Coinbase has appealed to local regulators to issue a broker license. This step will allow the Exchange to conduct its business in accordance with the requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which considers cryptocurrencies as securities.
Obtaining the status of a licensed broker will enable the company to expand the list of tradable assets, including those that the SEC classifies as securities (for example, tokens issued in the course of initial coin offerings).
According to the chief operating officer and president of Coinbase Asiffa Hirji, the company seeks to expand the list of supported digital assets in the long term, but regulatory and legal uncertainty continue to serve as a significant impediment to this.
“As soon as there is more regulatory clarity than now, we will start listing new assets,” he added.
At the same time, the SEC does not yet have a clear definition of cryptocurrency, and the agency encourages investors to proceed from the Howey Co. case-law, which led to the creation in 1946 of the so-called Howey Test, which allows to determine whether a non-standard financial instrument requires the same regulation, as familiar to all securities and bonds.
According to analysts, Coinbase, apparently, is preparing the ground for the implementation of support for the Ethereum-standard ERC20, which it previously announced. The broker’s license will allow the company to more closely comply with the US regulatory and legal framework and thereby reduce legal risks.
Coinbase previously announced plans to provide users with the opportunity to display coins received as a result of forks of the Bitcoin network. “This innovation will simplify the process of removing assets associated with the forks of Bitcoin in all Coinbase services. As usual, we carefully review technical, operational and legal issues when we decide to support one or another fork of the Bitcoin, and will always report on our web-site, which assets are supported,” the crypto-exchange testifies.
The report also says that the platform intends to work on supporting and future forks of Bitcoin in the Coinbase Custody service and “most likely there will be more assets there than on GDAX or Coinbase in the foreseeable future.”
In the meantime, the SEC continues to struggle with cryptocurrency projects, which, in its opinion, are engaged in the dissemination of instruments that meet the characteristics of securities under the guise of digital tokens. Earlier, the assumption was made that the purchase of the Poloniex crypto cash exchange by the Circle payment company could also be a part of this process.
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