On Friday, May 31, 2019, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hosted a forum (the FinTech Forum) to discuss financial technology developments, including blockchain and distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether.
The FinTech Forum was hosted by the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub), which was launched in 2018.1 FinHub was formed with the goal of serving as a resource for public engagement on financial technology developments, including not only blockchain and cryptocurrencies, but also automated investment advice, digital marketplace financing and artificial intelligence or machine learning. In addition, FinHub serves as a portal for the financial services industry to engage directly with SEC staff on these new financial technology developments through publications and events such as the FinTech Forum.
Although this was the first FinTech Forum hosted by the SEC since the launch of the FinHub group, the SEC did hold a similar forum in November 2016, addressing technology innovations in the financial services industry.2
This FinTech Forum featured a total of four panels as well as remarks by SEC leaders, including Chairman Jay Clayton, Commissioner Hester Peirce and Valerie Szczepanik, head of FinHub.3 The first panel focused on capital formation considerations, the second focused on trading and markets consideration, the third was on investment management considerations, and the fourth panel emphasized certain industry trends and use cases related to blockchain.
In addition to covering the panels in real time on Twitter (@SecuritiesAttys), we closely followed each panel with respect to how financial technology developments might impact the financial services industry. We noted the following key takeaways from each panel discussion.
Panel 1: Capital Formation Considerations
Panel 2: Trading and Markets Considerations
Panel 3: Investment Management Considerations
Panel 4: Distributed Ledger Technology Innovations: Industry Trends and Specific Use Cases for Financial Markets
1See SEC press release: SEC Launches New Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (Oct. 18, 2018), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2018-240.
2See SEC press release: SEC Announces Agenda, Panelists for Nov. 14 Fintech Forum (Nov. 3, 2016), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/pressrelease/2016-234.html.
3See SEC press release: SEC Staff Announces Agenda for May 31 FinTech Forum (Apr. 24, 2019), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2019-59.