As I look back on my first year of leading the Members Exchange, I am proud of the progress we have made toward making the U.S. equity exchange a reality. Our team is now over 30 people, our exchange application is through the public comment period and closer to approval, and we are right on schedule with our technology plan for building the software and infrastructure needed to launch our exchange.
Over the past several months we have been meeting with many sell-side and buy-side firms to make sure the trading and investing community understand the purpose of our initiative and the details of the platform we are building. We heard from many of our future clients that providing detail with regard to testing and launch dates will help them more efficiently allocate resources toward connecting to the Members Exchange. Since one of our primary goals is to build an exchange for all that attracts a diverse set of liquidity and provides a high-quality experience in all aspects of interactions, we are today announcing the date of our launch. In addition, we are providing a detailed timeline that includes dates for connecting, onboarding, testing and street-wide User Acceptance Tests. It is our hope that this level of transparency will enable a large and diverse set of clients to be connected to the Members Exchange on the day we launch.
Pending regulatory approval by the SEC (which we expect in Q2), we intend to launch our exchange on July 24, 2020. Below, I outline a number of key dates and recommended steps for future members of our exchange to achieve in advance of our launch.
Last week, after deploying our first xNET access point to our primary data center, we began accepting requests to establish network connectivity. (To get started, please go to the xNET Connectivity Request portal, or contact us via email.) Later this month, we will open our onboarding portal to accept membership forms from prospective members. In March, we will begin initial testing of our MEMOIR market data products, and May 11 will mark the start of full platform testing, which will include the testing of electronic access to our exchange via MEMO using either Classic FIX or our native SBE protocol, MEMOIR market data, and our member operations portal.
We will begin certifying prospective members on June 1 and have two planned User Acceptance Test dates — June 6 and June 20. These testing and certification steps, once completed by firms planning on becoming members of our exchange, will prepare them to trade beginning on our launch date of July 24.
For more details, please refer to our checklist, which includes a recommended completion schedule for the certifications and testing periods listed above. Furthermore, we have released a FAQ that provides additional documentation on our exchange. We are excited to begin working more closely with our future members in anticipation of our launch and are confident that the transparency of this process will maximize the opportunity to establish diverse liquidity and realize our goal of creating an exchange for all.