Wall Street watchdog fired cryptocurrency staff: work for us

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NEW YORK, June 14 (Reuters) – The financial industry regulator plans to increase its resources to understand and monitor cryptocurrencies as more Wall Street watchdogs trade digital assets, CEO Robert Cook said on Tuesday.

“We already have to get involved in this area and so we think it’s appropriate for us to increase our capabilities there,” Cook said at a conference on the commercial industry.

FINRA has several dozen members licensed to trade digital assets, as well as members providing clients with access to crypto products and members with registered agents who have outside business activities related to cryptocurrencies, Cook said.

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The regulator is also developing techniques to verify digital assets and see if it can monitor different blockchains, he said.

Cryptocurrency prices have fallen sharply in recent weeks, with Bitcoin hitting an 18-month low on Tuesday after major cryopropeller Celsius Network froze picks and the prospect of a sharp rise in U.S. interest rates rocked the volatile asset class.

Cryptocurrency Coinbase Global Inc. (COIN.O) said Tuesday that it will cut about 1,100 jobs, or 18% of its workforce, to weather the decline in the cryptosphere. Companies like BlockFi and Crypto.com have also cut hundreds of jobs, while top companies like Meta Platforms and Intel Corp (INTC.O) have slowed hiring. Continue reading

As federal agencies seek the position of the primary regulator of digital assets, FINRA will most likely play a role, Cook said, regardless of the outcome.

“We have to get involved and be willing to have the resources to do so, so anyone who gets fired from the crypto platform and wants to work for FINRA calls me,” he said.

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Report by John McCrank editor Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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