No news is good news? The SEC may be undermining innovation in FinTech

On May 9, 2019, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce delivered a speech at the Securities Enforcement Forum in East Palo Alto, California, discussing the SEC’s impact on the FinTech space and growth of the digital asset industry. Commissioner Peirce admitted her prior prediction, that the SEC would discourage the industry’s growth through hurried regulation and overenthusiastic enforcement action, was very wrong. While the SEC has stifled its growth, she remarked, this is not due to hasty regulation, but rather “its unwillingness to take meaningful action at all.” Commissioner Peirce expressed that while “forbearance on the part of a regulator is often appropriate, . . . rather than knee-jerk regulatory impulses, to shape a developing industry,” the innovators still are required to comply with the securities laws. It is the regulators’ job to provide clear and concise guidance on how individuals and companies can comply with such laws, but…

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