The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is encountering difficulties in recruiting professionals with expertise in cryptocurrency, with a significant hindrance being its own policies, as revealed in a recent agency report.
The report titled “The Inspector General’s Statement on the SEC’s Management and Performance Challenges,” published in October and modified on November 2, points to the agency’s struggles in hiring specialists in the field of cryptocurrency assets.
According to SEC officials, the agency is contending with a limited pool of potential candidates and stiff competition from the private sector, making it challenging to secure experts in the crypto domain.
The SEC’s own regulations pose an additional obstacle, as they restrict some of its employees from owning cryptocurrency.
One section of the report explains that many well-qualified candidates hold crypto assets, and the Office of the Ethics Counsel has determined that this ownership would prohibit them from working on certain matters related to cryptocurrency.
As a result, candidates are often hesitant to divest their crypto assets to work for the SEC.
“… Many qualified candidates hold crypto assets, which the Office of the Ethics Counsel has determined would prohibit them from working on particular matters affecting or involving crypto assets … candidates are often unwilling to divest their crypto assets to work for the SEC.”
In response to these challenges, an SEC spokesperson downplayed the agency’s hiring issues.
Instead, they highlighted the SEC’s consistent hiring rate, relatively low attrition rates, and its reputation as a “best place to work in government.” They also underscored the agency’s accomplishments in rulemaking and addressing various challenges.
The SEC plays a pivotal role in regulating and enforcing cryptocurrency-related companies and products. Notably, the agency is currently involved in high-profile cases against two major cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance and Coinbase, along with other firms.
However, the SEC has experienced mixed outcomes in some of its cases. For instance, Ripple achieved a partial victory regarding the sale of the XRP token in July, while Grayscale secured the right to have its proposed GBTC conversion reviewed by the agency in August.
Despite these setbacks, the SEC has achieved numerous successes and swiftly resolved issues with several companies it targeted. The agency’s list of cryptocurrency-related actions comprises over 130 cases, the majority of which have arisen since 2018.