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国际资讯监管与政策

SEC官员对金融科技监管沙盒机制提出质疑

国际资讯监管与政策

SEC官员对金融科技监管沙盒机制提出质疑

过去两年中,世界各地涌现了不少金融科技监管沙盒机制,保证相关企业能够在受控环境中测试新产品和服务。如今,这样的监管机制已经形成了一股风潮,英国金融行为管理局(后文简称FCA)甚至建议建立一个全球性的监管沙盒。

然而,并不是所有人都看好这种机制。

近日在洛杉矶召开的一次ICO专题会议上,新晋美国证券交易委员会(后文简称SEC)专员Hester Peirce就表示,金融科技监管沙盒导致监管机构和被监管企业之间的关系过于紧密。换句话说,监管机构其实一直是在推动和把控着监管沙盒计划,其真正发挥的作用可能并不完全与预想的一样。

Peirce建议,相关机构应该保持与被监管方之间的距离,采用海滩救生员模式进行监管。 通常在海滩上,救生员会对现场进行实时监控,但是并不会坐在沙堡旁边监控每一个设计决定,只是会在出现危险的时候加以警告和干预。

具体来说,SEC可以建立一个有关ICO、代币和DLT的相关网页,随时回答有关企业和个人的疑问,在相对公平的环境中进行恰当的创新监管。

据了解,目前SEC已经设立了一个专门邮箱收集相关问题(Email: fintech@sec.gov),人们可以通过这个邮箱联系到SEC工作人员,与其探讨金融科技项目内容和监管方案,而后期的答疑网页建设其实就可以以此作为基础。

 

A newly-appointed SEC commissioner has taken a swipe at the global trend for establishing fintech sandboxes, arguing that they place regulators and the regulated too close together, and instead calling for a more hands off, beach lifeguard-style approach to oversight.

Over the last two years, regulatory sandboxes have begun springing up around the world, enabling firms to test new products and services in a controlled environment. The concept has gained such momentum that the UK's Financial Conduct Authority has even begun leading efforts towards some form of global sandbox.

But Hester Peirce, a Republican who became an SEC commissioner in January, is not a fan. In a speech dedicated to ICOs at a conference in Los Angeles, Peirce made clear that she is in favour of an arm's length relationship with the firms she helps regulate, suggesting that the SEC simply build a web page on ICOs, tokens and DLT.

A noted sceptic of regulatory intervention who has been critical of the Dodd-Frank rules brought in after the 2008 economic crisis, Peirce told her audience in California that she is "often wary of so-called regulatory sandboxes".

She continues: "I am entirely in favour of finding ways to make appropriate regulatory allowances that clear the way for innovation to flourish. What troubles me about sandboxes, however, is that the regulator is typically sitting right there next to the entrepreneurs. The regulator is facilitating and hosting the sandbox."

Instead, Peirce prefers the beach lifeguard metaphor: "On a beach, the lifeguard watches over what is happening, but she is not sitting with sandcastle builders monitoring their every design decision. From her perch on the lifeguard stand, she can spot dangerous activity and intervene with a blow of the whistle or, if necessary, a direct intervention. She always stands ready to answer questions about the rules of the beach. She puts up the red flag to warn of dangerous riptides or sharks."

With ICOs and tokens currently generating much discussion in relation to securities violations, Pierce is keen to ensure that innovation is not hampered. To that end, she suggests that the SEC should meet market participants in a "more neutral place" than a sandbox.

Rather than work side-by-side with firms, she argues that the SEC should simply set up a web page devoted to questions and comments about ICOs, tokens, distributed ledger, and other crypto concepts.

"We already have an email address—fintech@sec.gov—that folks can use to contact SEC staff for the purpose of discussing their fintech projects and regulatory options. A website would be easier for innovators to find."


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