SEC Bolsters Crypto Enforcement Unit

    Photo: Reuters/Bloomberg News [via The Washington Post]

    The Facts

    • The SEC is nearly doubling the size of its fledgling cryptocurrency investigation unit in order to tackle fraud in the rapidly growing digital asset sector.

    • The SEC's newly renamed Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit is hiring 20 new staff members, including lawyers and fraud analysts, bringing its total staff to 50.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The new "Wild West" is about to feel the full force of the US government as Gensler and the SEC bring the entire industry into conformity with the nation's well-developed securities laws. Hucksters and grifters take notice: your days are numbered.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The SEC's approach is regulation by enforcement. Instead of clarifying the rules by which crypto players should play, they define wrongdoing after the fact and then pursue charges. Congress needs to step in and offer clear guidance to innovators working in the dynamic crypto space.

    Cynical narrative

    The federal government is dedicating 50 people to police an entire segment of the economy that is growing like wildfire at the expense of consumers and their savings. This is far too little and too late to keep up with escalating fraud in the crypto space.

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