Lack of crypto expertise hampers SEC's ability to regulate and protect investors
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is facing a unique challenge in its recruitment efforts. The agency is struggling to hire experts in the field of cryptocurrency, a rapidly growing sector that the SEC has identified as an "evolutionary risk". However, many potential candidates are holders of cryptocurrency assets and are unwilling to divest these assets to comply with the SEC's employment regulations.
The SEC's recruitment challenge is multifaceted. Firstly, the pool of candidates with the necessary expertise in cryptocurrency is relatively small. Secondly, the SEC faces stiff competition from the private sector, which often offers more attractive compensation packages. Lastly, the SEC's policy prohibiting employees from owning cryptocurrency is a significant deterrent for many potential candidates.
The lack of crypto experts within the SEC has implications on its enforcement actions. The agency has been ramping up its enforcement in the crypto industry, filing lawsuits against companies and individuals. However, the absence of consistent caselaw for crypto affects enforcement decisions and priorities. Without a team of crypto experts, the SEC may struggle to effectively regulate this complex and rapidly evolving sector.
Despite these challenges, the SEC maintains a steady rate of hiring and is taking steps to address its management and performance challenges. The agency recognizes the need for crypto expertise and is actively seeking ways to attract qualified candidates. However, until the SEC can successfully recruit crypto experts, its ability to regulate the crypto industry and protect investors may be compromised.
The SEC's recruitment challenge highlights the broader issue of regulatory agencies keeping pace with technological advancements. As the crypto industry continues to grow and evolve, it is crucial for regulatory bodies to have the necessary expertise to effectively oversee these developments. This situation also underscores the potential conflicts of interest that can arise when employees in regulatory bodies are prohibited from owning assets in the industries they regulate.