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SEC Engages Blockchain Startups and Developers

3 mins
Updated by Adam James

In Brief

  • It's cuffing season, and the SEC wants to cozy up and get to know the blockchain a little better.
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Recently, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched its new web portal meant to open channels of communication and cooperation between the independent federal regulatory agency and companies using blockchain technology.

Taking Things to the Next Level

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) — depending on who you ask — is either a friend or foe to the adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. In a move today that seems mutually beneficial, the SEC launched a brand new “Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology” — which it has fittingly dubbed “FinHub.” FinHub is meant to be a means of opening a more direct line of communication between the SEC and companies in the blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) sectors, from startups to veterans. According to Forbes, the FinHub site will be led by the senior advisor for digital assets and innovation and associate director in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Valerie A. Szczepanik. SEC

Press Here for Engagement

The main feature on the FinHub site is a rectangular blue button in the center of the screen that reads ‘ENGAGE WITH FINHUB.’ Clicking this button brings the user to a digital form that can be filled out in order to request assistance from, or even a meeting with, the SEC in regards to topics like digital assets, digital asset trading platforms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, among others. This strategy aims to allow the SEC and emerging blockchain companies to work more in harmony with one other. The SEC and blockchain companies have had a rocky history. Even to this day, have many issues and kinks to work out. FinHub seems to be the next step for the agency to educate itself on what exactly blockchain companies do, and hopefully realize how truly beneficial this technology could be. All of this information should prove useful in the SEC hopefully making common-sense, practical regulations and judgments further down the road. SEC

A Storied Past

Cryptocurrencies and the blockchains that govern them have shown up on the SEC’s radar in a major way this past year. This was mostly due to the large-scale cryptocurrency buying frenzy at the end of last November that caused the price of Bitcoin to skyrocket from $5,900 to $20,000. Suddenly, companies using Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) as a business model were popping up every week by the tens and hundreds — and not all of them had the best intents. Many of these fraudulent companies took full advantage of the emerging technology, market fervor, and the fact that most investors didn’t even fully understand what they were putting their money into. Because of this, the SEC had to step in, investigate, and, in turn, had investors on eggshells awaiting a decision by the commission to label cryptocurrency as a utility or security. In June of this year, the SEC finally made their decision, ruling (most) cryptocurrencies to not be securities. The commission’s next major decision will be whether or not to allow the first series of Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). The SEC, at the time of writing this article, has already postponed the ETF decision twice while the final decision date still remains unclear. What do you think about the new SEC FinHub? Do you think this will be a positive resource for blockchain and AI companies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


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