The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has appointed Valerie A. Szczepanik to a position which effectively puts her in charge of all matters related to cryptocurrency at one of the most important financial regulators in the world.
In a press release from June 4, the SEC gave Szczepanik the official title of “Associate Director of the Division of Corporation Finance and Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation for Division Director Bill Hinman.”
Some of the responsibilities for this “newly created advisory position” include coordinating efforts “across all SEC Divisions and Offices” in applying US securities law to “digital asset technology and innovation,” including cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Szczepanik, who has worked with the SEC since 1997, brings years of relevant experience to her new role. She formerly held the position of Assistant Director of the Division of Enforcement’s Cyber Unit and is the head of the SEC’s Distributed Ledger Technology Working Group, co-head of its Dark Web Working Group, and a member of its FinTech Working Group.
Regulators in the US and Canada have increased their scrutiny of ICO projects conducted in 2018, stepping up investigative efforts to detect and halt fraudulent projects. A far-reaching operation aimed at fraudulent ICOs and crypto projects, dubbed “Cryptosweep”, was announced on May 21 by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).