When the Internet went to Web 2.0, regulators – and much of society – where caught unprepared. Unable to formulate a sensible plant to regulate the new web, they ceded control to what became the tech giants of the world. As Crypto enters the mainstream, it’s vital that regulators understand how crypto works and how it can remain innovative and decentralized, empowering people over governments and large corporations. Roundtable’s Rob Nelson spoke with Commissioner Hester Peirce of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to get a glimpse of where we may be headed.
“This web 3.0 is really premised on the idea that you have people who are participating in networks, owning those networks,” says Peirce. “And that means that when we start treating the tokens that that might be the coin of the realm of those networks as securities, it does pose a whole set of new challenges. And those are the kinds of things that I would like this agency to be thinking of. But I think it is an opportunity to solve some of those problems quite directly. But if we set up a regulatory structure that doesn't allow for that kind of experimentation, it just won't involve [ordinary people, which would be a shame.”
“We need to have a round table, bring people in, who are interested in this space, who are building things in this space who are using crypto applications to figure out where the challenges are,” adds Peirce. “There's absolutely no reason that we can't do it in a way that it's open to the public so that even for people who can't participate in the round table, they'll be able to watch the round table, they'll be able to submit comment letters. I would love to see us engage in that kind of a process. I think it would be very healthy and it would be especially healthy if we did it jointly with the commodity futures trading commission. “
Peirce says the SEC does understand Crypto: “We do have a lot of people at the agency who have spent a lot, a lot of time trying to get up to speed on this, on this area and including my fellow commissioners.”
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Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Peirce.