SEC to Add Staff as It Ramps Up Anti-Crypto Scam Efforts

The U.S. securities regulator plans to hire another 20 people to police coin offerings, non-fungible tokens and decentralized finance.

AccessTimeIconMay 3, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:07 p.m. UTC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is hiring another 20 enforcement staff for the unit that protects investors from crypto scams and cyberthreats.

  • With the additions, the number of staff dedicated to probing securities law violations in fields like coin offerings, lending, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized finance (DeFi) is 50.
  • Since 2017, the unit has brought more than 80 enforcement actions for fraudulent and unregistered offerings, with monetary relief totaling more than $2 billion.
  • SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has previously hit exchanges like Coinbase (COIN) for not registering with regulators when they offer security-like tokens. In September, he said the new area of responsibility would require "a lot more people" at the agency.
  • Recent SEC proposals have indicated it could extend enforcement action to DeFi, which poses new regulatory risks. There are also reports that the agency is looking into whether NFTs should fall under its responsibility.
  • The SEC polices those offering securities for sale, as well as those who advise on or broker trades, to make sure they are open and honest with clients. It says its enforcement actions in conventional markets mean hundreds of millions of dollars are returned to wronged investors each year.

UPDATE (May 3, 10:07 UTC): Adds background, details starting in third bullet point.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.