The US SEC has made a negative impression on the public as several crypto experts have turned down offers to work with the regulator.
Crypto Vacancies at the US SEC Remain Unfilled
Markedly, the U.S. SEC currently has some Crypto Assets Specialist vacant positions in its office but it has needed some help in filling these vacancies.
According to the “2023 SEC OIG Management and Performance Challenges” report, as of September 30, 2023, a total of 491 out of the 5,303 authorized positions in the SEC’s office were yet to be filled. Unsurprisingly, this has been a trend with the regulator in the last four years as the vacancy rate has continually increased.
Following the discovery of some gaps in the regulation of crypto activities in the U.S., as reported by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), filling these current openings at the SEC are now part of the regulator’s plans for the next fiscal year.
The core offices of interest to the SEC are the Division of Examination, Trading and Markets, and Enforcement. The U.S. SEC wishes to fill these positions to address critical and evolving risks associated with crypto assets. Also, the Office of the General Counsel and the Office of International Affairs are looking to recruit experts whose focus will be mainly on crypto regulations and policy matters.
SEC Asking for the Unbelievable
Several theories have been promulgated as the reasons behind the high rate of staff resignation at the SEC.
Some of the SEC officials believe that staff shortage which leads to an increase in workload, is a reason for staff exit. The regulator cited a small pool of qualified experts and steep competition with the private sector as some of the challenges it faces when trying to fill up crypto-related positions.
There is also the problem of asking qualified candidates to do away with their crypto holdings before taking up a position with the commission. Unfortunately, this prohibition puts the agency at a disadvantage in getting skilled hands to handle its crypto-related regulation.
This need is important to ease out the friction between the crypto industry and the regulators as the commission is constantly called out for its governance style, a trend that might be attributed to shortage of staff.
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