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On May 25, Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), along with several other bipartisan Senators, announced the creation of the U.S. Senate Financial Innovation Caucus to highlight “responsible innovation in the United States financial system, and how financial technologies can improve markets to be more inclusive, safe and prosperous for all Americans.” The Senate will use the caucus “to discuss domestic and global financial technology issues, and to launch legislation to empower innovators, protect consumers and guide regulators, while driving U.S. financial leadership on the international stage.” The press release notes that the caucus is timely because of the “growing regulatory focus on digital assets,” which includes efforts by the Federal Reserve Board, SEC, and other foreign governments to create digital currencies. The caucus will focus on critical issues pertaining to the future of banking and U.S. competitiveness on the global stage, including: (i) distributed ledger technology (blockchain); (ii) artificial intelligence and machine learning; (iii) data management; (iv) consumer protection; (v) anti-money laundering; (vi) faster payments; (vii) central bank digital currencies; and (viii) financial inclusion and opportunity for all.
On May 17, the FDIC issued a notice and request for comments regarding information on insured depository institutions’ (IDIs) current and potential digital asset activities. The Request for Information (RFI) solicits input on digital asset use cases involving IDIs and their affiliates to help the agency “inform its understanding of the industry’s and consumers’ interests in this area.” According to the agency, there are “novel and unique considerations” connected to digital assets and “banks are increasingly exploring several roles in the emerging digital asset ecosystem, such as being custodians, reserve holders, issuers, and exchange or redemption agents; performing node functions; and holding digital asset issuers’ money deposits.” FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams states that digital asset areas have “seen rapid expansion and innovation in recent years” and that “[t]his RFI gives us an opportunity to gain additional insight into the market, and what role banks might play in the future.” The deadline for submitting comments for the RFI is July 16.
- APPROVED Webcast: CFL license transition to NMLS
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss “Justice for all: Achieving racial equity through fair lending” at CBA Live
- Warren W. Traiger to discuss “On the horizon for CRA modernization” at CBA Live
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss “Government investigations, and compliance 2021 trends” at the Corporate Counsel Women of Color Career Strategies Conference
- Max Bonici to discuss “BSA/AML trends: What to expect with the implementation of the AML Act of 2020” at the American Bar Association Banking Law Fall Meeting