It appears as though the United States Securities Exchange Commission; (SEC) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) is turning a new leaf in regards to “financial technologies” such as cryptocurrency. While they are continuing to count digital assets as “major concerns” in 2020, they may not be scrutinizing compliance as strongly as they stated they would last year.
What is the OCIE?
The OCIE is the branch of the SEC that investigates illegal use of “securities,” both physical and digital. Last year they took the position, in regards to digital assets, of monitoring them for “regulatory compliance.” The department took a decidedly skeptical stance.
This year, however, it appears they are willing to be a bit more friendly towards cryptocurrencies, stating they will “identify and examine” cryptofirms, but pointedly leaving out any talk of penalizing.
Last year, the SEC was highly visible during ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), and this year, the SEC commissioner stated they would like to be more flexible with regulating crypto offerings.
This should really come as no surprise, considering the fact that there has been a lot more communication between US authorities (like the IRS) and cryptocompanies this past year. It seems they want to keep participation going, rather than isolating the companies.
Only time will tell if that trend is to continue.