Crypto startup Uphold to buy broker-dealer

Crypto startup Uphold to buy broker-dealer

Digital money platform Uphold has agreed to acquire New York-based broker-deal JNK Securities, paving the regulatory way for it to start offering trading in a host of new crypto assets.

Formally called Bitreserve, Uphold lets users buy, sell and send cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and XRP, powering more than $3 billion in transactions across 184 countries.

Now the firm wants to expand into new crypto areas, agreeing to buy Nyse-member JNK Securities and filing an application with Finra for approval of the change of ownership and business expansion.

Upon approval, Uphold says that it will file with the SEC to begin operating an alternative trading system (ATS). This would allow a new Uphold securities division to offer sales and trading of ICO tokens and fractional equities and provide other exchange services.

"We have kept a close eye on statements from global regulators regarding virtual currencies and tokens and believe that many crypto assets (particularly ICO tokens) may be treated as securities in some cases," says Adrian Steckel, CEO, Uphold. "Broker-dealer and ATS coverage is key to protecting our customers and to building a preeminent financial services ecosystem."

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