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Regulation and the Taming of Crypto's Wild West

The mass adoption of crypto and blockchain will depend on regulations that bring new levels of security and legal clarity.

The traditional finance world understands that blockchain is a transformative technology. But without regulatory frameworks, older institutions and the broader public will remain hesitant to get off the sidelines.

That, at least, is the opinion of SEC commissioner Hester M. Pierce, who joined DLTX chairman James Haft for a discussion with Roundtable's Rob Nelson during Blockchain Week in San Juan.

Despite current obstacles to adoption—including a perception of extreme volatility— Haft emphasized that the business community is increasingly intrigued by the new world of blockchain. “I am just blown away by how many people from Fortune 500 companies say they need to talk to me about blockchain," he said. "People from leading names in the shipping, insurance, and banking industries—they want to know about tokenization and decentralization."

Such adopters, Pierce noted, could help shake the stigma of fraud from crypto, and weaken its association with get-rich-quick schemes. But regulation will still be needed for the space to grow—as well as to protect investors and the general public. 

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"Concrete use cases [and] people who are trying to build something for the long-term  can balance the narrative,” she said. “From a regulator's standpoint, we're worried about people getting taken advantage of. We need to be there to go after the fraudsters."  

Watch the full panel: