On October 18, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), announced the launch of the agency’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub).[1]  FinHub is a resource for industry engagement between financial technology companies (fintechs), market participants, the public, and the SEC.  This client update provides a high-level overview of the FinHub initiative and how the SEC envisions industry participation.

FinHub is designed to serve as a focal point for the SEC to engage with fintech companies.  Led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation and Associate Director in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, FinHub provides a portal where the public can engage directly with SEC staff, request a meeting, and receive updates and information about upcoming initiatives.  The SEC’s expectation is that FinHub will provide a clear path for entrepreneurs, developers, and their advisers to engage SEC staff, seek input, and test ideas.  The FinHub portal covers various fintech topics, such as distributed ledger technology (including digital assets), automated investment advice, digital marketplace financing, and artificial intelligence/machine learning.  FinHub also offers a detailed request form, accessible here, that allows submission of background information and supporting documents for a meeting request or request for other assistance.

In addition to the portal, FinHub will publicize new information regarding the SEC’s activities related to fintech issues and act as a liaison with other domestic and international regulators.  Notably, FinHub is also planning an event focused on distributed ledger technology and digital assets for 2019.

In summary, the FinHub initiative offers an additional way for the SEC to listen to new ideas and provide feedback on emerging fintech issues in a neutral environment. Should you have any questions regarding these developments and how they might apply to you or your business, please contact one of the authors of this update or another member of the Perkins Coie Blockchain Technology & Digital Currency team.

[1] “SEC Launches New Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology,” SEC Press Release 2018-240 (Oct. 18, 2018), available at: https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2018-240.