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SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce Says Securities Regulator’s Crypto Crackdown Has No ”Rhyme Or Reason”

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Hester Peirce
Hester Peirce

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Republican Securities and Exchange Commissioner (SEC) Hester Peirce says the regulator’s crackdown on US crypto companies has no “rhyme or reason.”

Out of many troubling enforcement actions by the SEC, the LBRY case was the most unsettling, she told the Blockchain Association Summit.

It was charged by the SEC in March 2021 for offering an unregistered security and when a judge ruled in favor of the SEC, LBRY was ordered to pay a fine of about $111,000.

LBRY shut down in October 2023, citing its inability to pay the fine amid millions of dollars in debt. The case was a low point for her as an SEC commissioner, she said.

“We’re picking old cases and there doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason for a lot of the crypto cases we bring,” Peirce said.

Hester Peirce Says SEC Should Address Areas With “Real Harm”

Peirce told crypto news outlet The Block that the SEC should first deal with areas that can potentially cause “real harm.” It should then move to creating rules enabling crypto entities to register.

“Each of the individual cases takes a lot of our resources to pursue,” she said. “But if we don’t pursue similarly situated facts, people will say well, why did you go after this one and not after this one.”

She also called upon the US Congress to allocate regulatory authority over crypto assets, saying the involvement of legislators would be helpful.

The SEC has filed lawsuits this year against heavy-weight crypto firms that include Coinbase, Binance, and, most recently, Kraken.

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