In a move that some would consider long overdue the SEC has posted a job opening for a “crypto specialist attorney advisor.” This seems like a step in the right direction for an agency which has been dragging its feet when it comes to regulation.
While other countries like Thailand, France & Malta have passed regulations governing cryptos and ICOs, the United States has yet to lay out a comprehensive framework for how cryptocurrencies will be regulated. Hopefully that process will be sped up with the hiring of this new advisor.
Crypto Specialist Job Description
According to the SEC’s job posting, the foremost responsibility of the crypto specialist will be, “coordinating with TM [Division of Trading and Markets] staff to establish a comprehensive plan to address crypto and digital asset securities and engaging with other Divisions and Offices on such matters.”
Hopefully this work will lead to clear regulations on which coins will be considered securities. While the SEC has stated that Bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities, and most ICOs are securities, there is still no definitive guide and there is a lot of uncertainty in the market. For instance, in the seemingly never ending debate about whether XRP, the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap, is or isn’t a security.
A further job requirement for the candidate will be, “developing and maintaining expert-level industry knowledge of crypto and digital asset securities and products.” Which all points towards the SEC creating a definitive guide for cryptocurrency security regulations.
Passing the Bitcoin ETF
One possible consequence of this new position is the Bitcoin ETF finally getting passed. The SEC is famous for delaying and eventually rejecting every Bitcoin ETF application it receives. However, the decisions are not unanimous. “Crypto mom” SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has gone on record with her dissent against the ETF rejection and the belief that it should be approved.
Assuming that the crypto specialist will also approve of a Bitcoin ETF, or at least be openminded towards it, this may be the push that’s needed to finally get it passed.
The job description includes the following requirement, “applying 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.” All of which would lead to the conclusion that the applicant will be involved with ETF applications submitted to the SEC.
It will be interesting to see who the SEC hires, what their position on cryptocurrency is and whether they will fight for healthy regulations that will enable growth in the crypto ecosystem.