SEC Launches FinHub – A New Portal for Innovation and Financial Technology

November 2, 2018

On October 18, 2018, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced its launch of a new “strategic hub for innovation and financial technology” called FinHub. See The SEC intends FinHub to be a “resource for public engagement on the SEC’s FinTech-related issues and initiatives, such as distributed ledger technology (including digital assets), automated investment advice, digital market financing and artificial intelligence/machine learning.”

The SEC states that FinHub will:

  • provide a portal for industry and the public to engage directly with the 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.

Valerie Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation and Associate Director in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance will lead FinHub and be supported by a staff with FinTech experience from various divisions. Her appointment and the creation of FinHub demonstrates the SEC’s intent to centralize activity regarding the application of US securities laws to emerging digital products and technologies across all divisions of the SEC.

Although FinHub may offer useful information such as the SEC’s views on compliance, registration and disclosure issues related to coin offerings for instance, clients should be aware that it also includes a detailed request form that enables users to request a meeting or other assistance and submit related documents and data. Clients should be careful when directly engaging with the SEC or any regulator and should note that the SEC has not indicated that any FinHub feedback would be binding and equivalent to a no action letter from the SEC.

Should you have any questions regarding these developments, please contact a member of our Blockchain & Cryptocurrency team.