SEC Launches Search for Blockchain Data Service to Help ‘Monitor Risk’

The U.S. SEC has taken some steps to provide clarity to blockchain companies, but it’s widely believed that the agency has not been active enough with respect to providing regulation. Now the securities regulator is apparently interested in engaging an “enterprise-wide data subscription for blockchain ledger data.”

According to the notice on FedBizOpps.gov:

“The United States Securities and Exchange Commission…intends to procure a commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) enterprise-wide data subscription for blockchain ledger data to support its efforts to monitor risk, improve compliance, and inform Commission policy with respect to digital assets.”

The SEC is interested in data on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, among other leading chains, according to the Request for Quote:

“At a minimum, the subscription shall include the Bitcoin and Ethereumblockchains…In addition, the subscription shall include as many as possible of the following blockchains: Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, Zcash, EOS, NEO, and XRP Ledger.”

Is Time Running Out for the U.S. on the Blockchain?

Congressman Warren Davidson, among other lawmakers, believes that the U.S. should come up with clearer guidelines so that companies can begin adhering to the new regulations. In fact, Minnesota Congressman Tim Emmer believes that the blockchain might be essential to making sure that the U.S. stays ahead of other countries technologically. He points out that blockchain may dramatically change the way that people live, previously stating:

“This stuff has the potential to completely decentralize the way we live and make the individual central to the way they live their life.”

Recently, the criticism came from someone within the SEC itself. SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, who is nicknamed “Crypto Mom” by the cryptocurrency community, pointed out the agency’s arcane attitude towards blockchain at a recent forum. She described the agency as “old” and stated that the SEC “has not been historically great with innovation.”

Hester Peirce

@HesterPeirce

I finally got a chance to listen to this very interesting conversation. One takeaway is that there is definitely not a harmonized SEC-CFTC view on the Cleveland Browns, which @CFTCquintenz greatly underestimates. https://twitter.com/PeterMcCormack/status/1143527270985789442 

Peter McCormack@PeterMcCormack

WBD120 – Brian Quintenz, @CFTCquintenz on How the CFTC Regulates Cryptocurrencies. We discuss:
– The history of the CFTC
– How futures work
– Self-regulation v formal oversight
– Bitcoin’s unique characteristics
– Facebook Libra
– Privacy coinshttps://www.whatbitcoindid.com/podcast/brian-quintenz-on-how-the-cftc-regulates-cryptocurrencies 

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Need for Information

While it might not exactly be an endorsement of blockchain by any means, the fact that the SEC wants more information about the sector certainly might be a bullish sign. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as a recent International Data Corporation study concluded that government spending on blockchain technology will grow significantly in the coming years.