SEC Chair Mary Jo – Blockchain to Replace Trading, Clearing and Settlement Systems

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SEC Chair Mary Jo White gave an interesting Keynote at the SEC-Rock Center on the ‘Protection of Investors in an Innovative Marketplace’.

She spoke of ‘unicorns’ ($1bn companies) and the alchemy of valuations and the reality that “venture investing is not for faint of heart“.

More importantly, she said that blockchain technology: “has the potential to modernize, simplify, or even potentially replace, current trading and clearing and settlement operations“.

Chair Mary Jo made mention of the famous Overstock registration statement whereby Overstock is seeking to sell blockchain securities; eliminating intermediaries and allowing “settlement on a nearly instantaneous basis“.

According to SEC, there are some concerns on whether “blockchain applications” in themselves “require registration under existing Commission regulatory regimes, such as those for transfer agents or clearing agencies“. An pivotal idea indeed; it seems we are gradually moving from regulating intermediaries to regulating software.