As blockchain technology becomes more prevalent, we must ask the natural question of how we’re going to regulate it and keep its developers in compliance with the government. Just because the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) existed before blockchain, doesn’t mean they’re going to ignore it or any of its future innovations. But how with blockchain being so decentralized and thus pretty hard to regulate like tech from the 2.0 and prior eras? It appears that the SEC has finally found its answer.
On October 18th, the SEC announced a new initiative headed by their Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation and Associate Director, Valerie A. Szczepanik, called the “Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology.” According to the SEC’s press release, FinHub will serve several purposes, such as “provid(ing) a portal for industry and the public to engage directly with SEC staff on innovative ideas and technological developments,” as well as “serv(ing) as a liaison to other domestic and international regulators regarding emerging technologies in financial, regulatory, and supervisory systems.”
In other words, FinHub’s goal is to make it easier for blockchain developers to communicate with the SEC and vice-versa. Ideally, this will serve to keep the SEC in the loop regarding the ever-changing world of blockchain so that they can ensure that no developer tries to create unsavory tech that could damage ledger data, not to mention damage the public’s perception of Web 3.0.
The SEC’s launch of a portal like FinHub should serve as some comfort to Web 3.0 developers. For a while now, there’s been concern that the government might not be a fan of blockchain, or any other technology that puts control completely in the hands of regular, everyday people. With FinHub, the SEC has addressed that concern in the best possible way: they understand the importance of this technology, support its further development, but they don’t want deregulation and lack of government oversight to allow malicious folks to spread chaos.
What’s more, they don’t want to control blockchain technology, but rather, support and supervise it as developers mold it into a medium that can take every field imaginable — financial, medical, educational, legal, etc. — into the next generation of data security and protection. Ms. Szczepanik explained as much when saying, “By launching FinHub, we hope to provide a clear path for entrepreneurs, developers, and their advisers to engage with SEC staff, seek input, and test ideas.”
The SEC supporting blockchain developers with something like FinHub makes sense for them as well. Being a federal agency, the last thing they want is for the best and brightest to take their talents to other countries, furthering their economies and national security, while potentially rendering the U.S. both prehistoric and unsafe. So by announcing an official portal to network with developers, nurture their progress, and collaborate with them on increasingly newer and better ideas, the U.S. government has signalled that they are firmly on the side of blockchain, on the side of Web 3.0, and on the side of keeping the U.S. as in the forefront of technological progress as they’ve ever been.