SEC Appoints Former National Press Secretary Amid Growing Crypto Skepticism

Picture Source: BeInCrypto

The cryptocurrency industry is in need of allies in influential positions, but the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) appears to be doubling down on its crypto-skeptic stance. In a recent announcement, the SEC revealed the appointment of Stephanie Allen, former national press secretary for Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.), as its new Director of Media Relations and Speechwriting. While this may seem like a routine personnel change, it has raised eyebrows within the cryptocurrency community due to Allen’s prior roles and connections, signaling potential implications for the SEC’s stance on digital assets.

Stephanie Allen’s Background:

Stephanie Allen assumed her role as Director of Media Relations and Speechwriting at the SEC on October 1, although the announcement was made later. Her relationship with the SEC Chair, Gary Gensler, goes back to her appointment as Director of Speechwriting and Senior Adviser to Gensler in March 2023. Notably, both Allen and Gensler previously worked together at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), where Allen served from July 2011 to March 2014.

In addition to her regulatory experience, Allen was a panel member supporting Gensler at a conference on “Artificial Intelligence and Finance.” Her professional history also includes roles such as Executive Director of the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity and Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing at IBM-affiliated Promontory Financial Group.

Crypto Regulation Implications:

One key aspect of Allen’s background that has raised concerns in the cryptocurrency community is her prior role as the national press secretary for Senator Bob Casey. Senator Casey, along with other lawmakers, signed a letter addressed to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in August 2023. The letter emphasized the need for stringent reporting requirements to combat alleged tax evasion within the cryptocurrency ecosystem, citing it as a significant contributor to a perceived $1 trillion tax gap in the United States.

The fact that Allen served as the national press secretary for a senator advocating for stricter crypto regulation has led some to question whether her appointment signals a continuation of the SEC’s robust regulatory approach under Chair Gary Gensler. Gensler himself has been vocal about the need for increased oversight and regulation of the cryptocurrency space, referring to it as a field rife with fraud, rife with hucksters.

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Stephanie Allen’s appointment to a key position within the SEC, along with her history of collaboration with SEC Chair Gary Gensler and association with Senator Bob Casey, has sparked concerns that the SEC’s regulatory stance on cryptocurrencies may remain stringent. While the cryptocurrency industry is in search of advocates in influential positions, this development suggests that the SEC’s skepticism towards digital assets is unlikely to wane in the near future, potentially leading to further regulatory challenges for the crypto sector.

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