SEC Sets Cryptocurrency as a Top ‘Examination’ Priority for 2019

Though security tokens are not cryptocurrencies, but we may expect some exciting news soon on this adjacent class of crypto assets, as the US SEC is likely to look to examine cryptocurrencies in 2019 and decide upon the legality of their use in the United States.

According to the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), this will be done with a view of protecting retail investors in the nascent asset class.

Among the market activities that the OCIE will monitor include the ‘offer and sale, trading, and management of digital assets’. In cases where the digital asset is classified as a security, the goal of the SEC’s compliance wing will be to ensure regulatory compliance.

Going forward, market participants in the digital asset space can expect a high level of scrutiny from the OCIE:
OCIE will take steps to identify market participants offering, selling, trading, and managing these products or considering or actively seeking to offer these products and then assess the extent of their activities.

For firms actively engaged in the digital asset market, OCIE will conduct examinations focused on, among other things, portfolio management of digital assets, trading, safety of client funds and assets, pricing of client portfolios, compliance, and internal controls.