American Banker: Commonwealth Of Massachusetts Secretary Forms New Fintech Advisory Group
The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts William Galvin has instructed the state’s Securities Division to form a FinTech Advisory Working Group.
The FinTech Working Group is going to be the first dedicated team placed by a state securities regulator to grant support to, and receive advice from, fintech businesses.
“The goal of the working group is to help fintech businesses navigate regulatory requirements while meeting its mandate to protect investors and to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in the markets. The working group will strive to keep regulation in step with digital innovation and will monitor developments in fintech, as well as the challenges encountered by fintech-related businesses in the securities industry,” Galvin says.
“I personally wouldn’t be doing this if all that was going to come out of it was more enforcement action. Enforcement actions are fine, but we first need to know what the rules are. It is very difficult because you’re afraid you’re breaking a rule and you may not actually know what that rule is.”
Notably, towards the end of last year, Galvin had cautioned investors against purchasing bitcoin, claiming that it “doesn’t pass the smell test.” Speaking to CNBC, he had said:
“There is no product here. This is entirely speculation. That’s already been proven by the wild gyrations of the value,” Galvin said. “It’s also subject to manipulation because no one can explain, it no one can control it.”
He had also said that bitcoin “certainly qualifies as a bubble,” noting that public companies have artificially inflated their stock prices by simply adding “blockchain” to their names. Nevertheless, Galvin acknowledged that because bitcoin is “allegedly a currency” he does not have direct jurisdiction over the asset itself.