IIROC broadens regulatory strategy to address rise of fintech, blockchain, digital assets

IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada) summarized the :significant activities and initiatives” it will focus on in the 2019 fiscal year, which began in April.  This year, it’s unveiled a new strategy: “Supporting Industry Transformation”. “The pace of industry change continues to accelerate, and the rise of financial technology, blockchain, digital assets, etc. has transformational implications for markets, investors, dealers and overall industry infrastructure,” according to a public notice. In addition, IIROC will overhaul their own IT systems, opting for a hybrid-cloud structure from a single provider.

Blockchain: The potential application of blockchain technology is poised to dramatically alter the very ecosystem that underpins the capital markets. Digital assets such as cryptocurrencies are examples of blockchain applications that have already begun to impact the capital markets in significant ways, as potential direct or indirect investments, or in the form of initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, etc.

“To help us keep pace with this fast-evolving area, we have formed a working group that will build on IIROC’s knowledge and recommend a potential regulatory response. The impact of this phenomenon cuts across all boundaries, so the working group will liaise closely with other Canadian regulators and stakeholders, to ensure we are aligned and consistent.”

Technology capabilities: IIROC will transition its IT infrastructure and information-security operations to a new, secure, hybrid-cloud platform. In FY19, IIROC will consolidate its currently multi-vendor-sourced IT infrastructure and information security contracts under one service provider and move business applications to that service providers data centres and/or managed cloud services.

Read the full notice

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