Category Archives: Division of Corporation Finance’s Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation

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SEC FinHub Now Monitors Blockchain Innovation and Offers Advice

The new SEC FinHub is suggesting that investors can now use a new form on their site to request meetings and other information regarding advice regarding compliance with current regulations.

FinHub is the go-to site for US Securities and Exchange Commission ICO Advisory Board inquiries regarding fintech. According to the SEC, the form will enable new companies and startups to gain access to all the necessary information required to tailor their activities to legal guidelines. The new form states, “We welcome requests for meetings and other assistance relating to FinTech issues arising under the federal securities laws.”

The SEC’s FinHub is overseen by the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance’s Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation Associate Director, Valerie A. Szczepanik. It was designed to provide an online forum for crypto and DLT and is staffed with crypto and blockchain savvy SEC professionals. In a statement recently put out by the Finhub, the SEC claimed that:

“SEC staff across the agency have been engaged for some time in efforts to understand emerging technologies, communicate the agency’s stance on new issues, and facilitate beneficial innovations in the securities industry…”

The SEC has suggested that by launching FinHub they offered a “clear path” to investors, entrepreneurs and developers to encouraging them to engage with the regulatory body and “test ideas,” and seek advice, adding:

“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 executing our mission.”

In another recent “educational” move, one that irritated many industry players, the SEC launched a fake website called Howeycoins which replicated an ICO, with a “buy now” link redirecting investors to an educational programme outlining in some details, the pitfalls of crypto investment. Information provided on the website looked much like that supplied during a genuine ICO, complete with white paper, statements such as “We anticipate OVER 1% daily returns, with DOUBLE 2% returns on Tier 1 investors in pre-ICO stage secured purchases.”

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton justified that particular “educative exercise” as one designed to support the uninitiated crypto investor, stating:

“We embrace new technologies, but we also want investors to see what fraud looks like, so we built this educational site with many of the classic warning signs of fraud… I encourage investors to do their diligence and ask questions,”

Visitors to the SEC FinHub’s latest form are only allowed one request, which should be regarding information related to financial technology, including ICOs and cryptocurrencies. They are also able to request a face to face meeting with a top SEC researcher to gain advice.

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