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Will crypto regulation change after the SEC’s head of the crypto left?

will-crypto-regulation-change-after-the-secs-head-of-the-crypto-left
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Follow-up
Will crypto regulation change after the SEC’s head of the crypto left?

David Hirsh, the former head of the Cryptocurrency and Network Division at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, has left his position.

In his LinkedIn post, he called securities trading a “team sport.” He thanked his SEC colleagues for their cooperation and joint efforts to achieve a common goal.

“As I often say, securities enforcement is a team sport, and that was certainly true throughout my tenure. Every success I was a part of was the direct result of collaboration and combined efforts towards a common goal. Thanks to all of you!”

David Hirsh, the former head of the Cryptocurrency and Network Division at the SEC

He did not specify the details of further employment. However, he wrote that he would take a break and travel with his family.

Nine years in the SEC

Hirsch was an advisor to SEC Commissioner Caroline Crenshaw and has worked on issues related to law enforcement, digital assets, and cybersecurity.

Throughout his SEC career, he has provided training on issues related to digital assets and cybersecurity, including to fellow regulators and law enforcement officials.

Hirsch worked for the SEC for about nine years in total. He joined the organization as a staff lawyer but subsequently headed the department dealing with crypto exchanges and decentralized finance (defi) projects.

New role or rumors?

The meme coin project Pump.Fun wrote that Hirsch is joining the project as Head of Trading. The team noted that David had concluded that his job as a regulator was no longer fulfilling and that he had to start a new chapter.

Pump.Fun also noted that David has allegedly launched over 100 coins himself and will now be in charge of Pump.Fun’s new internal trading department will be responsible for launching over 1,000 coins per day. However, Hirsch later denied this statement.

The role of Hirsch and the SEC in crypto regulation

Hirsch took charge of the division in October 2022, when the crypto market was in its worst position in recent years. During that period, several large crypto companies went bankrupt at once, and the culmination of the crisis was the collapse of the large FTX exchange, which reduced the coin industry to local minimums during the latest bearish trend.

While Hirsch served as head of the department, the SEC began an aggressive law enforcement campaign against several companies in the industry. Kraken, Coinbase, Binance, Ripple, and many other blockchain industry giants came under pressure.

The lawsuits against Coinbase and Binance, filed separately within days, have led to lengthy legal battles. Kraken reached a settlement agreement with the Commission after paying a $30 million fine.

What’s next for cryptocurrency in the U.S.?

Hirsch’s departure rids the industry of a significant figure who has openly advocated for strict cryptocurrency regulation. However, the question of who will lead the cryptocurrency industry after Hirsh leaves remains open.

The upcoming presidential elections in America in the fall may play a significant role in this process, and the country’s new leader will largely determine the SEC’s policy for the years to come. A survey commissioned by Grayscale showed that Americans have become more actively interested in cryptocurrencies ahead of the U.S. presidential election — 53% of respondents are ready to vote for a candidate who understands cryptocurrencies.

Will crypto regulation change after the SEC's head of the crypto left? - 1
Source: Grayscale

Now, the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is trying its best to earn the loyalty of voters who own digital assets. Several recent initiatives, including adopting spot Ethereum ETFs, signal this.

Biden’s primary opponent, former President Donald Trump, previously called himself the “crypto president” and promised to do many good things for the industry if elected. He also vowed to end the war on crypto that Biden started and make every effort to ensure the future of Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies in America.

However, Gary Gensler, who likes to call all cryptocurrencies except for BTC, still holds the post of SEC Chairman. Perhaps, it will be possible to achieve an improvement in what is happening after the American elections.