According to Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Peirce, clear cryptocurrency regulation is urgently needed as major tech and financial companies adopt this new asset class.
According to a Feb. 13 Reuters report, Peirce—nicknamed “Crypto Mom” for her early pro-crypto stances—said that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cannot continue to put off issuing clear regulations for digital assets now that major companies such as electric car manufacturer Tesla, payment processing giants MasterCard and Visa, and even the venerable BNY Mellon bank are starting to use them. She said:
“That adds to the urgency of us taking some sort of action in this area to provide more clarity.”
Peirce pointed out that while “there have been calls for clarity for some time, 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.”
The list of well-known firms that use crypto assets is getting quite long this year. As Modern Consensus reported in late October, at the time fintech behemoth PayPal announced support for Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto assets. In November the firm’s CEO said that the company plans not only to allow crypto investments, but also make it “very simple and easy” to use crypto every day. According to December 2020 reports, the company’s customers have bought Bitcoin faster than it was mined.
At the end of 2020, payment processing giant Visa partnered with Circle Internet Financial, the firm behind the USD Coin stablecoin, to integrate the USDC token with Visa’s back-end system to allow card-issuing banks and financial institutions to send and receive payments in the cryptocurrency. Earlier this month, Bitcoin saw a major bull run when Tesla bought $1.5 billion worth for its corporate reserves and announced that it will be accepted as payment for its cars.
Last but not least, less than a week ago United States’ oldest bank BNY Mellon announced a crypto custody service and payment processing behemoth MasterCard that it will bring cryptocurrency transactions directly to its network.