The former SEC official said that if Hester Peirce chairs the SEC, several crypto-related enforcement actions would come to a sudden stop.
Former SEC official John Reed Stark has recently weighed on the state of the current spot Bitcoin ETF applications and why he doesn’t expect any approval this year. Earlier in June, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) received several applications from giant financial players like BlackRock, Bitwise, and others.
However, Reed Stark predicts that the regulatory situation on crypto enforcement would take a u-turn if a Republican candidate takes over the US Presidency after the 2024 elections. In a tweet on August 13, the ex-SEC Office of Internet Enforcement head suggested that if a Republican becomes President, the crypto-regulatory landscape could undergo significant change. This might involve appointing crypto-friendly Commissioner Hester Peirce to take over as the agency’s chairman instead of Gary Gensler.
Several Republican candidates are currently in contention. Former President Donald Trump leads among Republican voters, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, albeit with a considerable gap.
However, he also reminds us that the SEC’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies began when Jay Clayton was in office. Just a few days before his resignation, Clayton had filed a lawsuit against Ripple for selling XRP as unregistered securities.
“Chair Clayton served as a fierce and relentless crypto critic and boasts a hefty multi-year track record of anti-crypto speeches and Congressional testimony, while also spearheading a broad range of groundbreaking crypto-related enforcement actions and aggressive/comprehensive SEC crypto-related regulatory pronouncements,” noted Reed Stark.
Hester Pierce as the New SEC Chair?
For years, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has been a vocal critic of her administration and their tough stand on crypto. She is quite popular as the ‘crypto mom’ within the crypto community for her crypto-friendly stand.
Stark highlighted Peirce’s track record of disagreement and resistance against numerous of the regulator’s crypto-related enforcement actions. He pointed out that if Peirce were to lead the SEC, it’s likely that most of the agency’s crypto-related enforcement efforts and disruptive actions in the crypto space would come to a sudden stop.
Stark also highlighted the growing divide in crypto regulation within the SEC and broader US politics. When Stark initially started discussing crypto in 2017, he noted that various politicians, including then-President Donald Trump, Secretary Hilary Clinton, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters, shared a common view that crypto was a “dangerous and horrific plague”.
However, the stance on crypto has become more contentious. Republican candidate Ron de Santis has expressed intentions to safeguard Bitcoin and pledged to prohibit central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) if elected President.
On the opposing side, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren has been actively working to tighten regulations on all forms of crypto in the country. She has even formed an “anti-crypto army” as part of her Senate re-election campaign.