Hester Peirce says DEXs provide healthy competition for banks

Hester Peirce, commissioner for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), says decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are on a collision course with the SEC if they issue digital securities.

Hester Peirce says DEXs provide healthy competition for banks

Hester Peirce, commissioner for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said to Cointelegraph that decentralized finance (defi) is on a collision course with the SEC if they build digital securities. Although regulations around defi projects may fall outside of the SEC’s jurisdiction given they don't involve U.S. securities, defi has the potential to create and distribute digital securities in the form of contracts. “I caution people to think about what they’re building, and to think about whether it looks like the traditional security," she said, "if it does, talk to the SEC because individuals can really get in trouble if they develop one of these things.” Defi concerns aside, Pierce seems optimistic about the recent launch of the Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain — which is believed to reduce fees, improve security, and invite new projects to Ethereum. Peirce touched on the notion that the hatred of banks (stemming from the 2008-2009 Financial Crisis) and overall lack of innovation in the financial industry is partly due to regulatory barriers, but also the lack of competition due to the massive size and centralization of banks. “I want to see what happens when you have a really truly competitive playing field,” Peirce said. Ethereum 2.0's proof-of-stake chain went live at noon UTC on December 1, but the full Eth2 network won't be fully functional until the coming weeks. Prior to rejoining the SEC in 2018, Commissioner Peirce conducted research on the regulation of financial markets at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. In a CoinDesk interview on  November 9, she talked about some of the reasons regulators are slow, "We need to have a process in place so that we make sure when we’re changing rules. There are circumstances where we have a framework at the SEC that was built in the 1930s and 1940s and added on over time," she said, "In the crypto space, for example, there are areas we are going to have to make adjustments and I do think we should be moving faster.” Pierce earned her bachelor's degree in Economics from Case Western Reserve and her law degree from Yale.