The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has added 20 more members to its newly renamed Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit. The team – which is part of the Division of Enforcement – now includes 50 positions.
- The unit (formerly known as the ‘Cyber Unit’) is dedicated to protecting investors from cyber-related threats and shady crypto market investments.
- With the recent expansion, the unit will focus on securities law violations around crypto-asset offerings, exchanges, lending/ staking products, Defi, NFTs, and stablecoins.
- Previously, SEC chairman Gary Gensler has suggested that most crypto tokens available right now are securities – including stablecoins, which “may have attributes of investment contracts”.
- The chairman believed it was important that resources be expanded to protect investors from these products, as more enter the market.
“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,” he explained.
- To date, the unit has reportedly brought beyond 80 enforcement actions against unregistered and/or fraudulent crypto platforms and offerings. This has led to over $2 billion in monetary relief.
- “Crypto markets have exploded in recent years, with retail investors bearing the brunt of abuses in this space,” stated Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
- One of the SEC’s most high-profile crypto crackdowns is its ongoing lawsuit against Ripple, which it alleges conducted a $1.3 billion unregistered securities offering through XRP.