SEC expands crypto assets and cyber unit to bolster crypto investigations

SEC expands crypto assets and cyber unit to bolster crypto investigations

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it is expanding its recently formed Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit. The Unit has increased its staff by 20 additional members, almost doubling the enforcement team.

In a statement provided on Tuesday, SEC chairman Gary Gensler  commented on how the increase to the newly renamed SEC Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit (formerly Cyber Unit) will impact its work.

"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 controls issues with respect to cybersecurity." Gensler said.

Gary Gensler has consistently maintained his view that most cryptocurrencies are securities, and has referred to “public protections” as the reason for which he believes the securities watchdog needs to regulate the sector.

The SEC’s Cyber Unit was created in 2017 to enforce securities laws, initial coin offerings, and cryptocurrencies, with the newly formed Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit having greater focus on violations involving digital assets.

Additional roles added to the unit include fraud analysts, supervisors, investigative staff attorneys, and trial counsels, whose focus will be on investigating securities law violations related to crypto asset offerings, exchanges, lending and staking productions, and decentralized finance platforms, non-fungible tokens, and stablecoins.

Gurbir S. Grewal, the director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, commented on the recently bolstered Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit:

“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."

The SEC’s intensifying of their scrutiny of cryptocurrencies is evident by the increase in their enforcement unit, and since the inception of the unit in 2017 the agency has brought more than 80 enforcement actions against fraudulent and unregistered crypto companies, with total fines of over $2 billion.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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