FINRA, the self-regulatory organization overseeing the US broker-dealer industry, recently announced two items of interest for broker-dealers offering crypto asset securities. On January 9, 2024, FINRA published its 2024 Annual Regulatory Oversight Report, which includes a detailed section for broker-dealers conducting a crypto asset business. Then, on January 23, 2024, FINRA published a report detailing the results of a targeted sweep examination on customer communications involving crypto assets, finding potential substantive violations of FINRA Rule 2210 in approximately 70 percent of surveyed communications.
Continue Reading FINRA Continues Focus on Crypto Asset Securities

Providing additional clarity on the role of an alternative trading system (ATS) in the settlement of digital asset security trades, the staff of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets issued a no-action letter to FINRA on September 25, 2020.  In brief, the SEC staff endorsed a three-step settlement process for digital asset securities held in a third-party’s custody if certain customer-protection conditions are met.
Continue Reading SEC Staff Provides Guidance on Non-Custodial Digital Asset Settlement

Continuing a cryptocurrency oversight program begun in 2018, on July 18, 2019, FINRA issued Regulatory Notice 19-24. Under Notice 19-24, FINRA has requested that broker-dealers notify their FINRA Regulatory Coordinator if the member firm, or its associated persons or affiliates, engages, or intends to engage, in activities related to digital assets, including digital assets that are not securities.
Continue Reading FINRA Issues Regulatory Notice on Digital Assets

On July 8, 2019, the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets and FINRA’s Office of General Counsel issued a Joint Statement on Broker-Dealer Custody of Digital Asset Securities. The Joint Statement discusses several provisions of the federal securities laws applicable to registered broker-dealers that may be implicated when such entities custody digital asset securities.
Continue Reading SEC and FINRA Staffs Release Guidance on Custody of Digital Asset Securities