David Hirsch, the head of the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has announced his departure from his position after nearly nine years. In a heartfelt post on LinkedIn, Hirsch reflected on his tenure at the SEC, highlighting the complexity and significance of the investigations he was involved in.

“During my time at the SEC, I had the chance to tackle more complex and challenging investigations than I ever imagined when I started as a staff attorney at the Fort Worth Regional Office. I am especially proud of the groundbreaking work accomplished by the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit team, which I was fortunate to lead,” Hirsch shared.

Throughout his career with the SEC, Hirsch became known for taking on major crypto companies such as Binance, Coinbase, and Ripple. Under his leadership, the SEC extended its regulatory reach into decentralized finance (DeFi), asserting that the term “DeFi” would not exempt these entities from regulatory scrutiny. Hirsch’s efforts in this area demonstrated the SEC’s commitment to adapting to the evolving landscape of financial technology.

In a notable recent development, the SEC agreed to reduce the proposed settlement amount for Ripple from $2 billion to $102.6 million, according to reports by Crypto Briefing. This move highlighted the ongoing negotiations and legal battles within the crypto space, in which Hirsch played a crucial role.

Despite his departure announcement, Hirsch did not disclose his next career move. He expressed mixed emotions about leaving the SEC, an organization he deeply valued, but also excitement about future opportunities. “While it is hard to leave an agency that has given me so much, I am very excited for the next set of challenges. I look forward to sharing more about that soon, but for now I’m excited for a break and travel with my family before my son heads to college in the fall,” he wrote.

Hirsch’s departure marks the end of an era of significant enforcement and regulatory expansion in the crypto sector. His work has left a lasting impact on the industry, setting precedents and shaping the SEC’s approach to digital assets and cybersecurity. As the crypto landscape continues to evolve, Hirsch’s contributions will likely be remembered as foundational to the regulatory framework that governs the industry today.

The SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, under Hirsch’s guidance, has navigated the complexities of an emerging financial frontier, striving to protect investors and maintain market integrity. His leadership and dedication have paved the way for future regulatory efforts in this rapidly changing sector. As Hirsch steps away from his role, the industry keenly watches what his next move will be, anticipating the continued influence he may wield in the world of digital finance and beyond.