US SEC Expands Crypto Unit To Look Into NFT Regulation

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To ensure proper regulation of crypto and its related services, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will recruit 20 additional employees for its cryptocurrency unit. The new team will focus on regulating the NFT space and protecting the rights of investors. Last year, the SEC enforced action for over 100 crypto-related crimes.

SEC Adds To Its Workforce 

To staff its Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, the US regulatory agency seeks to employ up to 20 additional litigators and investigators. The watchdog is increasing its staff as it prepares to take the lead in government monitoring of the cryptocurrency business in America.

“Cryptocurrency markets have expanded over the years, with regular investors suffering from fraudsters and scams in this arena,” stated SEC’s Director of Enforcement, Gurbir Grewal.

Chairman of the commission, Gary Gensler, claims that digital currencies are operating similar to the “Wild West,” with his surveillance body accountable for over 100 crypto enforcement actions totaling $2.35 billion in value since 2013. Most of the cases were settled outside court.

The Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, which was established in 2017 to cope with a surge in the number of currencies being offered for sale to the general public, will gain twenty additional staff members. The additional hires would bring the total number of lawyers in the division to 50. They would also cover a senior post that would be vacant upon the retirement of the division’s current director.

Grewal went on to say that the newly expanded unit will be at the helm of safeguarding investors while also maintaining orderly and fair markets despite the present issues in the industry.

Chairman Of SEC Says Cryptocurrency Is A Fertile Environment For Fraud

According to Gensler, scammers have found a fertile field in the cryptocurrency market, which has encouraged crypto firms to file with the government agency. The agency filed over 20 enforcement cases against Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) last year, alleging that they violated Sections 5a & 5(c) of the law in the Securities Act.

Although Gensler didn’t set a timeline for implementing the new project in his address on the 4th of April, some of them mentioned by Gensler will probably arrive on the desks of the new workers. Investment protection initiatives will investigate the segregation of asset custody to safeguard users in the case of a hacking attack on a stock exchange, among other things. 

In addition, the regulatory agency will collaborate with the CFTC (Commodities and Futures Trading Commission) to monitor exchanges that trade commodity tokens.

As metaverse efforts such as that of Yuga Labs develop, the inspection of NFTs will become even more crucial. Play-to-earn games, such as Axie Infinity and Otherside games, are becoming more popular. Suppose certain NFTs have the legal markings of being securities but have not been registered with the SEC. In that case, investor protection will come into action, compelling the agency to take enforcement action.


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