U.S. Regulator Seeks Big Data Tool to Examine Major Blockchains



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By Landon Manning

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking into developing a tool that will allow it to study major blockchains in action.

A notice was recently posted on a federal website describing some specifications for a tool that the SEC could use to “determine the availability and technical capability of large and small businesses to provide blockchain data to support the SEC’s efforts to monitor risk, improve compliance, and inform Commission policy with respect to digital assets.”

The SEC is trying to acquire “data for the most widely used blockchain ledgers, including the universe of available information and transaction details,” and currently it is asking for any takers.

The list of technical specifications was short, going little over a page before specifying the details companies should use to contact the government employees responsible for the project. The SEC wants a tool “which extracts blockchain data and parses this data to make it easily reviewable” and “would like to know not only the vendor’s ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness.”

Interested companies have a deadline of February 14 to submit their proposals. This would fit in nicely with the SEC’s recent announcement that crypto assets will be a top priority going into 2019 and with the agency’s recently established fintech strategic hub, dubbed “Finhub,” with the goal of launching legally compliant ICOs.

It is unclear at this time what exactly the SEC’s goals are with these requested tools, but more sophisticated methods of analysis will surely inform its policy decisions going into the future.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.














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