The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is continuing its crackdown on the digital assets industry, with plans to increase the size of its Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit. The move comes after the regulator added 20 members to the unit earlier this year, nearly doubling its size. According to an SEC spokesperson, the agency has “nearly filled” the added slots and is “planning to add additional staff” to the unit. The SEC’s increasing focus on enforcement
The SEC has been steadily increasing its enforcement actions against crypto firms over the past few years, but recent weeks have seen a surge of activity. The regulator has accused several firms of selling unregistered securities, including FTX’s exchange token FTT, yield products at various firms, and Kraken’s staking service. The SEC also accused Terraform Labs and co-founder Do Kwon of deliberately misleading investors about the strength of the now defunct terraUSD stable coin.
While the SEC has maintained a steady stream of crypto cases, many lawyers in the industry are concerned that the agency will take a more aggressive stance against major trading platforms. Some fear that the SEC will accuse these platforms of running illegal, unregistered exchanges and force them to stop.
During a recent discussion with reporters about the crypto industry, SEC Chair Gary Gensler made it clear that trading platforms must comply with the law and provide necessary disclosures and protections to their investors. Gensler stated, “It’s not really a choice, that’s the law.”
As the digital assets industry continues to evolve and mature, the SEC’s increasing focus on enforcement is likely to shape the regulatory landscape. While it remains to be seen how the industry will adapt to these changes, the SEC is committed to bringing more cases against crypto firms in the coming months. The regulatory environment for digital assets is likely to remain uncertain as the SEC continues to ramp up its efforts to protect investors and enforce existing laws.