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Sagar Teotia to Conclude Tenure as SEC Chief Accountant



Washington, D.C.–(Newsfile Corp. – January 13, 2021) – The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Sagar Teotia, the Commission’s Chief Accountant, intends to leave the agency by the end of February after nearly six years of total public service.

As Chief Accountant, Mr. Teotia is the principal advisor to the Commission on accounting and auditing matters.  He leads the SEC’s Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA), which works closely with domestic and international private-sector accounting and auditing standard-setting bodies, and consults with registrants, auditors, and other Commission staff regarding the application of accounting standards, auditing standards, and financial disclosure requirements.  In addition, as Chief Accountant, Mr. Teotia is responsible for assisting the Commission with discharging its oversight of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). 

Since July 2019, Mr. Teotia also has served as Co-Chair of the Monitoring Group, a group of international financial institutions and regulatory bodies committed to advancing the public interest in international auditing matters.  Under Mr. Teotia’s co-leadership, the Monitoring Group in July 2020 published recommendations to significantly strengthen the international audit and ethics standard setting system and improve international audit quality.

Mr. Teotia was named as the SEC’s Chief Accountant in 2019 after previously serving as Deputy Chief Accountant.  He also previously served as a professional accounting fellow in OCA.

“I greatly appreciate Sagar’s strong and accomplished leadership of OCA, including leading the office during the challenging COVID-19 environment,” said Acting SEC Chairman Elad Roisman.  “Sagar’s judgment and expertise – developed with significant credibility and experience in both the public and private sectors – has been critical in allowing the Commission and OCA to advance a number of very consequential improvements to financial reporting and the auditing standards.  These improvements have been effected both domestically and internationally, while always maintaining a commitment to investor protection.”

“It has been an absolute honor to work with so many talented professionals at the SEC,” said Mr. Teotia.  “I am beyond thankful to Chairman Clayton and Acting Chairman Roisman for giving me this incredible opportunity to serve investors.  In my time here, I have been consistently amazed at my colleagues in OCA whose tireless work has contributed so much to the overall financial reporting system and investor protection more broadly.  I have been particularly impressed by their efforts during the COVID-19 environment where their work has helped to foster the orderly flow of high quality financial information to investors.  Simply put, I am immensely proud of what we have achieved over the last few years, and I am forever grateful for my time at the Commission.” 

Under Mr. Teotia’s leadership as Chief Accountant, OCA advanced accounting and auditing policy and improved investor protection on both the domestic and international levels.  In addition to the Monitoring Group recommendations published in July 2020 described above, OCA’s many other accomplishments included, among others:

  • OCA proactively worked to promote a strong financial reporting system during the unprecedented COVID-19 environment.  As Chief Accountant, Mr. Teotia issued timely statements on April 3, 2020, June 23, 2020, and December 6, 2020, which emphasized the critical importance to investors of high quality financial reporting in light of the challenges of COVID-19.  During this period of time, OCA performed extensive outreach to stakeholders and addressed numerous complex and emerging issues, all of which helped to address company-specific and system-wide issues and, most importantly, ensured that investors continued to receive high quality financial information on a timely basis.   
  • OCA led updates of the Commission’s auditor independence rules, finalized by the Commission on October 16, 2020, which modernized the application of the auditor independence rules to more effectively focus on areas that may threaten the objectivity and impartiality of auditors.
  • OCA led the oversight and timely implementation of new standards in U.S. GAAP (e.g., leases), which represented significant improvements for investors.  OCA was actively engaged via its preclearance consultation process and had proactive communications with the financial reporting system during these implementations.   
  • OCA significantly and consistently emphasized the importance of audit committees and their role in high quality financial reporting.  For example, Chairman Clayton, Division of Corporation Finance Director Bill Hinman, and Mr. Teotia issued a statement on December 30, 2019 on the key role that audit committees play in the financial reporting ecosystem. 
  • In order to ensure OCA was providing transparent guidance and clear leadership to provide investors with high quality financial information, Mr. Teotia issued (or was part of) ten published speeches and statements while Chief Accountant.   Three of these statements for example, emphasized the importance of audit quality in emerging markets and described meetings with audit firm representatives on those matters. 
  • Mr. Teotia engaged closely with the Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) (including FAF Chair Kathy Casey) in support of their important responsibility for the oversight, administration and finances of the FASB.  Mr. Teotia also worked very closely with the current FASB Chair (Rich Jones) and the previous FASB Chair (Russ Golden) with the objective of providing high quality financial reporting and disclosure guidance.
  • Mr. Teotia worked closely with the PCAOB Board and other leaders at the PCAOB.  OCA consistently supported the PCAOB on its important work to drive improvements in audit quality, including the PCAOB’s continued proactive engagement with stakeholders and its other work on improving audit quality.

