In a sign of regulators’ growing concerns about crypto, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to nearly double the size of its enforcement team that focuses on the emerging sector.
The SEC said its crypto and cyber enforcement team will add 20 new positions — including investigators, fraud analysts, trial counsel and supervisors — pushing the unit’s staff to 50.
The beefed-up unit will focus on investigating possible securities law violations involving crypto offerings, crypto exchanges, crypto lending, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms and stablecoins, along with cybersecurity issues.
“As more investors access the crypto markets, it is increasingly important to dedicate more resources to protecting them,” said SEC chair Gary Gensler, in a release.
The regulator noted that its crypto and cyber unit has brought more than 80 successful enforcement actions since it was created in 2017, generating over US$2 billion in monetary relief.
“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.