Will SEC's New Job Listing Resolve Crypto ‘Security’ Saga?

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

01 April 2019,
Will SEC's New Job Listing Resolve Crypto ‘Security’ Saga?

Has the U.S Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) finally found a way to end the long-term debate regarding which cryptocurrencies to classify as securities and those that qualify for an exemption?

On March 29, the regulatory body posted a job listing on the United State’s Official Job portal seeking a crypto specialist attorney advisor who will work with the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets (TM).

Notably, one of the tasks that the successful applicant will tackle is working with SEC’s TM officials as well as other subdivisions of the agency to create “a comprehensive plan to address crypto and digital asset securities.”

Aside from the primary role mentioned above and a few other responsibilities, the job listing noted that the new employee would have to:

  • develop and maintain expert-level industry knowledge of crypto and digital asset securities and products.

  • apply existing Federal securities law to matters regarding cryptocurrencies and digital securities

  • keep tabs on domestic and foreign legislative efforts covering the crypto industry

  • serve as a point of contact between the SEC’s TM and members of the public including crypto industry participants and domestic and international regulators.

The requirements for the role include a Juris Doctor (J.D.) or Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree, good standing with the American Bar Association while the size of the paycheck for the successful applicant falls between $144,850 to $238,787 per year.

Will SEC’s New Job Listing Solve the “Security” Saga?

Although some crypto enthusiasts are excited that the SEC’s new job listing may bring in a top official who has a sound knowledge of the new industry and potentially lead to the exemption of some ICOs from securities law, there are no certainties.

For one thing, the SEC mentioned that the recruit would have an expertise in “applying existing Federal securities law to matters regarding cryptocurrencies and digital securities.”

The requirement above could mean that the SEC wants the new official to continue the custom of applying securities law to digital assets or use that knowledge to form the basis of a new “comprehensive plan” for the industry.

Also, the fact that the SEC specified a two-year trial period at the job leaves open the opportunity that the regulators could nullify any attempts made by the new hire to favor the crypto industry.

Therefore, there are still numerous possibilities that the SEC’s job listing may or may not bring the changes the U.S crypto ecosystem needs.

We will, however, rely on the positive aspect which is that a new “comprehensive plan” is on the way and will potentially decide the future of the U.S crypto industry.

Would it bring an end to the numerous enforcement actions against ICOs in the last two years? Time will tell.

However, a “new comprehensive plan” would be in line with recommendations by former Washington D.C Rep George Nethercutt that cryptocurrencies should not come under securities law. It will also agree with more recent suggestions by Former CFTC Chair, Timothy Massad that either the SEC or CFTC is capable of regulating the local crypto ecosystem.


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