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Cryptocurrency Startups Struggle to Become Licensed Brokerages

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Wed, 19/06/2019 - 17:49
Cryptocurrency Startups Struggle to Become Licensed Brokerages
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A slew of unregulated cryptocurrency startups is trying to acquire a brokerage license, but the SEC and FINRA weren’t eager to give them the green light, WSJ reports.

This regulatory uncertainty throws a spanner in the works for those startups who want to do it right.

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No licenses

A brokerage license is very enticing for cryptocurrency startups since it would allow them to offer securities to their investors.

At the beginning of 2018, right after the Bitcoin reached its current ATH, SEC expressed its concerns about the “widespread fraud” in the crypto market, which essentially ensured that new applications would be dead on arrival.

The safekeeping of digital assets appears to be the main issue with the SEC. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton recently claimed that that custody is extremely important for investors.   

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Regulatory paralysis

This kind of “regulatory paralysis” is hurting the US Blockchain industry. Two SEC commissioners have recently published the long-awaited guidelines on digital assets, but they are yet to become an official ruling.

As reported by U.Today, the US watchdog recently sued Kik for raising more than $100 mln through an illegal Kin ICO. According to Kik, this sets a dangerous precedent for the whole crypto industry.     

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Fitting in

As WSJ points out, the old-school crypto was all about overthrowing the traditional financial industry.

However, this attitude has drastically changed over the last few years, and now crypto startups want to fit in with regulated Wall Street firms.

We don’t want to come in and do things and have to apologize later. We want to do it right the first time,” said Edward Woodford, chief executive of Seed CX.

This is a major sign that the cryptocurrency industry is maturing.

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