SEC appoints new Head of Cryptocurrencies

By Pouyan Broukhim

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it has appointed Valerie Szczepanik in its newly created Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation position.

In the new role, Szczepanik will be responsible for overseeing the SEC’s efforts in regard to US securities laws surrounding emerging digital asset technologies, including new cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

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“With her demonstrated skill, experience, and keen awareness of the importance of fostering innovation while ensuring investor protection, Val is the right person to coordinate our efforts in this dynamic area that has both promise and risk,” said Chairman of the SEC, Jay Clayton.

In addition, Szczepanik has been named as Associate Director in Division of Corporate Finance, taking on both positions simultaneously within the SEC.

“Valerie recognized early on the securities law implications of developments like blockchain and distributed ledger technologies,” said Division Director Bill Hinman. “I am excited to have her join me and the Division’s staff as the SEC continues to collaborate with retail investors, issuers and other market participants, in this important and rapidly evolving area.” 

Szczepanik joined the SEC in 1997, currently working as the Head of the administration’s Distributed Ledger Technology Working Group, co-Head of its Dark Web Working Group and a member of its FinTech Working Group.

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