The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA), a not-for-profit organization that deals with the broker-dealer industry, has published a regulatory notice asking FINRA members to notify them “if they engage in activities related to digital assets”.
To supplement FINRA’s efforts to date, FINRA is issuing this Notice to encourage each firm to promptly notify FINRA if it, or its associated persons or affiliates, currently engages, or intends to engage, in any activities related to digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies and other virtual coins and tokens.
This include any purchases or transactions made using cryptocurrencies and derivatives, including participating in ICOs. Whether a member holds or mines cryptocurrencies, or plans to create a crypto trading platform, they must share the information with FINRA first.
In addition, until July 31, 2019, FINRA encourages each firm to keep its Regulatory Coordinator abreast of changes in the event the firm, or its associated persons or affiliates, determines to engage in activities relating to digital assets not previously disclosed.
FINRA, located in the US, ensures that investors experience a “fair financial market” in America. Billions of transactions are processed by FINRA every day. Last year in December, the organization published a post that warned investors of the dangers present in the crypto industry.
Investors were advised to research the crypto market thoroughly and avoid engaging with senseless projects and companies, “Especially in today’s ‘hot’ cryptocurrency environment, it’s easy for companies or their promoters to make glorified claims about new products, services and other cryptocurrency-related connections. And, even when legitimate companies flock to a hot, new sector, fraudsters almost always follow suit.”
Last month, cloud-based digital money platform, Uphold, requested that FINRA allow them to become a licensed broker-dealer. Uphold acquired a previously regulated broker-dealer firm, JFK Securities, before filing its case.