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The Elusive Goal of Regulatory Clarity in Crypto Markets

Investors seek regulatory clarity, but regulators sometimes need ambiguity to go after bad actors.

What can regulators do to increase trust in crypto markets and blockchain companies?

When it comes to regulatory frameworks, they walk a line between clarity and ambiguity, said SEC commissioner Hester M. Pierce and DTLX chairman James Haft.  During a Blockchain Week discussion with Roundtable's Rob Nelson, the two addressed the subject of what the blockchain community wants from regulators–and how regulators can protect newcomers to the space.

Haft emphasized historical expectations around regulatory clarity and enforcement of contracts. “The United States has built our strength and our reputation based on the understanding that we will be clear [and] contract driven,” Haft said. “Our word is our bond, and if you come here and do business, it's fair and it's open and there's a legal and a business framework to succeed.”

But such clarity is not always possible in a new and complicated area of the economy such as crypto and blockchain, said Pierce. The SEC Commissioner noted that regulators sometimes need "a degree of ambiguity" in order to intervene and go after bad actors. 

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Watch the full panel: