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NEC SX-Aurora TSUBASA vector supercomputer sets record in processing performance in STAC-A2 Benchmarks

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TOKYO, Jul 16, 2021 – (JCN Newswire) – NEC Corporation (TSE: 6701) today announced that the NEC SX-Aurora TSUBASA vector supercomputer set a record in the STAC-A2 Benchmark tests, which measure the computational performance of Monte Carlo-based risk simulations common in financial markets. An independent audit conducted in April 2021 by the Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC) showed that in cold runs of a workload that calculates options Greeks for a large problem size, this solution had the fastest time of any system STAC has publicly reported to date.*

In recent years, as the digitization of financial transactions has progressed, the amount of data being processed has increased exponentially. As a result, the use of supercomputers for market risk analysis and other purposes is rapidly advancing, especially in the U.S. and Europe, and there is greater need to improve data processing performance. Based on the results of the STAC-A2, NEC aims to use SX-Aurora TSUBASA to help improve the fairness and reliability of financial markets.

The STAC-A2 Benchmark suite is the industry standard for testing technology stacks used for compute-intensive analytic workloads involved in pricing and risk management. The STAC-A2 specifications were developed by the STAC Benchmark Council, which consists of over 400 financial institutions and 50 vendor organizations. User firms include the largest global banks, brokerage houses, exchanges, hedge funds, proprietary trading shops, and other market participants.

SX-Aurora TSUBASA is a power-saving server equipped with a large number of card-type vector engines (VE) that combine LSI technology, high-density mounting technology, and high-efficiency cooling technology that NEC has cultivated over many years of supercomputer development. Moreover, the system is specialized for high-speed processing of large-scale data using NEC’s unique vector processors, making it ideal for contributing to financial markets.

Going forward, NEC will continue to actively promote the expansion of the market for vector supercomputers and their adoption by a wide range of industries, including the financial field.

*The STAC-A2.beta2.GREEKS.10-100k-1260.TIME.COLD benchmark. To download or view the full STAC Report visit https://STACresearch.com/news/NEC210422.

About NEC Corporation

NEC Corporation has established itself as a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies while promoting the brand statement of “Orchestrating a brighter world.” NEC enables businesses and communities to adapt to rapid changes taking place in both society and the market as it provides for the social values of safety, security, fairness and efficiency to promote a more sustainable world where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential. For more information, visit NEC at https://www.nec.com.

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Source: https://www.jcnnewswire.com/pressrelease/68111/3/

Crowdfunding

SEC Chair Gensler Announces Policy Team

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced five people who will serve on Chair Gary Gensler’s policy staff under Director Heather Slavkin Corzo.

Corporation Finance Counsel Corey Klemmer was an analyst at the AFL-CIO’s Office of Investment. She will focus on ensuring policies allow investors to have the proper information needed to make informed decisions. Klemmer graduated cum laude from Amherst College with a B.A. in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought and earned her J.D. from Tulane University Law School. She is a barred attorney in New York and is a CFA charter holder.

Trading and Markets Counsel Adam Large oversees major securities market participants, especially broker-dealers and security-based swaps. He has held several other positions at the SEC and also worked at FINRA. Large received his B.A. from University of Iowa and his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.

Climate Counsel Mika Morse is the lead policy advisor on climate-risk finance issues and most recently was senior counsel and deputy legislative director for U.S. Senator Brian Schatz. Morse received her J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. from Harvard College.

Investment Management Counsel Sirimal Mukerjee was a branch chief in the Investment Adviser Regulation Office in the Division of Investment Management’s Rulemaking Office, where he developed policies and rules governing investment advisers, private funds, and investment companies. Mukerjee received a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and a B.A., with distinction, from the University of Pennsylvania.

Trading and Markets Counsel Sai Rao watches major securities market participants with a priority on market structure. He has worked in various roles at the SEC over the past five years and earlier was employed by a financial regulatory reform think tank and a data analytics start-up. He is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and Harvard Law School and has a Master of Financial Economics from the University of Oxford.

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/07/178113-sec-chair-gensler-announces-policy-team/

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Lisa Fall, CEO of BOX Digital Markets, Waits on SEC for Regulatory Approval of Blockchain Based BSTX

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In 2018, BOX Digital Markets and tZERO entered into a joint venture that was predicted to become the world’s first regulated exchange for trading security tokens.  At the time of the announcement, it was reported that tZERO would manage the tech stack, maintenance, and support, etc., while BOX Digital Markets would provide executive leadership and regulatory expertise.

tZERO, previously controlled by Overstock but spun in the past year, is a registered alternative trading system (ATS) that seeks to lead the way for digital securities trading. BOX Digital Markets is affiliated with BOX Options Market and BOX Exchange – a registered national securities exchange operating under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

More recently, BOX Exchange filed with the SEC multiple proposed rule changes to adopt rules governing the listing and trading of equity securities on the Exchange through a facility of the Exchange known as the Boston Security Token Exchange LLC (BSTX). The most recent proposed rule changes were published for comment in the Federal Register on June 2, 2021. Few comments have been posted with the majority in support of BSTX. The Commission has since extended its decision by 45 days until August 31, 2021, to either approve or disapprove, or institute other proceedings to come to a conclusion.

The process of approval for a first digital securities exchange has been long, to say the least, relegated to the arcane world of securities law and the arduous nature of the SEC’s decision-making process. While most people believe the future of securities is digital, becoming the first can be hard. It is more a question of when, not if. But can the SEC greenlight the inevitable? Or will caution slow the wheels of inevitable innovation?

In advance of a possible decision, Crowdfund Insider connected with Lisa J. Fall, the President of BOX Exchange, who is also CEO of Box Digital Markets and BSTX.

We asked Fall if anything had changed with tZERO since it was spun out from Overstock. She said the relationship remains the same and tZERO continues to be their technology partner.

So why is the regulatory approval process taking so long? Fall said the timing is not atypical for an application for a new public exchange to be registered with the SEC.

“BSTX is thankful for the SEC’s thorough and vigorous process, designed at its core to ensure that, among other requirements, every exchange operates in a manner to protect investors and the public interest.”

Beyond less friction and faster settlements we asked Fall what are the competitive advantages of BSTX?

“As you mention, the central elements of the current BSTX proposal include: (i) a faster settlement preference, (ii) blockchain-secured market data, and (iii) a restriction of unlisted trading privileges (UTP),” said Fall. “In addition, once approved by the SEC as a national securities exchange, BSTX will continue filing for innovative improvements that benefit capital markets and push the status quo of the current market.”

As many industry observers know, digital securities have seen slow adoption globally. Many people believe that digital securities are the future so what is taking so long? Fall had this to say:

“Although everyone recognizes that digital securities can be an alternative to traditional listings, establishing the fully regulated trading venues that their adoption will require will involve the same thorough, time-consuming process BSTX is progressing through now. However, in the end, these regulated venues, like national securities exchanges registered with the SEC, will provide strong investor protection, and generally have strong liquidity from market-making.”

Publicly listed firms have been in decline for some years now. Meanwhile, smaller firms seek to remain private as long as possible due to cost and regulatory demands. Can a digital securities exchange mitigate this phenomenon? And because digital securities utilize blockchain, what about the potential for Regtech (something that can make regulators’ jobs easier)?

“Absolutely,” said Fall. “A digital exchange will make it easier and more cost-effective for smaller firms to access public capital markets. The market needs public, regulated exchanges to support the listing of these smaller firms. As a regulated exchange, BSTX will help fill this gap.”

We inquired about other digital assets (crypto) and esoterics (like real estate or other alternatives) as well as private securities (Reg CF/Reg A+/Reg D securities). Is this part of BSTX’s roadmap?

“BSTX will welcome any company that meets our listing standards to apply to list. BSTX will begin by supporting equity securities, including certain exchange-traded products, that are registered with the SEC. After launch, BSTX may look to expand into other products subject to additional regulatory approvals.”

In recent weeks, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has repeatedly stated that crypto exchanges (not SEC-regulated national exchanges) demand more regulatory scrutiny. Fall said that BSTX agrees with Chairman Gensler’s emphasis on the importance of strong investor protections and well-regulated trading venues.

As for Fall’s expectations for the rest of 2021, she says they are “100 percent focused on continuing to work with regulators towards our approval as a regulated exchange and launch.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/07/177892-lisa-fall-ceo-of-box-digital-markets-waits-on-sec-for-regulatory-approval-of-blockchain-based-bstx/

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SEC Hits UBS With $8M Fine for ETP Compliance Failures

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week filed a settled action against UBS Financial Services related to compliance failures for sales of a volatility-linked exchange-traded product (ETP). It marks the sixth case for the agency’s ETP Initiative.

