Bitcoin Exchanges and Crypto Assets to be One of Six Major Priorities for SEC’s OCIE in 2019


In a recent report unveiled by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Committee Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), they inform that digital asset exchanges are going to be one of the main priorities for 2019.

The report mentions that the crypto market has experienced rapid growth and that this may represent risks to retail investors. Indeed, we can see this in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) that were considered scams or other fraudulent companies that stole users’ funds.

Due to the ‘increasing risks’ that are present in this market, the OCIE will continue to monitor the offer and sale, trading and management of digital assets. In order to be sure that users are protected the OCIE will be examining the portfolio management of digital assets, trading, the safety of clients funds and assets, compliance and more.

The SEC usually highlights six areas that present the highest risk to the integrity of the capital markets in the United States. The intention is to improve cybersecurity, anti-money laundering rules and other priorities.

The report released by the SEC reads as follows:

“The financial markets, products and services offered, and innovation in advanced technology continue to grow at a rapid pace. Operations of registered entities have also grown more complex, diverse, and interconnected, becoming more dependent on linkages to other organizations located throughout the world.”

Examination Priorities for the SEC for 2019 are:

  • Matters of importance to retail investors, including seniors and those saving for retirement.
  • Compliance and risk in registrants responsible for critical market infrastructure.
  • Select areas and programs of FINRA and MSRB
  • Digital Assets
  • Cybersecurity
  • Anti-Money Laundering

The SEC has also been taking different measures during the last few months against Initial Coin Offerings. For example, it issued two enforcement actions against Paragon and Airfox, two ICOs accused of selling unregistered securities.

The U.S. regulatory agency is not the only one around the world that is regulating the crypto space. Nevertheless, the decisions taken by it are very important around the world and play an important role around the world.

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