US broker-dealer watchdog Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a notice asking the companies to disclose all their activities related to digital assets.
The July 18 notice detailed that FINRA-registered firms should disclose crypto-related activities like “purchase, sales, or executions transactions” in digital assets, investment in crypto-focused pooled funds, or even derivatives tied to crypto.
Also, the regulator wants the companies to report on the creation of management or provision of advisory services for pooled funds related to digital currencies or in the case of their participation in initial coin offerings (ICOs) or secondary market trading.
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Even if a registered company is engaged in the custody of digital assets, crypto mining, or accepting cryptocurrencies from customers, the regulators want to know.
“As securities regulators continue to provide guidance to members regarding the unique regulatory challenges presented by digital assets — e.g., Joint Statement on Broker-Dealer Custody of Digital Asset Securities — FINRA believes it is important to keep the lines of communication with members open on this important topic. As a result, FINRA is issuing this Notice to encourage each firm to continue to keep FINRA up to date on the firm’s new and planned activities relating to digital assets not previously disclosed,” the notice stated.
A tough time for crypto?
FINRA’s notice comes at a time of regulatory tension around the world amid Facebook’s announcement of introducing its digital currency. The social media company’s head of crypto was recently grilled consecutively by committees from the US Senate and House about privacy and data-related concerns with its upcoming crypto.
“Until July 31, 2020, FINRA encourages firms to promptly notify their Regulatory Coordinator in writing (including email) of these activities. If a firm already has submitted a continuing membership application (CMA) regarding its involvement in activities related to digital assets, or has otherwise provided this information to FINRA, additional notice is not requested unless a change has occurred,” the regulator stated.