The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has found itself in a challenging position when it comes to recruiting experts in the field of cryptocurrency. This problem, as outlined in a recent agency document titled “The Inspector General’s Statement on the SEC’s Management and Performance Challenges,” can be attributed in part to the SEC’s own policies. The document, originally published in October and modified on November 2, sheds light on the struggles the agency is facing in hiring crypto asset specialists.
According to the document, the SEC is experiencing difficulties due to a small candidate pool and fierce competition from the private sector. These factors limit the agency’s ability to attract and hire individuals with expertise in the realm of cryptocurrencies. Interestingly enough, the SEC’s own policies further compound this issue, as they restrict certain employees from owning crypto. As a result, prospective candidates are deterred from pursuing employment with the agency. The document states, “… 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.”
However, not everyone agrees with the notion that the SEC is struggling to attract talent due to these circumstances. In a separate report from Fortune, an SEC spokesperson downplays the agency’s hiring challenges. Instead, the representative emphasizes the SEC’s consistent recruitment efforts, relatively low attrition rates, and its recognition as a “best place to work in government.” Additionally, the spokesperson highlights the agency’s achievements in terms of rulemaking and tackling obstacles.
It is crucial to note that the SEC plays a central role in the regulation and enforcement of cryptocurrency companies and products. Currently, the agency is engaged in high-profile cases against major crypto exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase, among others. However, not all rulings have favored the SEC. For instance, in July, Ripple secured a partial victory regarding the sales of the XRP token. In another instance, Grayscale was granted the right to have its proposed GBTC conversion reviewed by the agency in August. Despite these setbacks, the SEC has also achieved numerous victories and swiftly reached settlements with several targeted firms. In fact, the agency’s extensive list of crypto-related actions includes over 130 instances spanning from 2018 to the present.
The SEC undeniably faces challenges in recruiting cryptocurrency experts. The agency’s own policies, coupled with limited candidate availability and fierce competition from the private sector, contribute to this issue. However, there are differing opinions regarding the extent of these hiring difficulties, with some highlighting the SEC’s successful recruitment efforts and notable achievements. Regardless, the SEC’s involvement in regulating the cryptocurrency industry remains integral and its ability to attract qualified talent in this field will continue to be of paramount importance.