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SEC Commissioner Peirce: CFTC Charges Are a Clear Message to BitMEX and the Industry

Hester Peirce, the Commissioner of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) believes that the charges against BitMEX brought by the CFTC were a “loud and clear” message.

In a recent podcast, the so-called ‘Crypto Mom’ also noted that a Bitcoin ETF could be beneficial to all parties but didn’t specify if such a product will see the light of day anytime soon.

Peirce: BitMEX Charges Were A Loud And Clear Message

As CryptoPotato reported earlier this month, the US Commodity and Futures Trading Commission charged the owners of the popular Bitcoin derivatives exchange BitMEX with illegally operating a derivatives platform.

While appearing on the Unchained podcast with Laura Shin, Commissioner Peirce received a question on the BitMEX controversy, even though the Securities and Exchange Commission was not involved.

Although she averted the question directly, as it was not her jurisdiction, she noted that similar issues harm the entire industry. Moreover, she said that regulators are sending clear messages to companies who fail to comply with the necessary anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) requirements.

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“I think that the message has been coming to the industry fairly loud and clear on the AML/KYC front, and I’m sure it will continue.”

While speaking directly about the BitMEX charges, she asserted that when US users are involved in a product or a service, “there’s going to be an enforcement of US laws. So that’s what I think it’s probably what we see here [with BitMEX].”

Hester Peirce. Source: CNBC

Crypto Mom On Bitcoin ETF

One of the most discussed topics within the cryptocurrency community is the potential release of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Although numerous industry companies have applied with the SEC in the past few years to launch such an ETF, the success rate is zero. Most applications were rejected by the Commission, while others were withdrawn.

Being the SEC Commissioner, she received a question regarding the future chances of approving a Bitcoin ETF. Shin also asked if the recent developments in the UK, where the FCA banned the sale of crypto derivatives and exchange-traded notes (ETNs) to retail customers, would affect SEC’s decision.

Peirce didn’t offer a conclusive answer on whether or not the community will finally see a Bitcoin ETF but left the door opened:

“In the US, we have a tradition of believing that people should be free to make decisions for themselves and then be responsible for the consequences. And I don’t know why that wouldn’t apply in an area like a Bitcoin exchange-traded product where you see a lot of interest from people in getting exposure to Bitcoin. This is one way that would be easy for people to get exposure to Bitcoin.”

However, she emphasized the importance of complying with all requirements, and companies filing for a Bitcoin ETF should focus on them.

Featured Image Courtesy of Reuters

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