The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is backlogged. Or if not, it appears to be holding back on giving approval to around 40 crypto broker-dealers waiting for a green light to operate.

FINRA is a non-governmental organization that regulates member brokerage firms and exchange markets in the US. Its government agency counterpart, which acts as the ultimate regulator of the securities industry, including FINRA, is the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The view from many cryptocurrency dealer operators is that the SEC may be the stumbling block as FINRA waits for further guidance before handing out licences. Some brokers have been waiting over a year, with rumours that a moratorium has been held by the NGO without even publishing the results.

The word from FINRA is that they are vetting applications, but only four were accepted last year. FINRA’s director of media relations Ray Pellecchia claims that all is in hand:

“Membership applications from firms proposing to engage in digital asset businesses present new, complex issues and we are in the process of working through them.”

Due to cryptocurrency assets being such a new class regulation, licensing can be expected to be a drawn-out affair, so much so that many companies have simply moved overseas rather than waiting it out.

Last year OpenFinance, tZERO, SharesPost and Templum Markets, all received permission to list crypto assets.


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