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U.S. SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce calls for dedicated web page on ICOs, cryptos, and distributed ledger

Hester Peirce. Youtube

Tue, 04 Sep 2018, 09:37 am UTC

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has called for a web page devoted to questions and comments about ICOs, tokens, distributed ledger, and other crypto concepts to offer more clarity in these areas.

Peirce, who dissented on the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) rejection of Winklevoss’ bitcoin ETF (exchange-traded fund) application, delved into the complex area of initial coin offerings (ICOs), securities laws, regulatory sandboxes or “beaches” and more in a recent speech.

While noting that some ICOs, or aspects of some ICOs, would seem to fall under the SEC’s jurisdiction, Peirce emphasizes that not all ICOs must be deemed securities offerings.

“Given the undeveloped nature of this area, I am wary of any blanket designation for all ICOs. Instead, the best path forward, at least for the time being, is to evaluate the facts and circumstances of each offering,” she added. “For those ICOs and tokens that do come under the SEC’s jurisdiction, it will fall to us to devise an appropriate regulatory structure for these new types of deals.”

Furthermore, explaining as to why she is wary of regulatory sandboxes, Peirce said:

“What troubles me about sandboxes, however, is that the regulator is typically sitting right there next to the entrepreneurs…To be clear, I am not categorically opposed to such solutions if they work to open the path for new developments...That said, I am mindful of the fact that a regulator’s mere presence can change the tenor of a fruitful conversation.”

Peirce urged regulators to approach ICOs and tokens with intense curiosity, underscoring the need to put in an effort to learn about these new technologies and employing the staff necessary to support their understanding.

“To further these efforts, and for the benefit of all of us at the SEC working on these issues, I recommend that the SEC set up a web page devoted to questions and comments about ICOs, tokens, distributed ledger, and other crypto concepts. We already have an email address—[email protected]—that folks can use to contact SEC staff for the purpose of discussing their fintech projects and regulatory options. A website would be easier for innovators to find,” she added.

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