The ETP was designed to track short-term volatility expectations in the market as measured against a volatility index’s derivatives. The issuer allegedly warned UBS the product should only be held for short terms, and the offering documents support that contention. According to the SEC UBS prohibited brokerage representatives from soliciting sales of the ETP and also restricted its sales to brokerage customers but failed to do the same on certain financial advisers’ use of the product in discretionary managed client accounts. While UBS adopted a concentration limit on volatility-linked ETP they didn’t introduce a monitoring and enforcement system over them for five years. UBS also stopped financial advisers from recommending this ETP before being contacted by SEC staff, the document states.

Between January 2016 and January 2018, some advisers had an incorrect understanding of how to appropriately use the volatility-linked ETP and didn’t take sufficient research to understand the risks of holding them for prolonged periods. Hundreds of accounts ended up holding the product for more than one year and sustained significant losses.

“Advisory firms must protect clients from inappropriate investments in complex financial products,” said Daniel Michael, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Complex Financial Instruments Unit. “We will continue to scrutinize firms’ policies and procedures related to these risky products, and we will take action when they are inadequate.”

Without comment on the findings UBS agreed to cease and desist from violations of Rule 206(4)-7 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, a censure, and disgorgement and prejudgment interest of $112,274 and a civil penalty of $8 million. The $8 million will be distributed to harmed investors.

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/07/178090-sec-hits-ubs-with-8m-fine-for-etp-compliance-failures/

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Hinman Deposition in SEC vs. Ripple Labs Time to Look Back

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A judge’s decision to depose former Securities and Exchange Commission director William Hinman in the case of the SEC vs, Ripple Labs has the cryptocurrency industry talking, so now is a good time to revisit Hinman’s comments as a refresher.

Hinman made the comments at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in San Francisco. The complete text can be found here.

He began his speech by asking if a digital asset originally presented in a securities offering later be sold but not as a security. If the digital asset represents a set of rights giving the holder a financial interest in an enterprise, there likely is no case. But if the digital asset is sold to be later used to purchase a good or service through the network that created it, Hinman said it could not be considered a security.

Hinman was bullish on distributed ledger technology’s ability to share information, transfer value and record transactions.

“There is real value in creating applications that can be accessed and executed electronically with a public, immutable record and without the need for a trusted third party to verify transactions,” he said in 2018.

Back then many tokens being offered were exactly the same as a conventional securities offering, Hinman said. People bought in early with the hope of cashing out as the system is developed and further utility is added. In those cases it was easy to apply the Howey Test, he said, before explaining its origins in an orange grove scheme. Like in the Howey case, tokens were sold to investors unlikely to actually use them on any closed ecosystem.

“I believe some industry participants are beginning to realize that, in some circumstances, it might be easier to start a blockchain-based enterprise in a more conventional way,” Hinman said. “In other words, conduct the initial funding through a registered or exempt equity or debt offering and, once the network is up and running, distribute or offer blockchain-based tokens or coins to participants who need the functionality the network and the digital assets offer. 

“This allows the tokens or coins to be structured and offered in a way where it is evident that purchasers are not making an investment in the development of the enterprise.”

Hinman also asked several interesting questions, including:

Is there a person or group that has sponsored or promoted the creation and sale of the digital asset, the efforts of whom play a significant role in the development and maintenance of the asset and its potential increase in value?

Has this person or group retained a stake or other interest in the digital asset such that it would be motivated to expend efforts to cause an increase in value in the digital asset? Would purchasers reasonably believe such efforts will be undertaken and may result in a return on their investment in the digital asset?

Has the promoter raised an amount of funds in excess of what may be needed to establish a functional network, and, if so, has it indicated how those funds may be used to support the value of the tokens or to increase the value of the enterprise? Does the promoter continue to expend funds from proceeds or operations to enhance the functionality and/or value of the system within which the tokens operate?

Are purchasers “investing,” that is seeking a return? In that regard, is the instrument marketed and sold to the general public instead of to potential users of the network for a price that reasonably correlates with the market value of the good or service in the network?

Is token creation commensurate with meeting the needs of users or, rather, with feeding speculation?

Are independent actors setting the price or is the promoter supporting the secondary market for the asset or otherwise influencing trading?

“These are exciting legal times and I am pleased to be part of a process that can help promoters of this new technology and their counsel navigate and comply with the federal securities laws,” Hinman concluded.

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/07/178112-hinman-deposition-in-sec-vs-ripple-labs-time-to-look-back/

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