- The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stated that it is doubling down on crypto crimes by increasing the size of its enforcement unit.
- The unit within the Division of Enforcement formerly known as the Cyber Unit will be renamed Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit.
Months after the FBI disclosed its plans to ramp up its enforcement efforts with a new unit focusing on crypto-related crimes, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has in a press release stated that it is doubling down on crypto crimes by increasing the size of its enforcement unit that overseas crypto markets and any related crimes to about 50 dedicated positions.
In addition, the unit within the Division of Enforcement formerly known as the Cyber Unit will be renamed Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit. Since 2017, the unit has brought about 80 actions concerning fraudulent and unregistered crypto-asset offerings. This resulted in monetary relief of more than $2 billion. According to SEC Chair Gary Gensler, this unit will get 20 additional positions.
The Division of Enforcement’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit has successfully brought dozens of cases against those seeking to take advantage of investors in crypto markets. By nearly doubling the size of this key unit, the SEC will be better equipped to police wrongdoing in the crypto markets while continuing to identify disclosure and control issues concerning cybersecurity.
According to Gensler, the US has the biggest capital market. He added that as more investors keep accessing the crypto market, it is highly important to allocate resources for their protection.
The unit will take charge of cyber-related threats – SEC Chair
The SEC chair further stated his position on the effort of the commission to take absolute control over crypto platforms, stablecoins, and tokens. He disclosed that he had earlier instructed SEC staff to come out with appropriate crypto regulations that focus on different areas. For now, its unit will focus on “Crypto asset offerings, Crypto asset exchanges, Crypto asset lending, and staking products, Decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and stablecoins”.
The responsibility of the unit goes beyond crypto-related crimes as it is also charged with cyber-related threats. It has also succeeded in taking action against public companies and SEC registrants for their failure to disclose cyber-related risks and incidents as well as maintaining adequate cybersecurity.
It stated that the additional position will be a huge boost to the rank of investigative staff attorneys, supervisors, fraud analysts, etc.
Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement believes that the unit will be a huge benefit to investors.
Crypto markets have exploded in recent years, with retail investors bearing the brunt of abuses in this space. Meanwhile, cyber-related threats continue to pose existential risks to our financial markets and participants. The bolstered Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit will be at the forefront of protecting investors and ensuring fair and orderly markets in the face of these critical challenges.