagship crypto’s 88% dropdown.
What do Binance and Binance.US have in common?
First of all, Mr. Brandt challenged the character of corporate relationships between Binance and Binance.US, its unit focused on American markets.
1. What is exact corp. relationship @binance w/ @BinanceUS
2. Will firm release T&S with all trades/volume/price?
3. Did firm take opposite side of client fills
4. Will firm change low to reflect actual fills
cc: @GaryGensler @CFTC @SECGov @cz_binance @IBKR pic.twitter.com/huqzZbSGIt— Peter Brandt (@PeterLBrandt) October 24, 2021
Also, Mr. Brandt asks whether Binance is planning to release detailed documents to specify statistics for trades, their volume and prices during the flash-crash.
Then, the trading legend asked about the role of the platform in taking the opposite side of a client fills.
Besides the Binance CEO and co-founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, Mr. Brandt mentioned the Interactive Brokers platform, U.S. watchdogs CFTC and SEC and Gary Gensler, the SEC chairman.
Most expensive “trading algorithm bug” ever?
Also, Mr. Brandt attached a screenshot of a tweet by CZ when Binance’s boss warned his audience about expected volatility spikes across cryptocurrency markets.
Finally, Mr. Brandt added that he never used Binance for trading.
As covered by U.Today previously, on Oct. 21, 2021, amidst a spending rally, the Bitcoin (BTC) price briefly tanked to the $8,000 level, losing more than 88% in no time.
A similar flash-crash was registered on 26 other low-liquidity exchanges. A Binance.US representative attributed this dramatic plunge to a critical bug in third-party mechanisms by one of the platform’s sophisticated institutional clients.
Crypto investments a financial backup for Facebook whistleblower
Haugen worked as a Facebook product manager before accusing the company of spreading controversial and insensitive misinformation. She allegedly possesses numerous confidential research documents, which, according to her, shows that “Facebook prioritizes profit over the well-being of children and all users.” Previously, Facebook has been accused of influencing the 2016 United States presidential election with the help of Russian agencies.
In a follow-up interview with The New York Times, Haugen was asked about her financial situation:
“For the foreseeable future, I’m fine, because I did buy crypto at the right time.”
The whistleblower also received financial help from nonprofit organizations (NPO) backed by Pierre Omidyar, a co-founder of eBay. However, Haugen clarified that Omidyar’s NPO fundings were only used to finance travel and related expenses.
According to Haugen, shifting to Puerto Rico helped her join her “crypto friends” who enjoy capital tax exemptions on Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency assets.
Iconic whistleblower and former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency agent Edward Snowden also continues to show support for the Bitcoin economy amid regulatory pressures from governments across the world.
On Oct. 4, Snowden tweeted about Bitcoin’s tenfold growth despite China’s blanket ban on crypto mining and trading.
Sometimes I think back to this and wonder how many people bought #Bitcoin then.
It's up ~10x since, despite a coordinated global campaign by governments to undermine public understanding of—and support for—cryptocurrency.
China even banned it, but it just made Bitcoin stronger. https://t.co/pbnOFGfaVf— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) October 3, 2021