Weekly Roundup

Retail Diversification: According to a new global poll by social investment platform eToro, commodities and alternative investments have become more popular among retail investors in the past year. The survey also showed a 12% drop in domestic stocks for retail investors– this was even more significant for US respondents, where the share fell from 60% to 42% in a year.

SBNY Accounts: The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) has given Signature Bank’s crypto clients until April 5 to close their accounts and move their money. According to an FDIC spokesperson, Flagstar’s bid for Signature Bank did not include the roughly $4 billion in deposits related to its digital-asset business.

Binance Lawsuit: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) charged Binance and two of its executives for “instruct[ing] its employees and customers to circumvent compliance controls in order to maximize corporate profits.” Experts expect Binance to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in fines.

Cybersecurity Proposal: Critics have voiced concerns about the SEC’s proposed cyber security risk management rule. Criticism includes a lack of an accurate and meaningful cyber risk measurement, duplication with other regulatory entities, lack of sufficient SEC resources to regulate, and increased compliance costs that smaller firms may be unable to keep up with.

Emoji Use: The SEC is increasingly evaluating emojis as context when pursuing enforcement action. While the use of emojis by themselves has not been litigated, certain emojis may be scrutinized for their perceived intention.

TikTok Trial: Last Thursday, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew appeared before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The hearing stirred adverse reactions from Wall Street – an analyst with Wedbush called Chew’s testimony “a ‘disaster’ moment that will likely catalyze more calls by lawmakers and the White House to look to ban TikTok.” However, Chew is receiving strong support from Tik Tok users.

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

  • Adrian Griffiths, Head of Market Structure at MEMX, commented on the SEC market structure proposals, stating the SEC is trying to do “too much all at once”. He said, “We need to really think about how far we want to go with some of these changes before we have real data to back them up.” Today is the last day to submit public comments on all four SEC market structure proposals.

  • Larry Tabb, Head of Market Structure Research at Bloomberg, also expressed concerns about the proposals. Tabb said he’d prefer a set of principles that “we would like to see our markets embody rather than proposing rules”. He also noted that the technology needed for the proposed changes would be costly.