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U.S. SEC establishes new hub to engage with blockchain, crypto and ICO-related startups

Image: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Fri, 19 Oct 2018, 06:13 am UTC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a new strategic hub which will facilitate its engagement with innovators, developers, and entrepreneurs involved in financial technology (fintech).

The Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (or FinHub) will replace and build on the work of several internal working groups at the SEC in fintech-related areas such as distributed ledger technology (including digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs), digital marketplace financing, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and robo advisers.

The hub will essentially provide a portal for the industry and the public to engage directly with the SEC in these areas. It will facilitate engagement with the public through publications and events, including a FinTech Forum focusing on DLT and digital assets planned for 2019.

Importantly, the FinHub will act as a platform and clearinghouse for the SEC to acquire and disseminate information and fintech-related knowledge within the agency. It will also help publicize information regarding the agency’s fintech-related activities and initiatives.

It will also serve as a liaison to other domestic and international regulators regarding emerging technologies in financial, regulatory, and supervisory systems.

"The FinHub provides a central point of focus for our efforts to monitor and engage on innovations in the securities markets that hold promise, but which also require a flexible, prompt regulatory response to execute our mission,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.

FinHub will be led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation and Associate Director in the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance, and staffed by representatives from the SEC's divisions and offices who have expertise and involvement in FinTech-related issues.

"By launching FinHub, we hope to provide a clear path for entrepreneurs, developers, and their advisers to engage with SEC staff, seek input, and test ideas,” Szczepanik said.

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