The SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit adds 20 new positions.
The central theses
- The SEC is increasing its Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit from 30 to 50 positions.
- The unit focuses on coin offerings, DeFi, NFTs and other areas of the crypto space.
- The SEC has been criticized in the past for its approach to regulating the crypto market.
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said the topping up of the entity would help monitor wrongdoing in the unregulated cryptocurrency market.
US regulator nearly doubles crypto crime department
The Securities and Exchange Commission has indicated that it is ready to crack down on digital asset crime.
Wall Street’s top regulator announced Tuesday that it had allocated 20 new positions to its Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, bringing its size to 50 dedicated positions. The entity aims to protect investors by identifying crypto-related criminal activity and bringing charges against those responsible.
In a statement, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said it did
“It is becoming increasingly important to devote more resources to protection [investors]’ as digital assets have become more accessible.
“By nearly doubling the size of this key entity, the SEC will be better equipped to monitor misconduct in the crypto markets while continuing to identify cybersecurity-related disclosure and control issues.”
SEC Crypto Regulatory Authority
Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit was founded under the name Cyber Unit in 2017 when the crypto space was experiencing a wave of ICO mania. Since then, more than 80 enforcement actions have been taken against fraudulent crypto operations with approximately $2 billion worth of financial relief.
Per the SEC statement, the newly strengthened entity will focus on securities law violations, including coin offerings, exchanges, lending and staking products, DeFi, NFTs and stablecoins.
Gensler has previously stated that he believes many crypto assets could pass the Howey test and therefore qualify as securities in relation to DeFi. Meanwhile, in March, news broke that the SEC was beginning to look into the fast-growing NFT market.
While the SEC has made clear attempts to crack down on wrongdoing in the crypto space in recent years, it has occasionally been criticized for its efforts. Software company ConsenSys recently sent a letter to regulators about a proposal to broaden the definition of a crypto-asset exchange.
The US regulator last year memorably threatened Coinbase (NASDAQ:) with legal action over its Lend product, saying the feature could be classified as an unregistered security. Coinbase released a statement criticizing the SEC and then scrapped the product.
Many active US crypto investors have also historically missed out on lucrative airdrops from DeFi projects like dYdX due to SEC restrictions. And despite having its own crime division, the SEC is struggling to keep up with the growing list of fraudulent actors occupying the DeFi and NFT sectors.
With 20 new additions to their unit, the agency should now be better equipped to oversee the space.
Source: Crypto News Deutsch