SEC Seeks to Expand its Crypto Enforcement Unit
- Some lawmakers have criticized the SEC’s approach to controlling the crypto industry.
- The SEC has maintained a steady stream of cases against crypto projects since the year began.
- The bulk of the SEC’s case is that digital tokens are unregistered securities.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seems set to continue its raid against crypto companies by expanding its digital assets enforcement unit. According to a job posting, the SEC is seeking general attorneys for positions in New York, Washington, and San Francisco within its crypto enforcement division.
The SEC recently announced that it was “planning to add additional staff” to its Crypto Asset and Cyber Unit, or CACU. The US regulator noted that the unit was originally designed to be a 20-person operation but has since expanded in size.
The attorneys joining the CACU will likely investigate “crypto asset securities,” create litigation strategies, draft court papers, including subpoenas, and take depositions. Depending on the region, salaries for the positions range from $140,000 to $260,000. The announcement states that the application deadline is April 17.
According to the job ad, the CACU “focuses on violations of the federal securities laws” and “exercises the full range of the Division’s investigative and law enforcement powers.”
The SEC has been cracking down on the cryptocurrency industry with increased vigor under Chairman Gary Gensler. The regulator increased its scrutiny of the crypto space following the collapse of several prominent crypto firms, such as Terra and FTX, which wiped out billions of dollars in customer funds.
Gary Gensler recently requested funding of around $2.4 billion to aid the SEC’s crypto investigation. Other US regulators have ramped up efforts to control the crypto industry, raising questions about the sector’s future in the US. Some crypto users are speculating as to whether new taxes and other rules proposed by local regulators will “choke” the sector and block much-needed innovation.
Despite widespread calls for crypto regulation, some lawmakers have publicly criticized the SEC’s approach. US Congressman Tom Emmer criticized Gensler’s tactics of industry oversight and referred to him as a “bad faith regulator.”