Examining one big story influencing fintech, relevant legislative and regulatory updates, and news clips keeping you up to date
Fintech Newsletter
October 10, 2018
Online Lending Policy Institute Conference Makes Headlines

The Online Lending Policy Institute hosted its third annual policy summit in Washington, DC yesterday. Featured speakers included Congressman Greg Meeks, New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo, and Craig Phillips, Counselor to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. We show a brief rundown of some of the news made yesterday below.

  • Congressman Greg Meeks announced that he would seek the gavel for the House Financial Services Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee should Democrats recapture the House majority this fall. Congressman Meeks cosponsored the so-called "Madden Fix" legislation that addresses the valid when made issue, and has been generally positive about fintech in general. He is the sixth-most senior Democrat on the full Committee, and the fourth-most senior Democrat on that Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee. Congressman Meeks also publicly expressed support for the OCC's limited purpose fintech charter.

  • NYDFS Superintendent Maria T. Vullo, a vocal critic of and former litigant against the OCC's limited purpose fintech charter, expressed strong disapproval for regulatory sandboxes, saying they were "...created by the people who voted Brexit...sandboxes are where toddlers play."

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Office of Innovation Director Paul Watkins (the architect of Arizona's fintech sandbox) was decidedly more optimistic about regulatory sandboxes, praising fintech innovation and saying sandboxes are necessary because "...the consequences of getting it wrong are so significant."

  • Senior Deputy Comptroller of the Currency Grovetta Gardineer addressed her agency's limited purpose fintech charter, assuring the audience "...fintechs that receive the charter will be subject to the same laws, regulations and supervision as nationally-chartered banks, and any additional requirements the OCC thinks necessary."

Archived video of the conference has not been posted yet, but we'll pass it along in a future newsletter once its available.
  1. MasterCard was awarded a patent for a multi-currency blockchain
Regulatory and Congressional Agenda

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission capped off its two-day Fintech Forward conference with an announcement that it has signed a fintech cooperation agreement with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Per an accompanying release :

“The signing of this arrangement with ASIC advances our mutual interest in facilitating technological innovation and development to enhance our respective markets,” said CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo. “This arrangement will encourage the development of emerging financial and compliance technologies and continue to enhance global awareness of the critical role of regulators in 21st century digital markets. I am pleased to announce the signing of this arrangement on the occasion of the CFTC’s first FinTech conference, FinTech Forward 2018: Innovation, Regulation and Education.”

ASIC Chair James Shipton said, “We are delighted to partner with our colleagues at the CFTC to help encourage FinTech and RegTech innovation in both Australia and the United States. Technological changes are continuing to reshape financial services, markets and the regulatory landscape. Today’s arrangement assists innovative businesses to grow across borders and allows for greater information sharing and cooperation by the two regulators.”

Department of Justice

Cryptocurrency continues to make ignominious appearances in press releases from the Department of Justice, showing up twice in the last week: once earlier today in a press release announcing the sentencing of a Gal Valerius , a French citizen found guilty of narcotics trafficking and money laundering, and again last week in an action charging Russian GRU officials with international hacking and related influence and disinformation operations.
Soulja Boy released a song about Bitcoin for some reason
Online video game marketplace and distribution service Steam no longer accepts Bitcoin , calling it an "untenable" payment option
Fintech Calendar


October 19, Washington, DC: The National Association of Realtors hosts The Impact of Fintech Lenders on the Mortgage Market at their New Jersey Avenue NW offices.

October 19, Newark, NJ: CalixTech News hosts Opportunities for Diversity in the Fintech Revolution.

October 19, New York, NY: NYU's Stern School of Business hosts NYU Stern Fintech Conference 2018 .
  The Smith-Free Group | 202-393-4760 | www.smithfreegroup.com

If you have any questions about any of the materials in this newsletter or issues related to fintech in general feel free to contact Ian Mair – imair@smithfree.com