The approval marks the first time a digital asset custody provider has come under federal regulation as the SEC tightens custody rules.
Prometheum subsidiary Prometheum Ember Capital has received approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as a special purpose broker-dealer (SPBD) for digital asset securities. This approval allows Prometheum to custody digital asset securities on behalf of retail and institutional clients.
FINRA’s designation of Prometheum Ember Capital as an SPBD makes it a qualified custodian, subject to provisions of the United States Exchange Act of 1934. It is the first firm to offer digital asset custody as a qualified custodian. FINRA is the self-regulatory body of the U.S. securities industry. Other digital asset custody providers have state licenses.
Prometheum co-CEO Aaron Kaplan said in a statement:
“Digital asset investors in the U.S. are currently custodying cryptocurrencies that are securities through platforms that don’t offer the same SEA 15c3-3 [Rule] customer protections required by the federal securities laws.”
Prometheum Ember Capital will offer custody services to institutional and retail customers. Individual investors are currently invited to sign up for a waitlist on the firm’s website.
Related: Anchorage Digital opens up DeFi voting for custody clients
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently been scrutinizing traditional investment companies and crypto firms offering digital asset custody. New SEC rules could force crypto firms to move their custodied assets to a separate entity. The regulator’s proposals have been controversial within the crypto community and among legislators.
Prometheum Ember Capital has made history as the 1st SEC-registered broker-dealer and FINRA member firm approved to operate as a Special Purpose Broker-Dealer (SPBD) for digital asset securities. Learn about how we continue to move the industry forward: https://t.co/owwoQbQ4Zd pic.twitter.com/kCySyPg9Qe— Prometheum (@PrometheumInc) May 23, 2023
Another Prometheum subsidiary, Prometheum ATS, has FINRA registration to provide alternative trading services, including digital asset securities trading, clearing, settlement and custody. That service, launched in October, is meant to integrate regulated digital asset trading into legacy trading systems.
Prometheum partnered with Anchorage Digital Bank for the service. It, too, was intended for both institutional and retail investors.
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