It is highly likely, and hardly a surprise, that in the near future the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) will increase the number of enforcement actions it brings against crypto industry participants. It is widely known in the crypto industry that the SEC’s Division of Enforcement has been investigating a number of high-profile crypto industry participants for some time,2 and at least some of those investigations likely will lead to enforcement actions relatively soon. The recent insider-trading case involving trading in digital assets by a former employee of Coinbase and others is perhaps a harbinger of crypto enforcement actions to come. The SEC’s recent hiring of 20 new enforcement attorneys focused on the crypto markets is a fairly straightforward signal of the SEC’s intent to bring additional crypto enforcement cases, as are specific statements about anticipated future crypto enforcement actions by SEC Enforcement Director Gurbir Grewal in his recent testimony to Congress seeking additional funding for the SEC’s enforcement program.
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