SEC To Nearly Double Crypto Enforcement Unit

May 3, 2022 7:10 pm

The SEC just announced that it will be nearly doubling its crypto enforcement unit which brings the number of people under the division to 50 people.

The increased hiring spree indicates that the SEC is looking to police and regulate the crypto industry even more which has sparked negative criticism from the crypto community.

The crypto unit will be focusing on crypto asset offerings, crypto exchanges, crypto lending products, and much more which many fear might stifle innovation in the space.

The reasons that the SEC is giving for doing this is that it is supposed to protect investors from scams and frauds that are prevalent in the industry.

However, the boundary of what the SEC considers allowed and what is not allowed is still very unclear at the moment which is what many critics have pointed out.

It could potentially lead to a situation where the SEC will go after anything that it believes is bad because the government has not figured out what to do.

Yahoo reports:

But Angle warned that the SEC is regulating by enforcement and deciding after the fact what is allowed and what is not, rather than issuing clear rules for the industry to follow.

“The industry has been begging for clear rules and our government hasn’t figured them out,” he said. “So the SEC goes after anything that smells bad to the SEC.”

The SEC has already been looking at crypto products as well as how to regulate cryptocurrency trading exchanges.

Gensler has encouraged crypto firms and exchanges to register their products and services with the Commission — warning that the SEC could bring enforcement action if firms do not comply.

SEC member Hester Pierce also voiced her opinion on the news and said that she was opposed to the SEC’s imitative to hire 20 more people to this crypto enforcement squad.

Pierce says that the SEC should not be an enforcement agency and should be more focused on establishing clear regulations.

She believes that enforcement should instead be left to the enforcement divisions instead which can properly do this job instead of the SEC.

As a result, it is clear that there is even opposition within the SEC to continue this hiring spree which indicates that strong policing of crypto assets is something they are convinced on doing.

CoinDesk reports:

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler previously indicated in September that he had plans to expand the unit’s staff.

Dubbed “Crypto Mom” by many in the industry for being crypto savvy, Peirce has been a longtime opponent Gensler’s enforcement-heavy approach to regulation.

Gensler has been reluctant to share specifics on how crypto companies can comply with regulations, instead choosing to regulate through enforcement actions.

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), co-chairman of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, who has previously criticized the “overregulation” of crypto, appeared to echo Peirce’s sentiment, retweeting it with the “finger pointing down” emoji.

Responding to a question on Twitter, Peirce also said that she wasn’t involved in the cross-government group ordained by U.S. President Joe Biden’s executive order on crypto issued in March.

As mentioned before, even members of Congress are putting pressure on the SEC now in response to their over-regulation of crypto.

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