The United States Securities and Exchange Commission launched today a new strategic hub to engage with companies and organizations that use blockchain, artificial intelligence, and digital asset technologies.
The Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub) aims to triage disparate areas of regulatory concern in order to better serve regulators and businesses.
According to an SEC press release, the FinHub will enable financial technology industries and the public to directly engage with regulators, publish information regarding industry updates, and serve as a premiere FinTech regulatory liaison to domestic and international organizations.
“The FinHub provides a central point of focus for our efforts to monitor and engage on innovators in the securities markets that hold promise, but which also require a flexible, prompt regulatory response to execute our mission,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in the press release.
The SEC’s Associate Director in the Division of Corporation Finance, Valerie A. Szczepanik, said SEC staff across the agency have long tried to learn and adapt to innovative financial technologies like blockchain. FinHub will not only be a platform for communication but also a place where industry leaders can test ideas and seek input, she added.
One such place will be the FinTech Forum planned for 2019, also announced today in the SEC’s press release. The forum will focus specifically on distributed ledger technology (DLT) and digital assets.
While some ICOs create legitimate investment opportunities for those interested, many are fraudulent, promise guaranteed returns, and fail to offer recourse for victims of hacking and market manipulation, the SEC states on its website.
For the public and startups, the FinHub will try to blunt the potential risks of ICOs by helping anyone understand the risks, regulations, and innovation of new financial technologies.