FINRA Is Coming: Are Your Cryptocurrency Activities Covered?

The calendar may have started anew in 2018, but federal regulators have affirmed that they are still firmly focused on one of 2017’s emerging issues—cryptocurrencies and, more specifically, initial coin offerings (ICO). FINRA’s 2018 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter, which was released earlier this week, highlights ICOs and cryptocurrencies among several sales practice risks that FINRA will focus on in the coming year: Digital assets (such as cryptocurrenices) and initial coin offerings (ICOs) have received significant media, public and regulatory attention in the past year. FINRA will closely monitor developments in this area, including the role firms and registered representatives may play in effecting transactions in such assets and ICOs. Where such assets are securities or where an ICO involves the offer and sale of securities, FINRA may review the mechanisms—for example, supervisory, compliance and operational infrastructure—firms…

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