The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on May 3 it will add 20 new positions to its expanded and newly christened Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit – the division responsible for protecting investors in crypto markets, and from cyber-related threats.

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The agency’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit – formally known as the Cyber Unit – within SEC’s Division of Enforcement will grow to 50 dedicated positions with the new staff additions. According to the SEC, the additional positions will bolster the ranks of its supervisors, investigative staff attorneys, trial counsels, and fraud analysts in the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and several regional offices.

“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 in a press release.

“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,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

The expanded Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit will leverage the agency’s expertise to ensure investors are protected in the crypto markets, with a focus on investigating securities law violations related to:

  • Crypto-asset offerings;
  • Crypto-asset exchanges;
  • Crypto-asset lending and staking products;
  • Decentralized finance platforms;
  • Non-fungible tokens; and
  • Stable coins.

“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 controls issues with respect to cybersecurity,” said Gensler.

Additionally, the unit has 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. The unit will also continue to tackle the ever-present cyber-related threats to the nation’s markets.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.