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SEC Crypto Team Getting 20 More Officials in Bid to Crack Down

May 3, 2022, 9:00 AM

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is adding 20 more officials to a team dedicated to policing crypto markets, the latest move by Wall Street’s main regulator to crack down on digital tokens that may run afoul of its rules.

The additions will bring the SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit to 50 people, the agency said Tuesday in a statement. The focus of the expanded enforcement group will include virtual-currency offerings, decentralized finance and trading platforms, as well as stablecoins, according to the regulator.

Photographer: Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters/Bloomberg

Over the past year, the SEC has moved aggressively to expand oversight of digital-assets with Chair Gary Gensler frequently saying he considers many of them to be securities and subject to his agency’s rules. The regulator has launched probes into marketplaces offering certain types of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, and companies behind crypto-lending products.

Read More: SEC Scrutinizes NFT Market Over Illegal Crypto Token Offerings

“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 in the statement.

The SEC team, which was previously known as the Cyber Unit, has brought more than 80 enforcement actions since its inception in 2017, the agency said.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Lydia Beyoud in Washington at lbeyoud2@bloomberg.net;
Allyson Versprille in Washington at aversprille1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Ben Bain at bbain2@bloomberg.net

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.