Mr. Teotia received a B.S. in accounting from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.  He is licensed as a certified public accountant in Illinois.


How to identify authenticity in crypto influencer channels




Modern brands stake on influencer marketing, with 76% of users making a purchase after seeing a product on social media.The cryptocurrency industry is no exception to this trend. However, promoting crypto products through influencer marketing can be particularly challenging. Crypto influencers pose a significant risk to a brand’s reputation and ROI due to rampant scams. Approximately 80% of channels provide fake statistics, including followers counts and engagement metrics. Additionally, this niche is characterized by high CPMs, which can increase the risk of financial loss for brands.

In this article Nadia Bubennnikova, Head of agency Famesters, will explore the most important things to look for in crypto channels to find the perfect match for influencer marketing collaborations.



There are several levels related to this point.



Analyze approximately 10 of the channel’s latest videos, looking through the comments to ensure they are not purchased from dubious sources. For example, such comments as “Yes sir, great video!”; “Thanks!”; “Love you man!”; “Quality content”, and others most certainly are bot-generated and should be avoided.

Just to compare: 


Don’t rush to conclude that you’ve discovered the perfect crypto channel just because you’ve come across some logical comments that align with the video’s topic. This may seem controversial, but it’s important to dive deeper. When you encounter a channel with logical comments, ensure that they are unique and not duplicated under the description box. Some creators are smarter than just buying comments from the first link that Google shows you when you search “buy YouTube comments”. They generate topics, provide multiple examples, or upload lists of examples, all produced by AI. You can either manually review the comments or use a script to parse all the YouTube comments into an Excel file. Then, add a formula to highlight any duplicates.


It is also a must to check the names of the profiles that leave the comments: most of the bot-generated comments are easy to track: they will all have the usernames made of random symbols and numbers, random first and last name combinations, “Habibi”, etc. No profile pictures on all comments is also a red flag.



Another important factor to consider when assessing comment authenticity is the posting date. If all the comments were posted on the same day, it’s likely that the traffic was purchased.


2. Average views number per video

This is indeed one of the key metrics to consider when selecting an influencer for collaboration, regardless of the product type. What specific factors should we focus on?

First & foremost: the views dynamics on the channel. The most desirable type of YouTube channel in terms of views is one that maintains stable viewership across all of its videos. This stability serves as proof of an active and loyal audience genuinely interested in the creator’s content, unlike channels where views vary significantly from one video to another.

Many unauthentic crypto channels not only buy YouTube comments but also invest in increasing video views to create the impression of stability. So, what exactly should we look at in terms of views? Firstly, calculate the average number of views based on the ten latest videos. Then, compare this figure to the views of the most recent videos posted within the past week. If you notice that these new videos have nearly the same number of views as those posted a month or two ago, it’s a clear red flag. Typically, a YouTube channel experiences lower views on new videos, with the number increasing organically each day as the audience engages with the content. If you see a video posted just three days ago already garnering 30k views, matching the total views of older videos, it’s a sign of fraudulent traffic purchased to create the illusion of view stability.


3. Influencer’s channel statistics

The primary statistics of interest are region and demographic split, and sometimes the device types of the viewers.


When reviewing the shared statistics, the first step is to request a video screencast instead of a simple screenshot. This is because it takes more time to organically edit a video than a screenshot, making it harder to manipulate the statistics. If the creator refuses, step two (if only screenshots are provided) is to download them and check the file’s properties on your computer. Look for details such as whether it was created with Adobe Photoshop or the color profile, typically Adobe RGB, to determine if the screenshot has been edited.


After confirming the authenticity of the stats screenshot, it’s crucial to analyze the data. For instance, if you’re examining a channel conducted in Spanish with all videos filmed in the same language, it would raise concerns to find a significant audience from countries like India or Turkey. This discrepancy, where the audience doesn’t align with regions known for speaking the language, is a red flag.

If we’re considering an English-language crypto channel, it typically suggests an international audience, as English’s global use for quality educational content on niche topics like crypto. However, certain considerations apply. For instance, if an English-speaking channel shows a significant percentage of Polish viewers (15% to 30%) without any mention of the Polish language, it could indicate fake followers and views. However, if the channel’s creator is Polish, occasionally posts videos in Polish alongside English, and receives Polish comments, it’s important not to rush to conclusions.

