The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub), a new division with the goal of making it simpler for fintech and blockchain startups to navigate the legal implications of their products.
According to the announcement on Thursday, October 18, FinHub will act as a central point for the securities regulator to interact with entrepreneurs and developers in the financial technology world, in particular with groups focusing on distributed ledger technology (DLT), automated investment advice, digital marketplace financing and artificial intelligence. Those will also include startups launching initial coin offerings (ICOs).
SEC launches new strategic hub for innovation and financial technology https://t.co/nnFrQpo1Gh
— SEC_News (@SEC_News) 18 October 2018
The new division will publicize information produced by the SEC, as well as let innovators ask questions or clarify regulations. It will also collaborate with other regulators, both domestic and international, on work that involves emerging technologies. Additionally, FinHub will host a FinTech Forum focused specifically on DLT and digital assets next year.
FinHub will be run by the SEC’s senior advisor for digital assets and innovation, Valerie Szczepanik, and be staffed by SEC officials who have previously worked on fintech-related issues, according to the agency.
Szczepanik, who is also the associate director in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, said:
“SEC staff across the agency have been engaged for some time in efforts to understand emerging technologies, communicate the agency’s stance on new issues, and facilitate beneficial innovations in the securities industry.”
She added, that by launching FinHub, the SEC hopes “to provide a clear path for entrepreneurs, developers and their advisers to engage with SEC staff, seek input and test ideas.”
SEC chairman Jay Clayton noted in a statement that the agency is looking to work with investors and other market participants on issues such as capital formation and financial services, while also maintaining investor protection.
“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,” he said.