Press Release 

January 21, 2021

 

DFS ANNOUNCES DETAILS FOR ITS FIRST-EVER TECHSPRINT, ON DIGITAL REGULATORY REPORTING IN THE VIRTUAL CURRENCY INDUSTRY 

Teams will Compete to Develop Prototype Solutions During Two-week Virtual Techsprint from March 1 to March 12, 2021 

DFS Invites Interested Participants to Register by January 26 

The New York State Department of Financial Service (DFS) today announced additional details of DFS’s first-ever techsprint. Since announcing the techsprint last fall, DFS has engaged closely with stakeholders from the financial services industry, government, and the non-profit/academic sectors to establish a set of actionable and meaningful problem statements for the event. Over 100 individuals from 75 organizations participated in workshops to provide input on the techsprint’s design.   

“Innovation is happening now and we must work together for consumers and industry to gain from its disruptive nature, especially as we all work to build back better during an ongoing pandemic,” said Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell. “With DFS’s first-ever techsprint, the Department has an opportunity to become more modern and push groundbreaking supervisory techniques forward, advancing our regulator of the future vision. We look forward to breaking down silos in this ecosystem and propelling a creative and collaborative problem-solving effort.” 

The techsprint will be held virtually during the first two weeks of March 2021, opening on March 1 and culminating with “Demo Day” on March 12. 

DFS invites regulators, industry professionals from both regulated and unregulated firms, academics, subject matter experts, and design, communications and technology professionals to register their interest in participating by January 26. 

Each techsprint team will work to address one of several defined problem statements, such as the following: 

  1. How can DFS achieve real-time or more frequent access to company financial data from virtual currency licensees and receive early warning signs of financial risks to the companies or their customers? 
  2. How can DFS obtain real-time transaction data from its licensees and automatically analyze the data to safeguard against illicit financing risks? 
  3. How can DFS use tools such as natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to identify risks by processing and analyzing supervisory reports that are submitted by licensees in a wide range of formats? 
  4. How can DFS use technology to facilitate information-sharing among licensees to help them more quickly identify and stop scams, ransomware strikes, and other criminal enterprises that put licensees and their customers at risk? 

The objective of the techsprint is to achieve creative and collaborative prototyping as a step toward smarter regulatory reporting in virtual currency. By utilizing an intensive, time-bound approach, the Department will explore ways to streamline regulatory reporting through technology and more effectively supervise regulated entities and monitor the larger ecosystem. 

To take advantage of the flexibility allowed by a virtual format, DFS has structured the competition using a combination of full-day facilitated exercises and self-paced, team-managed efforts. Techsprint teams will consist of practitioners from a diverse range of backgrounds, and will have access to internal and external experts who will support ideation, product development and innovative design.  

Team efforts will culminate in a presentation of each team’s solutions on Demo Day before a panel of judges and a live virtual audience.

Judges will be leading professionals with expertise in cryptocurrency, regulation, data, and technology. They will evaluate techsprint team demos and collectively determine winners. There will be no monetary prize for participating or winning teams. Demo Day will be open to the public to stream live. 

Interested individuals are invited to attend a pre-sprint 30-minute Info Session on Friday, January 22, to learn more. Attending an Info Session is not required for techsprint participation but presents an opportunity to ask questions and meet the planning team. 

The techsprint is produced in collaboration with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the Alliance for Innovative Regulation (AIR). Additional information, including registration instructions, can be found at dfs.ny.gov/techsprint. Other information and details, including a sign-up link for Demo Day events, will be added to the website as they become available. 

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