An independent agency of the United States federal government, responsible for enforcing federal securities laws, proposing securities rules, and regulating the securities industry, the nation's stock and options exchanges, and other related activities and organizations.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is an independent federal government regulatory agency that is responsible for protecting individuals and organizations against market manipulation. Its mission is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.
The SEC was founded by Congress in 1934, subsequent to the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Therefore, their main focus is on the protection of investors and their exchange assets. American households own more than 58% of the US equity market, through mutual funds, retirement accounts, and other investments, which makes the SEC’s role paramount.
As part of this mission, the SEC requires all market participants to regularly disclose detailed and up-to-date information that investors need to make confident and informed investment decisions. They provide up-to-date investor education and resources through their Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. The SEC protects investors by enforcing federal securities laws to hold wrongdoers accountable and prevent further misconduct.
The SEC is also responsible for helping companies raise capital in order for them to create jobs, develop innovative solutions to problems and provide financial investment opportunities. They are also tasked with maintaining orderly and efficient markets by keeping up with market developments and trends and in turn, adjusting and modernizing their expertise and regulations to keep up with the times.
The SEC, currently under the leadership of former MIT blockchain professor Gary Gensler, has had a rocky relationship with the crypto industry since the latter’s inception, with a string of high-profile prosecutions including Ripple Labs, John McAfee, Telegram and others.