The Hustle

Cracking down on crypto crime, the SEC presses the Szczepanik button

You can call her Commander Crypto: To protect investors from crypto criminals, the SEC appointed Valerie Szczepanik as its first-ever digital currency specialist. You should probably learn to pronounce her name -- ‘Skuh-panic’ -- because you’ll be hearing it a...


June 6, 2018

You can call her Commander Crypto: To protect investors from crypto criminals, the SEC appointed Valerie Szczepanik as its first-ever digital currency specialist.

You should probably learn to pronounce her name — ‘Skuh-panic’ — because you’ll be hearing it a lot.

The sheriff that digital currency’s wild west needs

The only thing with more letters than Szczepanik’s last name is her CV: Including a JD from Georgetown, a BS in engineering from UPenn, and a half dozen leadership positions at the SEC.

But, to tackle a global cybercrime industry expected to hit $6T by 2021, she’s going to need to use every consonant she’s got.

She’s the right woman for the job… but that won’t make it easy

In the past few months, the SEC has made it clear that it wants to regulate digital currencies and exchanges — once it figures out how they work. 

Szczepanik will be in charge of that process — and on the front lines of the fight to control something that the SEC can hardly classify. 

But the the bull market for digital currencies will fight back against the SEC’s wrangling attempts. With more than $1.3B in venture capital (and another $4.5B raised in ICOs), the cryptocurrency is a well-funded opponent for Szczepanik and her team of crypto-wrangling crusaders.

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