“We Squandered a Decade of Opportunities To Do Our Job,” SEC Commisioner Says

Julia Smith
Last updated: | 2 min read
SEC

The Commissioner of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Hester Peirce, seemed to express remorse over the federal agency’s handling of spot Bitcoin ETF approvals in a recent interview.

Peirce says Ethereum ETF will not follow suit

“We squandered a decade of opportunities to do our job,” Peircce told Coinage’s Zack Guzmán. “If we had applied the standard we use for other commodity-based ETPs, we could have approved these products years ago, but we refused to do so until a court called our bluff.”When asked by Guzmán if another court case is going to have to happen in order to get Ethereum ETFs approved, Peirce rejected the notion.“That’s not how we’re going to do our approvals,” Peirce told Guzmán. “We shouldn’t need a court to tell us that our approach is ‘arbitrary and capricious’ in order for us to get it right.”

Gensler’s tone

The Commissioner’s comments come nearly two weeks after the SEC approved several spot Bitcoin ETFs, ending a years-long attempt at approval.However, not everyone seemed to share in Peirce’s candor regarding the matter.“While we approved the listing and trading of certain spot Bitcoin ETP shares today, we did not approve or endorse bitcoin,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement shortly following the federal agency’s approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs. “Investors should remain cautious about the myriad risks associated with bitcoin and products whose value is tied to crypto.”Gensler has faced wide-ranging scrutiny for his handling of spot Bitcoin ETF approvals, particularly in regards to a hack on SEC’s X account 24 hours prior that resulted in an unauthorized party creating a fraudulent post claiming the federal agency had already approved a number of the aforementioned ETFs.On Monday, the SEC announced that the hack was due to a “SIM swap” attack, made possible in part by the federal agency turning off multi-factor authentication on their account due to access issues.

Everyone’s a critic

Most recently, Gensler faced criticism from Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse during an appearance at the World Economic Forum.

“I do think the chair of the SEC, Gary Gensler, is a political liability in the United States,” Garlinghouse told CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal. “And I think he’s not acting in the interests of the citizenry, he’s not acting in the interests of the long-term growth of the economy, and I don’t understand it.”

“I think at some point there will be a new chair of the SEC, and I think that will be a good thing for the American people,” Garlinghouse continued.