The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has appointed Mellissa Campbell Duru as Deputy Director for Legal and Regulatory Policy, which could signal an intensification of the regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies. Duru, a seasoned lawyer who previously worked at Covington & Burling, co-authored a paper praising SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s “strong stance on cryptocurrencies” and called for lawmakers to reinforce the regulation of crypto firms. Gensler has been criticised by Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong as having an “anti-crypto view”. Coinbase is attempting to force the SEC to provide greater regulatory clarity, while Ripple is in a court battle with the regulator over whether its token XRP is a security. The result of this case could make virtual currencies subject to SEC regulations.