Weekly Roundup

Electronic Trading: Equities electronic-trading roles are about to be in high demand. According to a new survey, over half of US sell-side firms plan to boost hiring for new electronic-trading roles within the next 18 months.

Industry Pushback: Charles Schwab and NYSE released a joint letter to the SEC demanding the agency withdraw two proposals and amend a third. The action is the latest in a series of pushbacks against SEC plans to overhaul the way the US stock market handles individual investor trades.

Climate Disclosure Rule: More than 50 Democratic lawmakers issued a letter urging SEC Chair Gary Gensler to move forward with a controversial climate risk disclosure rule that would require companies to disclose information on their carbon emissions.

SEC Crypto Expansion: The SEC is poised to hire an additional 20 staffers in the next year to help the agency review, audit, investigate, examine, and possibly prosecute securities issues related to crypto products and offerings. The new hires will grow the agency’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit to 50 professionals.

Crypto Threats: Crypto giants are threatening to move overseas to Europe, where new rules for digital asset regulation are already underway. However, these threats don’t seem to worry SEC Chair Gary Gensler. Gensler criticized crypto businesses for refusing to comply with the SEC. “It’s a basic bargain in finance: If you want to raise money from the public, disclose certain facts and figures,” he said.

$1.3 billion Deal: A U.S. bankruptcy court approved Voyager Digital’s restructuring plan this week. Binance.US will acquire the bankrupt crypto lender for $20 million and will take on the crypto assets deposited by Voyager customers, which are valued at $1.3 billion.

In the Mix: This Week’s Top FinTech Thought Leader

  • Mark Uyeda, SEC Commissioner, gave a speech at Columbia Law School stressing the importance of the SEC reducing regulatory costs and enacting tighter disclosure policies. Uyeda referenced the declining number of companies going public. He stated that smaller companies have fewer resources, so SEC policy should account for differences in company size.

  • Lynn Martin, NYSE President, wrote an op-ed in Traders Magazine pointing out the potential unintended consequences of the SEC reform proposals released in December. Martin emphasized that the intentions of the SEC’s proposals are to improve and modernize the US markets, and that compromise is necessary to reduce unintended harm. She referenced the amendments proposed by NYSE and Citadel to achieve the SEC’s objectives without doing more harm than good.

  • Itai Avneri, INX deputy CEO, wrote an op-ed in CoinDesk about how cryptocurrency and digital finance tools can help narrow the investment gender-gap. According to Avneri, investors now have significantly more ways to invest, transact, and store value. These new tools democratize investing by making it easier for traditionally overlooked demographics to invest.

  • Mary L. Schapiro, former SEC Chairwoman, emphasized that the SEC should do more to promote diversity within its regulated entities. “I do think the chair of the agency and the commissioners could really use the bully pulpit and really push the firms to provide (diversity) information and to do the (diversity) assessment,” she said.

  • Adam Inzirillo, Cboe Global Markets Head of North American Equities, shared a note to clients iterating Cboe’s perspective regarding tick-reform. According to Inzirillo, Cboe’s tick reduction framework starts with a set of tick-constrained securities and then uses empirical data to analyze results before expanding the scope of the reform. Cboe recently submitted a comment regarding the SEC’s Proposal on Regulation NMS: Minimum Pricing Increment, Access Fees and Transparency of Better Priced Order.

  • June Felix, IG Group Holdings CEO, appeared on Bloomberg TV to discuss IG Group Holdings’ effort to increase the number of women working in the trading space and participating in retail trading. “We are seeing more females trade, but the numbers are still quite low,” she said.