It seems that a race to take over US-licensed brokerages has begun among crypto companies. Soon after Coinbase revealed it is buying up a securities firm, Uphold has now followed the move with its own acquisition. JNK Securities’ licenses could possibly open the door for the company to offer trading on ICO tokens deemed securities by US authorities.
Uphold to Acquire JNK Securities
Uphold has announced it reached an agreement to acquire JNK Securities Corp, a New York Stock Exchange member and an SEC and FINRA regulated broker-dealer founded in 1993. At the same time, the company has filed an application with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for the approval of the change of ownership of JNK and its and business expansion.
If its application with the regulators is approved, the extension of the broker-dealer registration will cover Uphold’s securities and security-token business and expand its compliance capabilities, customer base, and service offering. The acquisition will also offer JNK clients access to all of Uphold’s crypto to fiat trading pairs and assets, introducing the platform to a new group of institutional investors.
Opening the Door for ICOs
Once known as Bit Reserve, Uphold now supports over thirty currencies and commodities, just eight of which are cryptocurrencies. With a securities license this might expand to include many ICO tokens, which some regulators in the US deem to be securities. It mirrors the very recent action by Coinbase which also acquired the broker-dealer Keystone Capital “for its licenses.”
Uphold CEO, Adrian Steckel, Stated: “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. Broker-dealer and ATS coverage is key to protecting our customers and to building a preeminent financial services ecosystem. We are proud to be a compliant financial services company, working with regulators to ensure we provide the most trusted and transparent access to digital financial services worldwide. 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. Additionally, with the acquisition of JNK, we’re enhancing its compliance and regulatory policies and practices.”
Are only rich Americans going to have access to invest in ICOs? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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