SEC Crypto Chief Warns: 'We're Going to Continue to Bring Those Charges'

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is poised to ramp up enforcement against crypto firms that violate securities laws, according to David Hirsch, head of the agency's Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit.

In a speech at an SEC forum in Chicago on Tuesday, Hirsch said the agency would "continue to bring those charges" against firms that fail to register with the regulator or provide adequate disclosures to investors.

"We're going to continue to be active as to intermediaries," Hirsch said, referring to brokers, dealers, exchanges, clearing agencies, and others who facilitate crypto trading. "That can be brokers, dealers, exchanges, clearing agencies or any others who are active in this space, are within our jurisdiction and not meeting their obligations, either through registration or failure to provide adequate or complete disclosures."

The SEC has already cracked down on several high-profile crypto companies in recent years, including Binance, Bittrex US, and Coinbase. The agency has also been focused on non-fungible token (NFT) projects that have raised millions of dollars without registering with the SEC.

Hirsch said the SEC would continue to investigate and prosecute crypto firms that violate securities laws, regardless of whether they claim to be decentralized.

"We're going to continue to conduct investigations, we're gonna be active in the space, and adding the label of [decentralized finance] is not going to be something that's going to deter us from continuing our work," Hirsch said.

The SEC's ramped-up enforcement efforts are likely to have a significant impact on the crypto industry. Many crypto firms currently operate in a regulatory gray area, and the SEC's actions could force them to comply with securities laws or face stiff penalties.

SEC's Focus on Crypto Enforcement

The SEC's focus on crypto enforcement is not surprising. The crypto market has grown rapidly in recent years, but it remains largely unregulated. This has created opportunities for fraudsters and other criminals to exploit investors.

The SEC has a responsibility to protect investors from fraud, and the agency is taking steps to do so in the crypto market. The agency's enforcement actions against crypto firms are sending a clear message that the SEC will not tolerate violations of securities laws.

Implications for the Crypto Industry

The SEC's ramped-up enforcement efforts are likely to have a number of implications for the crypto industry. First, it could force crypto firms to comply with securities laws. This would mean registering with the SEC and providing investors with adequate disclosures.

Second, the SEC's actions could make it more difficult for crypto firms to raise capital. Investors may be more reluctant to invest in crypto firms that are not registered with the SEC or that have a history of violating securities laws.

Third, the SEC's enforcement efforts could lead to more innovation in the crypto industry. Crypto firms may develop new products and services that comply with securities laws. This could make the crypto market more attractive to investors and institutions.

Overall, the SEC's ramped-up enforcement efforts are a significant development for the crypto industry. It is unclear how the industry will respond, but it is clear that the SEC is committed to protecting investors from fraud in the crypto market.

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