Digital assets have been included on the list of priorities set by the Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Examinations for 2021.
It will work to ensure that market participants act in investors' best interest and comply with the agency's rules:
Examinations of market participants engaged with digital assets will continue to assess the following: whether investments are in the best interests of investors; portfolio management and trading practices; safety of client funds and assets; pricing and valuation; effectiveness of compliance programs and controls; and supervision of representatives' outside business activities.
The list of this year's priorities also includes focusing on fiduciary duty compliance as well as batting climate change and money laundering.
The changing of the guard
Last week, the division published a risk alert on digital asset-related activities, particularly highlighting forks and airdrops.
As reported by U.Today, President Joe Biden's SEC chair nominee, Gary Gensler, described cryptocurrencies as a "catalyst for change" during his Tuesday confirmation hearing, but he also mentioned that it was important to protect investors, balancing between fostering innovation and enforcing rules.
Gensler—who has taught a class at MIT on blockchain and crypto—is expected to bring positive changes to the industry, such as finally approving a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).