Release Number 8198-20

LabCFTC to Host Fintech-Focused Virtual Event Series This Fall

Empower Innovation 2020 Will Replace This Year’s Fintech Forward Conference; Project Streetlamp Science Prize Competition Winner to be Announced

July 09, 2020

Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced that LabCFTC will present Empower Innovation 2020, a series of interactive virtual events throughout the fall. The three-part series will facilitate a dialogue among innovators, regulators, market participants, and the public around cutting-edge fintech innovation. In light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the Empower Innovation 2020 series will be held in lieu of the 2020 Fintech Forward conference.

LabCFTC will also announce the winner of Project Streetlamp, the competition LabCFTC launched in April under the Science Prize Competition Act, at the November Empower Innovation 2020 event. [See CFTC Press Release No. 8154-20]

“Encouraging innovation and enhancing the regulatory experience for market participants is essential to what we do at the CFTC,” said CFTC Chairman Heath P. Tarbert. “As our markets adapt in the wake of COVID-19, so too must we innovate and adapt. I am incredibly proud of the LabCFTC team for working through the challenges of assembling innovators and global regulators virtually to facilitate these conversations, and I look forward to participating in what I am sure will be engaging and informative events.”

COVID-19 has demonstrated why fintech innovation is critically important,” said LabCFTC Director and CFTC Chief Innovation Officer Melissa Netram. “Empower Innovation 2020 will focus on cutting-edge financial technology and innovation, educate on emerging technology and innovation practices of today, and discuss the impact of technology and innovation during the pandemic.”

“As we approach the 10-year anniversary of Dodd-Frank, this virtual series is an opportunity to reflect on the past as we discuss tomorrow’s innovation today,” said Shivon Kershaw, LabCFTC Senior Innovation and Education Advisor. “It’s key to have a clear line of sight to the future while highlighting responsible innovation that continues to thrive around the globe, despite today’s challenges. Our aim is that the discussion from this series empowers both innovators and regulators collectively.” 

Empower Innovation 2020 will consist of a combination of fireside chats, digital roundtables/panels, and “Tech Talks” from foremost industry experts. Registration will open in August and a detailed agenda is forthcoming. Members of the public can sign up here for Empower Innovation 2020 and LabCFTC updates.  

Empower Innovation 2020 Fall Sessions:

  • Thursday, September 24: The Power of Innovation: Where Tech & Crisis Collide. This session will feature a dialogue about the impact and necessity of technology and sustainable innovation in a time of global crisis.
  • Wednesday, October 21: Regulation and Innovation Re-imagined. Coinciding with DC Fintech Week, this session will feature a panel discussion addressing how regulators respond to financial innovation.
  • Thursday, November 17: The Future of Finance. This session will examine how novel solutions and forward-thinking strategies used within the industry and the CFTC will shape our world in the years to come.

About LabCFTC

In service to the CFTC’s goal of encouraging innovation and enhancing the regulatory experience for market participants at home and abroad, LabCFTC’s mission is to be the FACE of innovation within the Commission in promoting responsible innovation among financial industry, stakeholders, and policymakers by: 

  • Facilitating dialogue between innovators and those within the CFTC on financial and technological innovations;
  • Advancing policy and regulation in financial innovation;
  • Coordinating internally and externally with International, Federal, and State regulators, organizations, and associations; and
  • Educating internal and external stakeholders on financial technology and innovation in the financial markets to identify how innovations are being used.

Visit for more information and sign up here for important LabCFTC updates.