SEC Crypto Enforcement Leader Departs After Nearly A Decade Of Service

A ‘Strong SEC’ Has Crypto Industry Players Running Scared, US Sen. Warren Says

A senior U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission crypto oversight unit member has bid farewell to the commission after serving for nine years.

On June 17, David Hirsch, the head of the Crypto Asset and Cyber unit in the U.S. SEC’s Division of Enforcement, announced on LinkedIn that he was leaving his post.

Hirsch Quits

“This past Friday was my last day with the SEC after almost nine years,” wrote Hirsch on LinkedIn. “I’m particularly proud of the historic work done by the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit team I had the privilege to lead.”

Hirsch started leading the SEC’s crypto asset and cyber unit in the Division of Enforcement in October 2022, as the cryptocurrency industry reeled from several spectacular implosions, which eventually culminated in the blow-up of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange in late 2022.

He said in his post that during his time working at the SEC, “he had the opportunity to work on more complex, challenging investigations and issues than I ever imagined when I joined the agency as a staff attorney in the Fort Worth Regional Office.”

Hirsch then indicated he was “very excited for the next set of challenges,” but did not specify where he was going next. He said he would reveal more details after a break and traveling with his family.

Securities Enforcement Is A “Team Sport”

During his tenure, the Securities and Exchange Commission aggressively chased down crypto players in the wake of FTX’s downfall, lodging crypto enforcement actions against companies behind other billion-dollar failures like Terraform Labs, as well as a handful of exchanges, including Kraken, Binance, and Coinbase for allegedly breaking federal securities laws.

“I’m particularly proud of the historic work done by the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit team [that] I had the privilege to lead,” Hirsch postulated.

He went on to note that “securities enforcement is a team sport”, which proved true during his tenure. He thanked his colleagues for their efforts toward the same goal:

“I am deeply indebted to too many mentors, leaders, colleagues, and friends to name here. And that includes amazing partners across state, federal, and international regulators and law enforcement.”

Hirsch’s exit comes amid increasing attention toward crypto in U.S. elections. Crypto has gained steam as a key factor that could sway voters, with some market participants seeing the chance of pro-crypto Donald Trump trouncing incumbent Joe Biden. Notably, political pressure was cited by analysts as a key reason why spot ether (ETH) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were suddenly greenlighted in May.

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