The financial inspectors of the SEC publish their top priorities at the beginning of every year in an effort to improve compliance, prevent fraud, monitor risk, and inform regulatory policy. This year, tacking fraud in the ICO and cryptocurrency markets takes center stage. Protecting Retail Investors In the program document, the regulators explain that: "The cryptocurrency and ICO markets have grown rapidly and present a number of risks for retail investors. Along with the growth of these products and markets, the number of broker-dealers and investment advisers engaged in this space continues to grow as well. We will continue to monitor the sale of these products, and where the products are securities, examine for regulatory compliance." Areas of focus will include, among other things, "Whether financial professionals maintain adequate controls and safeguards to protect these assets from theft or misappropriation, and whether financial professionals are providing investors with disclosure about the risks associated with these investments, including the risk of investment losses, liquidity risks, price volatility, and potential fraud."