Circle looks to become licensed bank; Coinbase acquires broker-dealer

Circle looks to become licensed bank; Coinbase acquires broker-dealer

Cryptocurrency platform Circle Internet Financial is bidding to enter the Wall Street mainstream, seeking a federal banking license and SEC registration as a brokerage and trading venue.

Officials at the firm have told Bloomberg that they have had preliminary conversations with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the SEC and Finra.

While securing a federal banking license would not be easy, it would mean that the firm can dodge dealing with individual states and keep it on the right side of a fast-evolving regulatory landscape.

CEO Allaire tells Bloomberg: "To hold reserves with the Federal Reserve, to natively access the central-banking system without intermediaries, to directly settle with other banks in other markets around the world through those networks - that can improve the efficiency of what we deliver, it can reduce the costs."

Rival cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is also bidding to become a member of the Wall Street elite, acquiring Finra-registered broker dealer Keystone Capital. Thje move sets Coinbaseon a path to offer future services that include crypto securities trading, margin and over-the-counter (OTC) trading, and new market data products.

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