Example of statistics


Wrapping up

These are the main factors to consider when selecting an influencer to promote your crypto product. Once you’ve launched the campaign, there are also some markers to show which creators did bring the authentic traffic and which used some tools to create the illusion of an active and engaged audience. While this may seem obvious, it’s still worth mentioning. After the video is posted, allow 5-7 days for it to accumulate a basic number of views, then check performance metrics such as views, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), signups, and conversion rate (CR) from clicks to signups.

If you overlooked some red flags when selecting crypto channels for your launch, you might find the following outcomes: channels with high views numbers and high CTRs, demonstrating the real interest of the audience, yet with remarkably low conversion rates. In the worst-case scenario, you might witness thousands of clicks resulting in zero to just a few signups. While this might suggest technical issues in other industries, in crypto campaigns it indicates that the creator engaged in the campaign not only bought fake views and comments but also link clicks. And this happens more often than you may realize.

Summing up, choosing the right crypto creator to promote your product is indeed a tricky job that requires a lot of resources to be put into the search process. 

Author Nadia Bubennikova, Head of agency  at Famesters


Nadia Bubennikova, Head of agency at Famesters

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Central banks and the FinTech sector unite to change global payments space





The BIS, along with seven leading central banks and a cohort of private financial firms, has embarked on an ambitious venture known as Project Agorá.

Named after the Greek word for “marketplace,” this initiative stands at the forefront of exploring the potential of tokenisation to significantly enhance the operational efficiency of the monetary system worldwide.

Central to this pioneering project are the Bank of France (on behalf of the Eurosystem), the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Korea, the Bank of Mexico, the Swiss National Bank, the Bank of England, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. These institutions have joined forces under the banner of Project Agorá, in partnership with an extensive assembly of private financial entities convened by the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

At the heart of Project Agorá is the pursuit of integrating tokenised commercial bank deposits with tokenised wholesale central bank money within a unified, public-private programmable financial platform. By harnessing the advanced capabilities of smart contracts and programmability, the project aspires to unlock new transactional possibilities that were previously infeasible or impractical, thereby fostering novel opportunities that could benefit businesses and consumers alike.

The collaborative effort seeks to address and surmount a variety of structural inefficiencies that currently plague cross-border payments. These challenges include disparate legal, regulatory, and technical standards; varying operating hours and time zones; and the heightened complexity associated with conducting financial integrity checks (such as anti-money laundering and customer verification procedures), which are often redundantly executed across multiple stages of a single transaction due to the involvement of several intermediaries.

As a beacon of experimental and exploratory projects, the BIS Innovation Hub is committed to delivering public goods to the global central banking community through initiatives like Project Agorá. In line with this mission, the BIS will soon issue a call for expressions of interest from private financial institutions eager to contribute to this ground-breaking project. The IIF will facilitate the involvement of private sector participants, extending an invitation to regulated financial institutions representing each of the seven aforementioned currencies to partake in this transformative endeavour.

Source: fintech.globa

The post Central banks and the FinTech sector unite to change global payments space appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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TD Bank inks multi-year strategic partnership with Google Cloud





TD Bank has inked a multi-year deal with Google Cloud as it looks to streamline the development and deployment of new products and services.

The deal will see the Canadian banking group integrate the vendor’s cloud services into a wider portion of its technology solutions portfolio, a move which TD expects will enable it “to respond quickly to changing customer expectations by rolling out new features, updates, or entirely new financial products at an accelerated pace”.

This marks an expansion of the already established relationship between TD Bank and Google Cloud after the group previously adopted the vendor’s Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) for TD Securities Automated Trading (TDSAT), the Chicago-based subsidiary of its investment banking unit, TD Securities.

TDSAT uses GKE for process automation and quantitative modelling across fixed income markets, resulting in the development of a “data-driven research platform” capable of processing large research workloads in trading.

Dan Bosman, SVP and CIO of TD Securities, claims the infrastructure has so far supported TDSAT with “compute-intensive quantitative analysis” while expanding the subsidiary’s “trading volumes and portfolio size”.

TD’s new partnership with Google Cloud will see the group attempt to replicate the same level of success across its entire portfolio.


The post TD Bank inks multi-year strategic partnership with Google Cloud appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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