Dan Berkovitz Joins the SEC as General Counsel

Longtime financial regulator Dan Berkovitz joins the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as general counsel. 

Berkovitz begins his new position as the SEC’s general counsel this November. Prior to his SEC appointment, he held a seat on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which he will leave. In addition, earlier in his career he was the derivatives regulator’s general counsel. 

This move replaces John Coates, according to a statement from the regulator. Coates served as one of the SEC’s top lawyers. 

Moreover, before his appointment as SEC chairman in April, Gary Gensler looked to Berkovitz for advice during the Obama Administration. 

During his time as a CFTC commissioner, Berkovitz revealed a crypto-skeptical stance. He raised concerns over the rapid development of the untamed world of DeFi, or decentralized finance. Similarly, Gensler made a targeted comment toward the DeFi space. He said despite its “wild west” character, it is not exempt from regulations.  

Crypto Crackdown

The addition of yet another crypto-skeptical official in the SEC could mean even more industry crackdowns in the near future. Already this year has proven challenging for the crypto industry in regards to regulations and lawmakers. 

Gary Gensler initially appeared as a crypto-forward choice as Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. However, as he moved into the role it was not the case. Gensler continues comments on the need for regulation and crackdowns in the industry. 

Earlier this month he said crypto platforms need regulations for survival. Prior to that statement, he also said crypto markets need regulation for fraud prevention. 

This past August the Senate passed a bipartisan tax bill with a broad definition of the term “broker”. If pushed through as is, it groups most actors in the crypto space in the same tax reporting bracket. Such wording would be a huge threat to innovation and mass activity in the space. 

After that bill passed through the Senate it landed in the House. House democrats then passed an unrelated provision, which closes a popular tax loophole among crypto investors. 

While these major regulations loom above the industry Gensler detailed a potential road map to wider industry regulations. However, major names in the crypto industry such as Coinbase, urge regulators to act with equality and innovation in mind. 

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