Hester Peirce, Nic Carter: The Government vs. Cryptocurrencies

Meet the SEC commissioner who hates regulation and the bitcoin booster who says the crypto industry needs to police itself better.


Today's Reason Interview podcast has double the hosts and double the guests.

Every Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern, Zach Weissmueller and I host a live interview on Reason's YouTube channel. Today's episode is pulled from our recent conversation about government regulation of cryptocurrency and related matters that we had with Hester Peirce, a renegade commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Depression-era agency whose task it is to supposedly "protect investors,"  "maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets," and "facilitate capital formation." 

When the SEC recently fined the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken for supposedly offering an unregistered security, Peirce publicly broke with her colleagues, denouncing the decision as "paternalistic and lazy" and sadly representative of the government's unwillingness to issue clear regulations governing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. We talk with Peirce, who used to work at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, about why she believes the SEC is overreaching when it comes to crypto regulations and what good regulations might look like.

In the second half of the show, we're joined by Nic Carter, a partner at Castle Island Ventures and a leading proponent of blockchain technology and the crypto future. He talks about why he didn't invest in Sam Bankman Fried's FTX and how the crypto industry needs to do more to police itself from fraudsters, whose inevitable collapse makes it more likely government will step in with terrible, soul-and-commerce-crushing rules and restrictions.

Today's sponsor:

  • The Reason Livestream. Every Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern, Nick Gillespie and Zach Weissmueller host live, unscripted conversations at Reason's YouTube channel with leading policymakers, activists, writers, and thinkers about everything from attempted internet censorship to Covid-policy failures to the future of the Libertarian Party to cryptocurrency crackdowns to the failure of K-12 education. Online archive here.