-Submitted by Tim Spiel
On October 18, 2018, the SEC issued a press release announcing the formation and launch of the commission's Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub). FinHub will be headed by Valerie Szczepanik, Associate Director in the Division of Corporation Finance and Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation. FinHub's purpose is to serve as a resource for public engagement in the areas of Financial Technology and Innovation. FinHub will replace and further build on the work of several internal working groups previously established to focus on such matters in one centralized group with a dedicated website presence. Examples of current issues in this arena include distributed ledger technology/blockchain, digital marketplace financing (especially related to digital assets such as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and digital tokens), an automated algorithm based investment advice, and artificial intelligence/machine learning.
According to the press release, FinHub will:
● Provide a portal for industry and the public to engage directly with SEC staff on innovative ideas and technological developments;
● Publicize information regarding the SEC's activities and initiatives involving FinTech on the FinHub page;
● Engage with the public through publications and events, including a FinTech Forum focusing on distributed ledger technology and digital assets planned for 2019;
● Act as a platform and clearinghouse for SEC staff to acquire and disseminate information and FinTech-related knowledge within the agency; and
● Serve as a liaison to other domestic and international regulators regarding emerging technologies in financial, regulatory, and supervisory systems.
With the SEC's recent focus on emerging technologies and the regulatory application of securities laws to such technology, it makes sense to create a centralized forum to collect information and invite public comment on such matters.
Fortis Law Partners LLC has experience representing clients in connection with the application of federal and state securities laws to financing activities as well as public company reporting obligations. Please contact us for your securities law, financing, and reporting obligation needs.