According to a new listing posted on the government employment portal USAJobs, it has been confirmed that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has a job opening for a Cryptocurrency Specialist Attorney who will join its Division of Trading and Markets (TM).
Duties and Requirements
The job listing state that if hired, the professional will be compelled to collaborate with TM staff, as well as other members of the SEC’s various divisions and offices, to establish “a comprehensive plan to address crypto and digital asset securities.”
The candidate, if successful would serve as the lead representative of the division in the SEC’s FinTech Working Group, as well as a link with the Digital Assets Working Group of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC).
To be considered for this role, the agency requires a candidate with deep-rooted knowledge about cryptocurrencies and the securities industry as a whole. This skill is mandatory for the attorney, to effectively serve as a liaison between the agency and a host of other domestic and international regulators, market players, and members of the general public.
The hire will additionally be tasked with holding periodic meetings with TM and other staff members of the agency to create an open communication channel, foster a clear understanding of core crypto issues, and also keep the agency in the loop regarding crypto developments, as it happens.
High-level job listings like this with a salary range of about $145,000 to $240,000 for a full-time role (starting with a two-year contract) often require candidates to fulfill specific criteria to be eligible for consideration.
These criteria include the possession of a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) or Juris Doctor (J.D) degree, as well as being an active and good standing member of the Federal Bar Association. Every applicant is also required to show evidence of at least four years of post-J.D. work experience as a practicing attorney. At least three of those years must have been in applying and interpreting laws related to the securities industry, the listing notes.
Application for the position would close on April 12, but beyond the recruitment, the posting shows how much the U.S. financial watchdog wants to provide regulatory clarity for the cryptocurrency industry in the United States.
Can New Hires bring changes to the SEC?
Last year, the agency tapped Valerie Szczepanik- known fondly as the “Crypto Czar”- to fill the role of senior advisor for innovation and digital assets, as well as an Associate Director of the Division of Corporation Finance. Amongst other things, Szczepanik is responsible for directing “efforts across all SEC Divisions and Offices regarding the application of U.S. securities laws to emerging digital asset technologies and innovations, including initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencies.”
While the appointment of the Crypto Czar was met with massive applause(from crypto enthusiasts who believed her appointment would end with the agency finally pushing out favorable crypto regulations), the agency has still not moved an inch closer to developing blockchain and crypto regulation than it was a few years ago.
For Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF), there seems to be a little optimism. Bitcoin ETF proposals from firms such as Direxion, ProShares, GraniteShares, and the Winklevoss-owned Gemini Trust have all been rejected by the agency, because they were unable to provide sufficient measures that offer investor and fund protection.
However, there is still hope on the horizon for ETF providers, as two separate ETFs—one from VanEck, and the other from Bitwise Asset Management are currently in the review process. This, as well as the new job listing, seems to suggest that the financial regulator is finally ready to adopt a defined stance on the operation of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the country.