The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is taking potential steps towards crypto regulations as it just appointed Valerie A. Szczepanik as its first ever Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation. The Czar will be responsible for handling and supervising matters related to digital currency including ICOs and cryptos. The move hints at the efforts of the agency to expand its oversight of the digital assets, while at the same time strengthening the regulatory hold.
SEC appoints Valerie A. Szczepanik to oversee crypto regulations
According to the press release by SEC, the newly appointed Valerie A. Szczepanik
“will coordinate efforts across all SEC Divisions and Offices regarding the application of U.S. securities laws to emerging digital asset technologies and innovations, including Initial Coin Offerings and cryptocurrencies.”
She will be reporting to the Director of Division of Corporation Finance.
Mr. Bill Hinman, the director of the Division says that
“Valerie recognized early on the securities law implications of developments like blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, and of cryptocurrencies, Initial Coin Offerings, tokenized securities, and other digital instruments”.
Working for the SEC since 1997, she was among the first to publicly comment on ICOs. The ‘crypto chief’ is known for her advert stand and emphasis on the interests of the investors. Recently a part of the Consensus blockchain conference in New York, she was quoted saying
“if you want (the crypto) industry to flourish, protection of investors should be at the forefront.”
The senior advisor added that she is
“excited to take on this new role in support of the SEC’s efforts to address digital assets and innovation as it carries out its mission to facilitate capital formation, promote fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and protect investors, particularly Main Street investors.”
The SEC holds the primary responsibility of enforcing federal securities law as well as regulating the market. Since there is no clarity on the nature of cryptocurrencies by SEC yet, makes this newly created post highly crucial.
Are we finally in for crypto regulations?
With constant directives aimed at alleged scams and suspicious activities in the digital currency market, the appointment has been announced at a crucial time for the SEC, as well as for the crypto market.
Hinting at the same, Jay Clayton, the SEC chairman was quoted saying that
“Val is the right person to coordinate our efforts in this dynamic area that has both promise and risk.”
The market has been feeling the blues for quite some time. There has been also much anticipation going around the state’s take on cryptocurrency after a former top regulator stated that Ethereum and Ripple, two of the major cryptocurrencies, are “non-compliant” securities working outside U.S. laws, earlier last month.
In the uncertain environment of crypto, the appointment of Szczepanik has sparked off nervous anticipations in the market; the dice could roll off in either direction.
Do you think this latest appointment will help take some burden off of the digital assets market or like some observers anticipate, will only increase it further? Share your thoughts with us!