SEC Enforcement Head Asks Congress for More Resources to Tackle Crypto Issues

Gurbir Grewal told members of a House Financial Services subcommittee he hopes to hire 125 more people, if he can get the funding.

AccessTimeIconJul 19, 2022 at 6:32 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:44 p.m. UTC

The head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) enforcement unit has asked Congress for additional resources – including to hire more people – to shore up the agency's crypto regulation efforts.

During a hearing Tuesday, SEC Director of Enforcement Gurbir Grewal told the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets – which oversees the SEC’s enforcement efforts – there have been so many more enforcement actions against crypto companies they are straining the regulator’s nascent crypto unit.

In May, the SEC nearly doubled the size of its Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit to 50 employees, adding 20 new positions including attorneys, investigators and fraud analysts to its Washington, D.C., headquarters. But as the agency continues to ramp up its efforts to police the crypto industry – and the industry is hit with a wave of high-profile bankruptcies – Grewal says he needs more staff.

“Certainly resources are an issue across our division and across the agency,” Grewal said. “The additional resources in the crypto asset unit will help. They include litigators because a number of these cases are in court right now and are a drain on our resources.”

Several subcommittee members brought up the possibility of expanding the SEC Enforcement Division’s allocated resources. When Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill.) asked Grewal whether his unit had sufficient resources to regulate crypto, Grewal hinted at a potentially massive expansion on the horizon.

“I could always use more resources but we’re making the best with the additional 20 slots and then we’re hopeful to get the 125 additional slots we’ve asked for,” Grewal said.

It’s currently unclear whether the 125 additional employees, if approved, will be spread across the entire Division of Enforcement or just the crypto unit.


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Cheyenne Ligon

Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.

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