SEC Appoints New Crypto Chief to Advise on Digital Assets and ICOs


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced the appointment of its new cryptocurrency chief who will coordinate efforts across the SEC regarding securities laws.

And the Job Goes To…

Valerie Szczepanik has been named as the associate director of the Division of Corporation Finance and senior advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation.

According to an announcement from the agency, Szczepanik will take on the role of working across all SEC divisions and offices to advise the organisation on how securities laws will apply to emerging digital asset technologies and innovations, including initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies.

“Valerie’s thought leadership in this area is recognized both within the Commission and across financial regulators in the United States and abroad,” said chairman Jay Clayton. “With her demonstrated skill, experience, and keen awareness of the importance of fostering innovation while ensuring investor protection, Val is the right person to coordinate our efforts in this dynamic area that has both promise and risk.”

The SEC is one agency that is taking a proactive stance regarding the crypto market. With the industry still proving volatile, the company is one global regulator that is determining how to proceed.

Last month, Clayton issued a statement in support of ‘Operation Cryptosweep,’ a joint operation between 40 U.S. and Canadian financial regulators who have banded together to fight fraud in the cryptocurrency and ICO markets. The operation is hoping to clean up the industry by bringing together shared resources to those involved.

Aside from showing support for the joint operation, the SEC has been taking steps to highlight the risks involved when investing in ICOs. In May, the agency launched its own spoof website, HoweyCoins, in an attempt to illustrate the ‘too good to be true’ offers that many potential investors may face with ICO scams.

In 2017, it launched a dedicated cyber unit designed to tackle fintech and cyber-related crimes. It is actively focusing on the activity of ICOs, which it considers as the biggest threat to prospective investors. Now, with the new appointment of its cryptocurrency chief, the SEC is continuing to demonstrate its keenness to getting the market under control in a way that will maintain the safety of investors.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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