Institutional adoption underscores urgency of clear crypto rules, says Hester Pierce

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As institutions move into the cryptocurrency space, the need for clear rules regarding digital assets is critical, an official at the Securities and Exchange Commission said.

SEC commissioner Hester Peirce believes that clear cryptocurrency rules are needed now more than ever due to firms like Tesla and Mastercard actively embracing the alternative asset class.

Peirce discussed the implications of institutional crypto adoption with Reuters on Saturday, following a series of massive crypto-related events in the last few weeks. After Elon Musk’s Tesla hinted at payments in Bitcoin (BTC), more companies including the United States’ oldest bank BNY Mellon and payment giant Mastercard announced plans to introduce crypto services as well.

“That adds to the urgency of us taking some sort of action in this area to provide more clarity,” the commissioner said. Widely referred to as “Crypto Mom” in the crypto community, Peirce has been consistently advocating for clear crypto rules, calling on the SEC to provide more clarity in order to allow the crypto industry to thrive without fear of breaking the law.

Peirce noted that the new presidential administration combined with the crypto push from institutional investors could provide a new perspective on crypto regulation:

“It’s not only that there have been calls for clarity for some time and that a new administration brings the chance to take a fresh look, but it also is a moment where it seems others in the marketplace are also taking a fresh look.”

Peirce also weighed in on the GameStop saga, stating that it is still too soon for regulators to make policy-defining conclusions from the meme-fuelled stock pump, though she reportedly supports the new generation of traders participating in the market. 

As previously reported, U.S. regulators have been looking into popular trading app Robinhood for suspending GameStop trading after Reddit group r/WallStreetBets performed a short squeeze, pumping the price above $370.

Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev and Citadel CEO Ken Griffin will testify before Congress alongside other involved parties on Thursday.