Weekly Roundup

Vote Transparency: Regulators adopted a new rule that changes how fund managers report their votes on potentially controversial proxy questions ranging from executive pay to corporate environmental policy. The rules are meant to allow investors to better understand how their funds and managers are voting on their shares. The rule will apply to proxy votes occurring on or after July 1, 2023.

Hong Kong Crypto: As Hong Kong’s rivalry with Singapore for the top regional financial hub intensifies, the region’s regulators are taking steps towards legalizing retail trading of crypto assets. Hong Kong’s regulators are also exploring the listing of crypto exchange traded funds.

Ripple vs SEC: Crypto exchange Coinbase has petitioned a federal court for permission to file an amicus brief to support Ripple in their case against the SEC. Coinbase joins the Blockchain Association, crypto payments app SpendTheBits, and lawyer John Deaton in hoping to bolster Ripple’s case against the SEC.

The OCC: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the oldest national bank regulator in the US, is set to establish a new unit to regulate financial technology firms. The OCC will create an Office of Financial Technology to provide strategic leadership, vision, and perspective for the organization’s financial technology activities. The new office will absorb an existing Office for Innovation.

Blockchain Trades: JPMorgan Chase & Co executed its first live trade on a public blockchain, marking a large step toward cryptocurrency integration. The trade was part of Singapore’s central bank’s pilot programs exploring the use of DeFi in the banking sector. JP Morgan issued tokenized S$100,000 ($71,000) as then traded it for tokenized yen with Japan’s SBI Digital Asset Holdings.

Crypto Interest: According to a new poll by the crypto asset management firm Grayscale, fears over inflation and the economy has driven a growing interest in crypto for 25% of voters. Economic woes were even more likely to pique an interest in cryptocurrencies for young voters. Around 40% of voters under the age of 45 reported being more interested in crypto in the current economic climate, compared to only 15% of those 45 or older.

Electronic Trading: B2C2, the world’s largest crypto liquidity provider and institutional digital asset pioneer, is now live with electronic options trading for the over-the-counter crypto market. B2C2 has offered ‘voice via chat’ OTC options trading since October 2021.

Short-Selling: The stock-market is changing pace, and retail traders are changing up their trading strategies in response. The common retail long-only strategy may be reversing as more and more retail traders take up short-selling.  According to the report published by Capital.com, shorting strategies have been popular among retail traders in Q2 and Q3 of this year.

Climate Catastrophe: According to a former SEC official, the SEC’s climate disclosure plan would bring “outrageously” complicated, expensive, and hard rules for companies to follow. The SEC’s new plan would require companies to consistently report their greenhouse gas emissions among other climate change related disclosures. The climate reporting rules are expected to be finalized early next year.

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

  • Caroline Pham, CFTC Commissioner, called for greater crypto regulation while on Bloomberg TV. Pham stressed that the U.S. cannot wait any longer to implement protections for retail traders.

  • Andrew Yang, politician, has been vocal about crypto utility since before his 2020 presidential campaign. However, he hasn’t always been unabashedly vocal about his crypto support. He told CoinDesk, “my team didn’t want me hammering that message in mainstream press appearances.” The U.S. electorate has been slow to send crypto fans to Washington, and this year, crypto hasn’t apparently fared any better as a political topic in midterm congressional campaigns.

  • Eric J. Pan, president and CEO of the Investment Company Institute (ICI), wrote a scathing review of the SEC’s new rules in The Wall Street Journal. Pan criticized the SEC for ignoring the real-world effects of its regulations on market participants. He described the approach as “regulation by hypothesis.”

  • Aaron Brown, writer and former managing director at AQR Capital Management, criticized Gensler’s agenda in an opinion piece for Bloomberg. Brown accused Gensler’s proposals of reducing choice by investors, capital users, and intermediaries, and blocking innovation.

  • Episode 1 of Study Hall season 2 is out now! This week’s episode explores all things fintech and elections with Kalshi CEO Tarek Mansour and DC strategist Katelynn Bradley. Listen here: http://bit.ly/3E06Obk