On February 9, 2023, the SEC announced that it had settled charges against the world’s third largest centralized crypto exchange by volume for offering a crypto staking program that the SEC deemed to be the offering and selling of unregistered securities.
Following a host of notable bankruptcy filings in the digital asset industry, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently issued guidance (the DFS Guidance) to emphasize sound custody and disclosure practices for firms providing digital asset custody services to better protect customers in the event of an insolvency or similar proceeding.
FINRA recently updated the industry on observations to date from its August 2021 sweep on broker-dealer practices and controls concerning the opening of options accounts and related issues (options account supervision, communications, and diligence).
Potentially in connection with the recent events rocking the crypto industry, FINRA is conducting a new sweep on “Crypto Asset Communications” by broker-dealers. If they haven’t already received the request, broker-dealers with crypto-related affiliates likely will be contacted. Notably, this is the first announced sweep that FINRA has issued in over a year.