SEC expands crypto-cyber unit

The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to bolster its unit responsible for protecting investors in crypto markets from cyber-related threats.

Twenty additional positions – almost doubling the current provision -- will be allocated to the newly renamed Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit (formerly the Cyber Unit) in the Division of Enforcement, growing the unit to 50 positions.

The expanded unit will bolster the SEC’s ability to protect investors in the crypto markets, with a focus on investigating securities law violations related to areas including crypto asset offerings; crypto asset exchanges; crypto asset lending and staking products; decentralised finance (DeFi) platforms; non-fungible tokens (NFTs); and stablecoins.

"The US has the greatest capital markets because investors have faith in them, and as more investors access the crypto markets, it is increasingly important to dedicate more resources to protecting them," said SEC chair Gary Gensler.

Created in 2017, the unit has since brought over 80 enforcement actions related to fraudulent and unregistered crypto asset offerings and platforms, with monetary relief totalling in excess of $2bn.

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 added.

Since its inception, the unit has also brought numerous actions against SEC registrants and public companies for failing to maintain adequate cybersecurity controls and for failing to appropriately disclose cyber-related risks and incidents.

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