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Coinbase Says It Now Has Regulatory Approval to List Security Tokens

U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has reportedly received regulatory approval to acquire several securities firms – a move that could eventually see it supporting trading in tokens deemed as securities.

A spokesperson for the exchange said on Monday that both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have approved recently revealed acquisition deals for currently regulated firms, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Last month, the exchange announced that it intends to purchase three companies – Keystone Capital Corp., Venovate Marketplace and Digital Wealth LLC – as a means to becoming a regulated platform for offering trading in security tokens, as well as to tokenize traditional financial assets.

As reported by CoinDesk, Coinbase's chief operating officer and president Asiff Hirji indicated that, through the acquisitions, the exchange is seeking licenses as a broker-dealer, an alternative trading system and a registered investment adviser.

The move by the noted U.S. crypto exchange comes at a time when financial watchdogs in the U.S. are beefing up scrutiny over cryptocurrency projects, especially initial coin offerings (ICOs), and would seem to be positioning the firm for a future when current legal gray areas have been clarified in new regulation.

The SEC has said it is currently investigating dozens of token projects, and its chairman Jay Clayton recently said in a public hearing that he believe every ICO he's seen is a security.

Coinbase general manager Dan Romero told CoinDesk in a previous interview that the exchange wants to add new digital assets commonly requested by customers, but it must tread carefully while U.S. regulators deliberate on how they might treat certain uses of the tech.

He said at the time:

"When we get to a point that we know which digital currencies and assets are securities, which ones are commodities, money or currency, it would be immensely helpful."

Just days ago, though, Coinbase announced it is exploring the potential listing of five additional cryptocurrencies on its platform, news that quickly resulted in soaring prices for the assets.

Coinbase currently offers trading of bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum and litecoin, and has said it will soon add support for ethereum classic.

Green light image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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A goodbye note from Deblock’s now-former Head of Research revealed the progress of their ICON blockchain project in all these months. And they looked extremely positive. As he left the company to pursue his startup, Markus Jun noted ICON as one of the very few blockchain projects that showed significant accomplishments despite staying inside a bleeding crypto market. “My time at Deblock and ICON coincided with one of the worst downturns in the cryptocurrency market. In spite of this, I can say that the ICON team has made incredible progress,” Markus wrote while asserting that their interoperable blockchain project till this date leads the South Korean blockchain industry. “I’ve seen ICON push for significant progress in legitimizing blockchain and cryptocurrencies with the Korean Government, receiving the Minister Award for being an industry leader in the blockchain space, and launching demonstrations and several projects in conjunction with the Seoul Metropolitan Government. I’ve seen several hires in every ICON department, including senior positions, most of which weren’t made public and the team is still actively hiring to this day.” Markus also brought focus to ICON’s international expansion stories, which included the launch of their global accelerator program ICONLOOP in partnership with the Singapore government, followed by its continuation in Tokyo and San Francisco. “Beyond this, there are ongoing efforts to expand ICX Station globally. All things considered, it’s clear that ICON isn’t letting the market downturn affect them in moving forward,” Markus explained. The said expansion is also bringing valuable partners to ICONLOOP. In addition to the Seoul government, ICON has gained support from LINE, Smilegate, Kyobo Insurance, and Jeju Island to develop blockchain solutions for them. It overall makes a long-term use-case for ICON’s ICX public network, indicating a stable growth for its native token ICX as well. Solvent after Crash At the time of the ICO, ICON’x ICX token sale raised close to 75,000 ETH. Their smart contract split the funds into 30 separate Ethereum wallets. Between December 2016 and November 2018, ICO team moved circa 70% of their funds to other portfolios – perhaps as part of a sale. After the post-ETH crash adjusments, the team holds around $5 million in ETH reserves. The figures prove that ICON is far from being insolvent at this time, in contrast to several other ICO projects that have either gone out of business or in a money crisis. Forrester Research’s chief analyst Martha Bennett predicts that a majority of these ICOs are heading towards an outright extinction in absence of users and funds. “Sooner or later, this would have led to a contraction anyway. The crypto crash acted as both catalyst and wake-up call.” Big crypto startups like Coinbase and ConsenSys have also laid off employees in the past two months, indicating that the crypto market, in general, is running out of money. ICON, with a provable business model and an increasing use-case among well-known organizations, could still survive the bloodbath owing to an actual demand for service. “I’ve seen the best of ICON in the worst of times. That’s why I’m confident ICON is here to stay,” Markus noted. The post In Bear Market, Korea’s Biggest Crypto Project ICON Showed Solid Progress appeared first on NewsBTC.

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