Hester M. Peirce

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Hester M. Peirce
Hester Peirce official photo.jpg
Occupation Commissioner
Employer Securities and Exchange Commission
Location Washington, DC
Personal Twitter @HesterPeirce
Website Hester Peirce Homepage

Commissioner Hester M. Peirce quickly made a name for herself as an advocate for innovation in her first year at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) when she formally dissented from a disapproval of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust ETF proposed by Cboe for listing on its Bats exchange. In her dissent, Peirce noted that the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 limits the commission to evaluating the applicant's ability to supervise its own market, not the underlying spot markets as the commission did in that case. Peirce also stated that the commission's disapproval acted as a barrier to further institutionalization of the bitcoin market and was anti-innovation.[1]

The day after the Commission's Division of Trading and Markets disapproved nine bitcoin futures-based ETFs, Peirce announced on her Twitter feed that the disapproval would be reviewed by the full Commission.[2]


A Republican, Peirce was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 22, 2017 and sworn in to office on January 11, 2018.[3][4]

Before joining the Commission, Peirce was a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, where her research focused on financial markets regulation. Prior to that Peirce worked for the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.[5]

Peirce is a prominent critic of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, writing, “Giving regulators more levers to pull and buttons to push with respect to the financial system only creates a false sense of security,” in a 2013 treatise on the law.[6]


Peirce holds a B.A. from Case Western Reserve and a J.D from Yale.[7]


  1. Dissent of Commissioner Hester M. Peirce to Release No. 34-83723; File No. SR-BatsBZX-2016-30. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. Personal Tweet from Hester Peirce. Twitter.
  3. Senate Confirms Robert Jackson, Hester Peirce to Join SEC. Wall Stree Journal.
  4. Biography. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  5. Hester Peirce. Mercatus Center.
  6. Senate Confirms Robert Jackson, Hester Peirce to Join SEC. Wall Stree Journal.
  7. Biography. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.