According to a job posting dated March 29th 2019, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is searching for a candidate to fill the role of ‘crypto specialist attorney advisor’. The hired individual would work for the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets (TM) to create a plan for digit asset securities.
The SEC’s Search for a Crypto Specialist Attorney Explained
Per the posting, the hired candidate will have the task of establishing “a comprehensive plan to address crypto and digital asset securities”.
Performing such a task would require the development and maintenance of “expert-level industry knowledge of crypto and digital asset securities and products, as well as legal and policy developments occurring in domestic and foreign jurisdictions”.
In addition, the new hire would have to apply “knowledge of federal securities laws to digital asset securities and crypto matters, i.e., broker-dealer, exchange, clearing agency and transfer registrations, exchange product applications, sales and trading practices, etc.”
The new role is also set to include serving as the division’s lead representative in the SEC’s FinTech working group and as a liaison with the FSOC’s Digital Assets Working Group.
With a listed annual salary range of $144,850 – $238,787 applicants must fulfill special conditions to be considered for the position.
These include the earning of a Juris Doctor (J.D.) or Bachelor of Law (LL.B) degree, and being a member of the Federal Bar Association in good standing.
In addition, applicants must have four years of post J.D. experience as a practicing attorney, with a minimum of three years featuring the securities industry. In particular, applicants must demonstrate previous experience either interpreting or applying the laws governing the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Applicants are also asked to demonstrate that they have provided “guidance and expertise in the evaluation of legal and policy issues, addressing securities law issues that often lack clearly applicable precedents due to the novelty of the issues, analyzing the factual and legal issues involved.”
The SEC’s Increased Involvement in the Digital Asset Industry Explained
2018 featured more than $7 billion raised through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
ICOs were seen as a method of curtailing many of the regulatory requirements found in crowdfunding.
Now, ICOs are seen as a thing of the past. Recent analysis indicates ICO funding now raises 58 times less than it did at this time last year.
A primary reason for such a stark drop is due to increased involvement from regulatory authorities.
Despite the massive amounts of funding raised through ICOs, nearly 90% of investor funds have been lost, according to current market capitalizations. Governing bodies have stepped-in to protect harmed investors and bring regulations to an otherwise unregulated space.
The SEC for example has penalized ICOs, exchanges, investment advisors, and custody solutions.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has also taken recent action against violators of its laws in the digital asset space.
The resulting situation has been a diversion from the ICO, and a transition to the Security Token Offering (STO) instead.
Unlike ICOs, STOs abide by existing securities laws, and thereby prove their own compliance.
In October 2018, the SEC launched its own Fintech hub— called ‘Finhub’— with an aim of bringing increased clarity to those wishing to use blockchain technology to raise funds in a regulatory compliant manner.
For more on security tokens, be sure to review our comprehensive security token guide.
What do you think of the SEC hiring a ‘crypto specialist attorney advisor’? What will the regulatory landscape for digital assets look like one year from now? We’d like to know what you think in the comments section below.
Image courtesy of the SEC.