Crypto Added To SEC Annual Priorities List, With A Less Retributive Stance In 2020

By Chris Torres | January 9, 2020
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The US SEC is reportedly going to be its thorough examination of crypto, as fintech and crypto assets has been listed to the agency’s yearly priorities. 

Revealed by the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) on January 7, both the techs have been added to the list that needs extra attention in the next business year. 

OCIE has previously announced the scrutiny it will place on crypto, at the start of 2019, with some differences from the notice today. 

“OCIE will continue to monitor the offer and sale, trading, and management of digital assets, and where the products are securities, examine for regulatory compliance.” Its 2019 announcement read. 

Since the OCIE is the agency primarily in charge of looking into potential illegal use cases of securities, which explains the alert status it adopted. However, this latest revelation has presented signs of a change in perspective from the SEC, as they have taken an interest in the positive possibility of crypto assets. 

“OCIE also will continue to identify and examine SEC-registered firms engaged in the digital asset space” – which can be a hint for a lower-level retributive attitude towards crypto, stepping into the new decade. 

Although a special interest from the SEC has been placed on crypto, the agency still treats ICOs as unlicensed securities products. 

Hester Peirce – the Commissioner for the SEC – has reportedly stated that the agency is more inclined to applying a crypto-focused regulatory approach with more flexibility, including the identification of offerings that are outside of the purview from the SEC.

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