The U.S. SEC Wants to Hire a Crypto Specialist Legal Advisor


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According to April 1, 2019, posting on the Federal Government’s official jobs portal USAJobs, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is plannng to recruit a crypto specialist attorney advisor. The crypto specialist will offer expertise and coordinate the activities of the Division of Trading and Markets regarding cryptocurrencies and digital asset securities.

Provide Expert Level Comment

The U.S. government’s securities regulator placed a posting on April 1, 2019, on the government’s official jobs portal USAJobs stating it is looking to hire a new legal expert who will become instrumental in developing a comprehensive plan that will address cryptocurrency and digital asset securities-related issues.

One of the primary responsibilities of the successful applicants will be, according to the announcement, to provide expert level comment on policy and work streams. The posting adds that the person will:

 “Apply knowledge of federal securities laws to digital asset securities and crypto matters, i.e., broker-dealer, exchange, clearing agency and transfer registrations, exchange product applications, sales, and trading practices, etc.

Lay Down Expectations

As per the job posting, the crypto specialist attorney will become the division’s lead representative in the SEC’s Fintech Working Group besides being the liaison of the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) Digital Working Group. The person will also serve as the division’s point of contact for the United States and international regulators, market participants, and the public.

As reported by BTCmanager, the U.S. SEC commenced its long-awaited comments on cryptocurrencies on January 22, 2018. The SEC aimed to lay down expectations for experts and startups within the crypto space. The chairperson started his tenure by criticizing the environment surrounding Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and asking market professionals in the sector to offer better leadership. Jay Clayton was concerned that ICOs were able to avoid regulations. He added:  

 “Promoters proceed without compliance with the securities laws, which deprives investors of the substantive and procedural investor protection requirements of our securities laws.

Clear Regulatory Gray Areas

The U.S. SEC seems to be overwhelmed by applications on different crypto-related issues with the Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) being the loudest of them all.

As reported recently, the agency has once again delayed making a decision on an application filed by Bitwise with the NYSE on February 15 that sought to launch a Bitcoin ETF. Following the failure to reach the decision, the SEC now has until May 16, 2019, to decide whether it will approve the proposed Bitcoin ETF.

With the new job posting by the securities regulatory watchdog, it is likely that SEC wants to be in a situation where it will be able to clear regulatory gray areas for the cryptocurrency industry.

The commission went ahead to hire the first-ever crypto-czar in June 2018 and selected Valerie Szczepanik, as associate director of the Division of Corporation Finance and senior advisor for digital assets and innovation. Her responsibilities include coordinating “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.”

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