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Firms Urged to Notify FINRA if They Engage in Activities Related to Digital Assets

FINRA recently notified members that it is monitoring developments in the digital asset marketplace and seeking to ascertain the extent of FINRA member involvement related to digital assets. The organization is calling on its broker-dealer members to promptly notify FINRA if they, or associated persons or affiliates, currently engages, or intend to engage, in any activities related to digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies and other virtual coins and tokens. Regulators are continuing to analyze cryptocurrencies and their place in the markets. A recent client alert from law firm Ropes & Gray discussed the implications of a speech by William Hinman, Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, in which he stated that neither bitcoin nor ether are securities and that offers and sales of these cryptocurrencies are not securities transactions.