(Reuters) – The US Securities and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday that it will add 20 positions to its crypto market watchdog in its bid to curb fraudulent activities in the hot digital space.
The securities regulator said the division will be renamed the “Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit” and will have a total of 50 employees.
“By nearly doubling the size of this key entity, the SEC will be better equipped to police crypto-market failures while continuing to identify disclosures and control cybersecurity issues,” said SEC President Gary Gensler.
The SEC said the renewed unit will focus on preventing fraud using cryptocurrencies, exchanging cryptocurrencies, lending cryptocurrencies and input products, decentralized financial platforms, non-fungal tokens and stable coins.
A large part of the crypto trade is based in offshore jurisdictions and operates in a regulatory gray area, without any centralized system of supervision. Trading can bypass the traditional doorkeepers for finance, such as banks and stock exchanges.
The extended SEC supervision comes after Gensler said in April that the agency was considering how it could increase investor protection for users of stock exchanges and alternative trading platforms. Crypto-trading platforms can also be covered, he said.