US SEC Launches ‘Strategic Hub’ to Address DLT and Digital Assets Issues

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched the agency’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub), according to an official announcement publishedOct. 18.

The FinHub will be run by Valerie A. Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation and Associate Director in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. The hub aims to facilitate the SEC’s engagement in the fintech-related fields, including, among others, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and digital assets. It will also take over some of the tasks of existing working groups focused on similar issues.

Per the statement, FinHub’s main objectives are to provide a portal for industry and the public to engage directly with SEC staff, promote information regarding the SEC’s activities, and serve as a liaison to other domestic and international regulators in the fintech field. The hub also plans to run a FinTech Forum, addressing DLT and digital assets in 2019.

Szczepanik said that “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.” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton stated:

“The SEC is committed to working with investors and market participants on new approaches to capital formation, market structure, and financial services, with an eye toward enhancing, and in no way reducing, 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.”

Following innovative developments in the fintech field, other financial watchdogs around the world have also restructured in order to more effectively regulate and monitor DLT and the cryptocurrency industry. In July, Japan overhauled its financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA). The new Strategy Development and Management Bureau, which replaced the Inspection Bureau, will develop a financial strategy policy and handle issues addressing the digital currencies market, fintech, and money laundering. Additionally, the bureau is responsible for administrative duties and inspection of financial institutions.

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