There’s no lack of patriarchal figures in the cryptocurrency space, that’s for sure. But there’s only one “Crypto Mom.” That would be SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, who’s been in the news again lately for her pronouncements on cryptocurrency regulation. Last Friday, in a speech at the University of Missouri School of Law, she said that the slow pace of crypto regulation could be a good thing: “Delay in drawing clear lines may actually allow more freedom for the technology to come into its own.” And yesterday, in an event at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., Peirce addressed expectations that the SEC would vote on a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) or product: “[There are] very arcane rules as to whether it happens or not, so I can’t speculate on the timing.”
To be honest, Peirce’s comments weren’t terribly illuminating. But the crypto press hangs on her every word because she’s seen as digital currency’s biggest booster among the five commissioners on the SEC. Also, let’s face it, her cutesy nickname makes for good copy. But who is Peirce, and how did she become known as Crypto Mom?
A Republican and Trump appointee, Peirce—a former senior research fellow at the right-leaning Mercatus Center at George Mason University—has only held the SEC job for a little over a year. She earned her adoring nickname in July 2018, after she dissented in the commission’s decision to reject Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’s application for a bitcoin-related ETF. In her dissent, she argued that the judgment sends a “strong signal that innovation is unwelcome in our markets.” At that point, she only had 1,700 Twitter followers; now she has nearly 22,000.
Peirce, who is in her late forties, has no children of her own. But she was pretty psyched to be dubbed Crypto Mom. “I always have wanted to be a mother, so acquiring this new title was quite an honor,” she said in September. “Admittedly, this is not the form of motherhood I envisioned, but one of the wonderful aspects of motherhood is that children are quite different than their mothers anticipated they would be.
“If I were a mother, I suspect that I would be a free-range mother rather than a helicopter mom,” she continued. “A helicopter mother hovers over her child in order to ensure the child’s success, although this strategy often backfires. A free-range mother, by contrast, encourages her child to explore with limited supervision, which requires the acceptance of a certain level of risk.”
Hear that, kids? Go out there and take some risks. Make Crypto Mom proud.
Image courtesy SEC.