On Tuesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made an announcement that it was expanding the number of staff dedicated to protecting crypto investors against scams and cybercrime in the renamed Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, which was first created in 2017. The division will soon have 50 roles focused on cryptocurrency and fighting crypto crimes.
"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," said Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s 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."
The Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit has gone after more than 80 instances of crypto fraud or unregistered crypto platforms, and says this has yielded over $2 billion in monetary relief.
“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 controls issues with respect to cybersecurity."
The unit has also cracked down on companies for poor cybersecurity related to crypto and a failure to mention cyber-risks or incidents. "The Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit will continue to tackle the omnipresent cyber-related threats to the nation’s markets," the SEC said.
In April, chairperson of the SEC Gary Gensler said that crypto investors should also enjoy protections, and has exhorted crypto businesses to register with the government.