SF Fed Fintech Speeches and Publications
These publications and speeches reveal SF Fed insights into how fintech is impacting banking and financial services and causing bank supervisors to think about the risks and opportunities it presents.
Data privacy is quickly becoming a top-of-mind issue for consumers, businesses, regulators, and legislators following the steady stream of media reports about data breaches and data misuse. The United States has a patchwork of federal and state data privacy laws and statutes across industries, but the increasing focus on these issues has, in part, led to the development of new legal frameworks, such as California’s Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA). The CCPA is prompting positive debate about how the patchwork of U.S. laws can be improved, but significant ambiguity remains.
From Bitcoin’s inception in 2009 through mid-2017, its price remained under $4,000. In the second half of 2017, it climbed dramatically to nearly $20,000, but descended rapidly starting in mid-December. The peak price coincided with the introduction of bitcoin futures trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The rapid run-up and subsequent fall in the price after the introduction of futures does not appear to be a coincidence. Rather, it is consistent with trading behavior that typically accompanies the introduction of futures markets for an asset.
The virtual currency Bitcoin has received considerable attention in the past few years and more recently due to its price surge and subsequent volatility. At the end of 2017–in only a year’s time–the price of a Bitcoin increased about twentyfold to almost $20K. The sudden and unsteady changes in Bitcoin’s price beg the question–how do we consider its price levels? Given that an argument can be made that Bitcoin is a currency, a security, and a commodity, different economic theories might explain the evolution of its price.
Speaking at an international summit in Shanghai, Gerald Tsai, the director of the fintech team at the San Francisco Fed, gives an overview of the U.S. fintech industry and financial regulatory framework. He also discusses the unique operating challenges fintech companies face, as well as the work regulators are doing to address them.
At a fintech event hosted by Orange Silicon Valley, Tracy Basinger, then a group vice president in the Bank’s Financial Institution Supervision and Credit Group, highlights the fintech work underway inside the Federal Reserve where a team of supervisors is studying fintech developments to understand the range of risks and opportunities and develop recommendations for a broader Federal Reserve response.
What is fintech’s role in the financial system? How do banks manage the risks when they partner with fintech firms? In a speech to the Western Independent Bankers, Teresa Curran, then executive vice president and head of supervision of the Bank’s Financial Institution Supervision and Credit Group shares a perspective on this and explores how banks are using technology to improve and expand their services.
In a speech at LendIt USA 2016, John Williams, then the San Francisco Fed’s president and CEO, discusses fintech’s promise and some of its associated risks.
In this video, Tracy Basinger, then a group vice president in the Bank’s Financial Institution Supervision and Credit Group explains why fintech is a matter of great importance and interest to the Fed.