On May 3, 2022, the SEC announced the assignment of 20 additional positions to the unit charged with protecting investors in crypto markets from cyber-related threats. The newly renamed Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit (formerly known as the Cyber Unit) in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement will now be comprised of 50 dedicated positions, nearly doubling the size of this key unit. The addition of the new positions into the unit strengthens the ranks of its supervisors, investigative staff attorneys, trial counsels, and fraud analysts in the agency’s headquarters in Washington, DC and in several regional offices.
The unit has brought over 80 enforcement actions linked to fraudulent and unregistered crypto asset offerings and platforms. This has resulted in monetary relief of more than $2 billion since its inception in 2017. The unit also has brought numerous actions against SEC registrants and public companies for failing to maintain sufficient cybersecurity controls and for inadequately disclosing cyber-related risks and incidents. The expanded unit will leverage its expertise to provide protection for investors in the crypto markets by investigating securities law violations related to:
Crypto asset lending and staking products
Crypto asset exchanges
Crypto asset offerings
Decentralized finance platforms
Recent years have seen the meteoric rise of crypto markets, and retail investors have experienced the majority of abuses in this space. In addition, cyber-related threats continue to present risks to financial markets and participants. The enhanced unit will address both the widespread cyber-related threats the nation’s markets face and uncertainties that new technologies and currencies bring by continuing its endeavor to safeguard investors and guarantee fair and orderly markets.