Weekly Roundup

SEC 2024 Regulatory Preview: As the financial services space seeks to capitalize on the momentum spurred in part by a host of technological innovations, many sector experts are waiting to see how aggressive the SEC’s 2024 regulatory agenda will be. Specifically, several industry insiders believe that SEC Chairman Gary Gensler will seek to expand the commission’s rule-making efforts across several critical fronts, including (but not limited to) AI and short-sale-related data reporting. These experts also underscored how the upcoming federal election results will determine if the Congressional Review Act will be used to nullify any new rules in 2025.

Fixed-Income Trading Gaining Interest: With larger-than-anticipated yields over the past year leading to increasing levels of retail investor participation in the financial markets, many of the U.S. trading firms responsible for popularizing online investing are seeking to increase their presence in the fixed income space. A small number of these key sector stakeholders, including Wealthfront and Apex Fintech Solutions, have already launched online products, such as Treasuries and corporate bonds, to highlight fixed income trading options to the amateur investor class. While it is yet to be determined if these offerings will generate the same level of interest as traditional stocks, several sector experts have noted that it is the latest example of how Federal Reserve policy helps determine the pathways for innovation in the fintech space.

AI in Crypto: While AI advancements have already forced critical changes throughout the entire economy, numerous industry observers have stated that the quickly evolving technology will also cause important updates within the crypto space. Specifically, sector experts believe that AI will soon be incorporated into predictive trading and pricing operations and help programmers address sensitive technical issues that may arise on a platform’s blockchain.

SEC Commissioner Uyeda Sworn In: SEC Commissioner Mark Uyeda was sworn in this week for a full term after he received a confirmation vote last month from the U.S. Senate. He was originally appointed in June 2022 by President Biden as an interim commissioner but was renominated by the president this past June to serve a full-term that runs through December 2028. Commissioner Uyeda is one of two registered Republicans on the commission and has been an outspoken critic of SEC Chairman Gensler’s unprecedented rule-making pace. 

U.S. vs. Mmobuosi: The U.S. Department of Justice this week charged Odogwu Banye Mmobuosi, the former co-chief executive officer of the Tingo Group, on numerous counts of securities frauds, submitting false statements, and conspiracy. The alleged misconduct occurred from 2019 to 2023 and each of the filed charges are related to Mmobuosi inflating the value of the mobile phone and agriculture divisions that he previously sold to the firm. The Nigeran fintech executive gained notoriety last year after falling short in his bid to purchase the Sheffield United Football Club, an English Premier League side.

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

  • John Palmer, President of CBOE, spoke with Bloomberg TV this past Tuesday about the potential benefits for market participants if Bitcoin’s ETF receives SEC approval. “Seeing that approval is going to pave the way for pension funds and RIA-based funds to be able invest in assets in a spot Bitcoin ETF where they may not be able to gain that access today in just a native, spot Bitcoin token,” said Palmer. Additionally, Palmer believes that spot ETF approval would expand the presence of Bitcoin derivative products and that larger firms within the traditional market sector will “lean on those derivatives more and more” to protect against risk.

  • In an interview with Traders Magazine, John Ramsay, Chief Market Policy Officer at IEX, provided his thoughts on marketplace outlooks for 2024. Specifically, Ramsay noted that the organization is anticipating an “increase in displayed volume and more performance-enhancing order type innovations,” and that federal regulators must provide “needed updates to Reg NMS” if Rule 605 is enacted.