SEC Crypto Chief Hirsch Resigns After Nearly a Decade

by BSC News

June 17, 2024


Hirsch played a key role in enforcing regulations against cryptocurrency exchanges and decentralized finance (DeFi) projects.

David Hirsch, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Crypto Asset and Cyber Unit, has resigned after nearly nine years with the agency. Starting as a staff attorney, Hirsch climbed the ranks to lead one of the most critical units within the SEC. 

His tenure saw significant developments and challenges in the area of cryptocurrency enforcement.

Reflecting on His Tenure

On June 17, Hirsch took to LinkedIn to announce his departure. 


"This past Friday was my last day with the SEC after almost 9 years, Hirsch wrote. “During that time I 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 began his role as the chief of the Crypto Asset and Cyber Unit in October 2022, having served as an enforcement attorney since 2015.


During his nearly nine years at the SEC, Hirsch became known for his rigorous enforcement actions against cryptocurrency exchanges and decentralized finance (DeFi) projects. He played a pivotal role in shaping the SEC's approach to crypto regulation, often finding himself at the center of high-stakes legal battles. 


Hirsch acknowledged the heavy litigation load that the SEC faces, noting, “The agency can't go after everything, but it isn't done chasing down those it sees as violating securities laws.”


One of his most significant contributions was leading the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit. Under his leadership, the unit pursued numerous high-profile cases, setting precedents and enforcing compliance in an often contentious and rapidly evolving industry. 


"I'm particularly proud of the historic work done by the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit team I had the privilege to lead," Hirsch said.

Future Plans

While Hirsch did not provide specific details about his next career move, he mentioned taking a break before sharing his plans. Reflecting on his departure, he stated:


"It's difficult to leave the agency which has given me so much, but I'm excited for the next set of challenges that may come my way."

Hirsch expressed gratitude to his colleagues for their shared commitment to upholding the law and protecting investors.

SEC's Pivotal Role in Crypto

As Hirsch exits, the SEC remains a critical player in the cryptocurrency landscape, especially with the increasing politicization of crypto issues in the U.S. ahead of the presidential elections. 


The agency has faced mounting pressure from lawmakers and industry stakeholders. Recently, there have been calls for the SEC to approve spot Ethereum exchange-traded funds. 


Meanwhile, Gary Gensler, the SEC Chair, continues to be a polarizing figure within the crypto community, known for his stringent regulatory stance.


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