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US Financial Authority Asks Brokerage Firms to Disclose Crypto Activities

July 10, 2018 |

US Financial Authority Asks Brokerage Firms to Disclose Crypto Activities

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has issued a notice encouraging every firm that sells securities to the public in the U.S. to disclose any activities “related to digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies and other virtual coins and tokens.”

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Firms Encouraged to Disclose Crypto Involvement

US Financial Authority Asks Brokerage Firms to Disclose Crypto ActivitiesThe Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a Regulatory Notice last week on digital assets.

A not-for-profit organization authorized by Congress, FINRA is not part of the U.S. government but is tasked with protecting America’s investors by making sure the broker-dealer industry operates fairly and honestly, its website describes.

With few exceptions, the Authority explains that in addition to registering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC):

Every firm and broker that sells securities to the public in the United States must be licensed and registered by FINRA.

Individual registered representatives must also register with FINRA. According to its website, FINRA had 629,112 registered representatives and 3,712 member firms in April.

In the 4-page notice, the Authority emphasized that it “is monitoring developments in the digital asset marketplace and is undertaking efforts to ascertain the extent of FINRA member involvement related to digital assets,” adding:

FINRA is issuing this notice to encourage each firm to promptly notify FINRA if it, or its associated persons or affiliates, currently engages, or intends to engage, in any activities related to digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies and other virtual coins and tokens.

Furthermore, until July 31 next year, the Authority “encourages each firm to keep its Regulatory Coordinator abreast of changes in the event the firm, or its associated persons or affiliates, determines to engage in activities relating to digital assets not previously disclosed.”

Monitoring Crypto Development

In FINRA’s Annual Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter, published earlier this year, CEO Robert Cook pointed out that cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) “have received significant media, public and regulatory attention in the past year.” The Letter highlights issues of importance to the organization’s regulatory programs.

US Financial Authority Asks Brokerage Firms to Disclose Crypto Activities

Cook detailed:

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…firms have put in place to ensure compliance with relevant federal securities laws and regulations and FINRA rules.

Previously, the Authority issued a notice warning investors of pump-and-dump schemes. It advised them to “be cautious when considering the purchase of shares of companies that tout the potential of high returns associated with cryptocurrency-related activities without the business fundamentals and transparent financial reporting to back up such claims.”

What do you think of FINRA asking brokerage firms to declare crypto activities? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and FINRA.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post US Financial Authority Asks Brokerage Firms to Disclose Crypto Activities appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Russian Bankruptcy Court Orders Debtor to Disclose Cryptocurrency Holdings

February 6, 2018 |

Russian Bankruptcy Court Orders Debtor to Disclose Cryptocurrency Holdings

The Moscow bankruptcy court has ordered a bankrupt debtor to provide information about his cryptocurrency holdings. The trustee has requested that his cryptocurrencies be included in the bankruptcy estate. The court will decide if the coins can be used to pay creditors.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Court Orders Debtor to Provide Crypto Details

The Moscow Arbitration Court has ordered Russian citizen Ilya Tsarkov, who has been declared bankrupt, to provide information about his cryptocurrency holdings, RIA Novosti reported from the courtroom. The appointed trustee for the case, Aleksey Leonov, told Rapsi, as translated by Crime Russia:

This is the first recorded attempt to view cryptocurrency as [part of a] bankruptcy estate.

Russian Bankruptcy Court Orders Debtor to Disclose Cryptocurrency HoldingsTsarkov was declared bankrupt in October of last year. The court found that his assets and salary were not enough to pay off the debt of 19 million rubles (~USD$ 333,000) to Rikas Investment Group.

Citing that Tsarkov had revealed his possession of an online wallet at Blockchain.info, “Leonov demanded that the funds in the debtor’s wallet be included in the bankruptcy estate and Tsarkov be obliged to provide him with the password,” the news outlet elaborated.

Judge Larisa Kravchuk ordered Tsarkov to disclose the balance of his cryptocurrency holdings by February 26 when the court will reconvene and decide whether his cryptocurrencies can be used to settle with creditors.

Should Cryptocurrency Be Included in a Bankruptcy?

Russian Bankruptcy Court Orders Debtor to Disclose Cryptocurrency HoldingsTsarkov’s representative argued that cryptocurrencies “are not recognized by the state and thus, they could not be considered as property,” comparing it to quasi-currency used in some computer games, Ria Novosti described. Tsarkov also asserted that crypto transactions are between two parties and “Cryptocurrency has value only for those two people who are [ex]changing them.”
Nonetheless, Leonov maintained:

If the court refused to include the cryptocurrency in the bankruptcy estate, this would enable some debtors to ‘hide their property in bitcoin.’

Currently, “According to clauses 1 and 3 of Article 213.25 of the Law on Insolvency, all property of a citizen available as of the date of the decision of the Arbitration Court to declare him bankrupt,” and any assets acquired after that date, “constitute the bankruptcy estate, with the exception of property that cannot be recovered in accordance with the law,” the trustee was quoted by the news outlet. He explained:

The law contains a closed list of assets that cannot be levied on execution documents, and bitcoin and ethereum cryptocurrencies, including those contained in online wallets, are not included [on] this list.

Do you think cryptocurrency should be included in the bankruptcy estate? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Russian Bankruptcy Court Orders Debtor to Disclose Cryptocurrency Holdings appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

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