The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made serious improvements to its in-house cryptocurrency and cybersecurity skills.
The move comes as an attempt to improve investor confidence and enhance the transparency of listed companies.
20 additional positions have been added to the regulator’s newly renamed Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit. Previously known as the Cyber Unit, the function sits in the Division of Enforcement, growing to 50 dedicated positions.
While the SEC touted the previous successes of the unit, claiming it had brought about over 80 enforcement actions related to fraudulent and unregistered crypto assets since 2017, the regulator recognised the growing threat the investors from scams involving NFTs, decentralised finance platforms, crypto assets and exchanges and stable coins.
Commenting, Chris Caruana, VP of AML solutions at Feedzai noted:
“The SEC’s announcement is yet another signal from the regulatory community that cryptocurrency usage amongst the general population (specifically the investor community in this case) has risen to an adoption level that oversight obligations are growing.
“We continue to see the regulators staff-up capabilities while the guidance to the industry about who will be overseeing their activities evolves. Much of this stems from the fact that cryptocurrency is still very much undefined – is it a security, currency, a commodity? Existing regulations are expected to be layered into financial crime programs of players in this space, while the SEC and others attempt to understand what unique considerations are required for these market participants.”
He added: “We should anticipate a number of organisations offering cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange to be unprepared for the impending regulatory wave. They would do well to employ experienced individuals and deploy leading technology, building out their financial crime program ahead of time.”