SEC Commissioner Esther Pearce said it would be difficult for governments to ban Bitcoin. If the regulators really decide to do this, they will do something stupid. The Commissioner of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said this during an online conference on investments in cryptocurrencies.
Pearce said the US is lagging the rest of the world when it comes to digital asset regulation. However, with the arrival of new SEC chairman Gary Gensler, regulatory issues "could get off the ground." Gensler understands how the cryptocurrency market works, so his knowledge will come in handy for creating a regulatory framework covering cryptoassets.
"I think we were past that point [of banning Bitcoin in the US] very early on because you'd have to shut down the internet," Peirce said. "I don't see how you could ban it. You could certainly make the effort. It would be very hard to stop people from doing it [trading Bitcoin]," she said. "So, I think it would be a foolish thing for the government to try to do that,"Pierce said.
In India, the issue of banning cryptocurrencies is especially acute. The country is gearing up for a complete ban on digital assets, and in March, the Indian government ordered firms to report all cryptocurrency transactions. Pearce is confident that the latest technology will outpace government efforts to restrict the use of Bitcoin, as people will always find a way to open a wallet, launch a node, or otherwise transact if they have access to the Internet.
It is more likely that in the short term, the United States will develop clearer regulation of cryptocurrencies than a complete ban on them. However, according to Pearce, to do this, the US government needs to change its attitude towards cryptoassets, as other countries are taking a more productive approach to them. During the interview, Pierce said that it is still unknown when Bitcoin exchange traded funds (ETFs) will be available in the US. Such products allow investors to access Bitcoin without the need to purchase and store it directly.
Bitcoin ETFs could serve as a catalyst for an influx of US institutional investors into the cryptocurrency market, but the SEC has yet to approve a single ETF launch application. The agency believes that this will only increase manipulation in the market. Pierce does not support the general position of the SEC on this issue and believes that by its actions the department impedes innovation. Pearce recently urged regulators to allow experiments with decentralized finance (DeFi) so that the industry can compete with the traditional financial sector.