The SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) intends to prioritize an examination of developments in the cryptocurrency and initial coin offering markets this year.
Revealed today in the agency's annual "examination priorities" update, the OCIE said it will broach the industry under its mandate to improve compliance, monitor risk and prevent fraud in the U.S. financial markets. In particular, the agency resolved to explore whether "adequate disclosures" were being given to investors.
The OCIE announcement arrives one day after the SEC's top officer, chairman Jay Clayton, attended a widely watched Senate Banking Committee hearing where he spoke at length about evolving market dynamics and the possibility of future regulation.
"As the markets continually evolve and the products and services available to investors adapt, [the] OCIE remains committed in its risk-based examination program to prioritizing the interests of retail investors and examining those aspects of securities firms posing risks to investors and the proper functioning of our capital markets," OCIE Director Pete Driscoll stated in a press release.
Driscoll went on to state that the OCIE will also monitor businesses and individuals involved in the sale and marketing ICOs.
Other issues it intends to prioritize in 2018 include anti-money-laundering programs, cybersecurity and compliance and risks in market infrastructure.
SEC image via Shutterstock