SEC Bolsters Crypto-Focused Enforcement Unit

By Samir MouraniBlockchain News

The newly renamed unit will bolster its division for investigating crypto related crimes as well as cyber-security issues.

Crypto Security

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced several staff additions to the newly renamed (formerly Cyber Unit) Crypto Assets & Cyber Unit in the Division of Enforcement.

The confirmation came via a press release on the SEC’s official website on May 4. In total, twenty new positions were added to the unit that is tasked with protecting investors in the crypto markets and also responsible for protecting against cyber-related threats. 

“The U.S. 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. “The division of Enforcement’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit has successfully brought dozens of cases against those seeking to take advantage of investors in crypto markets.” 

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 control issues with respect to cybersecurity.


Since its inception in 2017, the unit has brought forward over 80 enforcement actions tied to fraudulent and unregistered crypto asset offerings and platforms, in total resulting in over $2 billion in monetary relief. Supervisors, investigative staff attorneys, trial counsels and fraud analysts will make up the additional resources. Their addition will allow the unit to focus on investigating securities law violations related to: 

Crypto asset offerings;

Crypto asset exchanges;

Crypto asset lending and staking products;

Decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms; 

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs); and


“Crypto markets have exploded in recent years, with retail investors bearing the brunt of abuses in this space. Meanwhile, cyber-related threats continue to pose existential risks to our financial markets and participants”, added Burbir S. Grewal, Director of the SECs division of Enforcement. “The bolstered Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit will be at the forefront of protecting investors and ensuring fair and orderly markets in the face of these critical challenges.” 

It will be interesting to see exactly how the SEC plans to pursue achieving their objectives. The seemingly never-ending case against Ripple Labs has the potential to be precedence-setting. While most would agree that regulation or oversight of some kind will protect new investors from scams and rug pulls, too much oversight and regulation can also hinder the free market and the notion of decentralized finance. 

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