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Commissioner Peirce, Rep. McHenry Join Panel as Gensler Nomination News Breaks.

During a wide-ranging panel discussion hosted by Real Clear Policy entitled “U.S. Crypto Policy in a Biden Administration” on January 12, news broke that President-elect Joe Biden is to name former Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair Gary Gensler as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The panelists included SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Dr. Roslyn Layton, Senior Contributor at Forbes, and Professor J.W. Verret of George Mason University.

On the Gensler nomination:

“I think he has a broad understanding of technology and financial innovation…I have a sense of optimism that he may bring a thoughtful approach.” – Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and member of the House Financial Services Committee

On the recent lawsuit by the SEC against Ripple:

“What concerns me about this case are the contradictions between the regulatory agencies: there’s a free-for-all deciding who’s getting to regulate this and it’s clearly something that Congress should be deciding, not the regulators themselves. Contradictions in the international arena, with multiple countries accepting Ripple as a currency, they’ve been operating under Treasury and DOJ frameworks for more than 5 years with this determination that it’s a currency – so that I find is very disruptive itself.” Dr. Roslyn Layton, Senior Contributor, Forbes

On whether or not the Howey test is applicable for future digital asset exchanges:

“I do think we need to recognize that there is something unique about a token which is, if you’re selling it to be used as the currency on a network, as the means to be transacting on a network, you have got to give people a way to transact that without every one of those transactions being a security transaction, otherwise you make it impossible for that network to operate…it’s really difficult to do a token distribution event in the United States, and to do so consistent with the way we have been reading the rules.” – SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce

On the fragility of the Howey Test:

“I could right now write an interpretation of the Howey test, consistent with the Supreme Court’s view from its initial analysis in this Howey case – from I think at this point – 70 years ago, that I think would provide a lot more clarity, just by going back to that word ‘solely’ and making it more of a real restriction on the definition of security.”

– J.W. Verret, Professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Watch the full webinar below.

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