The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday announced the expansion and rebranding of its cyber division to combat cyber threats and protect investors in cryptocurrency markets.
To this end, the SEC will rename the Cyber Division within Enforcement Department in the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit and plans to create 20 additional positions to investigate violations in crypto-markets.
The goal, according to the agency, is to combat fraud and repression with cryptocurrencies malicious actors trying to profit from crypto-markets.
The cyber unit was based in September 2017 with a focus on combating cyber threats and protecting retail investors. But given the dramatic evolution of digital asset markets in recent years, the new unit is expected to focus on securities law violations related to –
- Offers of cryptocurrencies
- Exchange of cryptocurrencies
- Lending products and cryptocurrency rates
- Decentralized Finance Platforms (DeFi).
- Irreplaceable tokens (NFT), and
In addition, the unit also aims to take action against SEC registrars and state-owned companies for breaches of cybersecurity oversight and for inappropriate disclosure of data breaches and other security incidents.
According to the SEC, the cyber team has taken more than 80 coercive actions since 2017 related to fraudulent and unregistered offers of crypto assets and platforms, resulting in financial assistance to investors of $ 2 billion.
“Crypto-markets have intensified in recent years, and retail investors are bearing the brunt of abuses in this space. Meanwhile, cyber threats continue to pose existential risks to our financial markets and participants.” said Gurbir S. Greval, Director of the SEC Law Enforcement Department.
“A strengthened cryptocurrency and cyber division will be at the forefront of protecting investors and ensuring fair and orderly markets in the face of these critical challenges.”