Since US regulators appear to be somewhat reluctant in opening up the cryptocurrency trading market, some companies have found new ways to offer their services. Uphold, a cryptocurrency-based financial services platform, is one of these, and recently acquired a company that it hopes will pave the way to being one of a few cryptocurrencies looking to be a licensed broker-dealer and to start listing initial coin offerings (ICO) through its securities division.
Uphold, which has customers in more than 180 countries around the world, recently entered into an agreement to purchase JNK Securities, a broker-dealer based out of New York. With the purchase, Uphold would receive all of the company’s assets, as well as its broker-dealer registration. With that registration, Uphold would be able to offer cryptocurrency transactions for its clients. The firm would also have the added bonus of being able to market to JNK’s existing customer base to attract a new segment of institutional investments.
The deal still requires approval by the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). If FINRA gives its thumbs-up, Uphold will list the tokens for ICOs as well as other cryptocurrency assets that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has determined to be securities.
According to Uphold CEO Adrian Steckel, “We have kept a close eye on statements from global regulators regarding virtual currencies and tokens and believe that many crypto assets (particularly ICO tokens) may be treated as securities in some cases. Through our new securities division, we would be able to offer sales and trading of ICO tokens and fractional equities and provide other exchange services, under the oversight of the SEC and FINRA.”
Uphold’s move is similar to one taken earlier this year by popular exchange company Coinbase which recently purchased three companies whose licenses will greatly expand the company’s offerings. It now controls a broker-dealer license and registrations to operate as an alternative trading system (ATS) and a registered investment advisor (RIA). Overstock, the online retailer, also recently purchased a financial services company and its ATS registration will allow Overstock to operate an ATS through its tZero subsidiary. As with Uphold, all deals must first be approved by FINRA.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
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