Despite the recent downswing in cryptocurrency markets, investor interest has not waned. An increasing number of investment funds is emerging that focus on cryptocurrencies including tokens from Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs. Indeed, some have even projected that the number of crypto-focused hedge funds—currently around 150—will double or triple within the next year. Anyone who is involved or plans to become involved with operating, managing, or marketing such crypto-funds must remain vigilant, as the Securities and Exchange Commission’s interest in cryptocurrency and crypto-funds has also increased.

On February 7, 2018, the SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) announced its 2018 National Exam Program Examination Priorities includes, for the first time, cryptocurrency, ICOs, blockchain, and related secondary market trading. Per the OCIE:

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