- The 2024 US election could dramatically change the SEC’s stance on cryptocurrency enforcement.
- Former SEC official predicts a Republican win could see Commissioner Hester Peirce, aka “Crypto Mom”, replacing Gary Gensler as chairman.
SEC’s Crypto Vision: A Crossroad in 2024?
The political landscape of the United States often serves as a bellwether for changes in various sectors, and cryptocurrency regulation is no exception. According to former SEC official John Reed Stark, a Republican win in the 2024 US elections could mark a seismic shift in the SEC’s approach towards crypto.
The current regulatory environment, led by SEC chair Gary Gensler, has been cautious yet proactive towards cryptocurrency. However, Stark foresees a different reality post-2024. Should a Republican secure the presidency, Commissioner Hester Peirce, affectionately dubbed “Crypto Mom” in blockchain circles, might very well take the reins from Gensler.
Peirce’s track record in the crypto domain is noteworthy. She has consistently voiced dissent against many of the regulator’s crypto-related enforcement actions. Stark goes on to state that with Peirce heading the SEC, a substantial slowdown in crypto-related SEC enforcement and disruption can be anticipated.
Crypto’s Journey from Unanimity to Polarization
Reflecting on the evolution of cryptocurrency perception, Stark recalls a time when the sentiment towards crypto was relatively unified across political lines. Leaders from varied political backgrounds, including then-President Donald Trump, Secretary Hilary Clinton, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters, viewed cryptocurrency as a potential threat. But as crypto’s role in the global financial ecosystem has evolved, so too have political opinions.
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Today, Republican candidate Ron de Santis champions the protection of Bitcoin and even proposes banning central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Contrastingly, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren has been vociferously advocating for tighter crypto regulations, even mobilizing an “anti-crypto army” for her Senate re-election campaign.
Although the current climate doesn’t seem favorable for crypto from the SEC’s perspective, a change in the office’s leadership could turn the tide. Stark also highlights concerns around the spot Bitcoin ETFs, pointing to an Aug. 8 Better Markets SEC Comment letter. The letter underlines that spot Bitcoin markets may be susceptible to manipulation, posing potential risks to investors.
The upcoming 2024 election promises more than just a political change – it could be a watershed moment that determines the future trajectory of cryptocurrency regulation in the United States.
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