Tagged: finra

Four Takeaways from SEC Warning that Cryptocurrency Exchanges May Be Unlawful Trading Platforms

On March 7, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a public statement warning that cryptocurrency coin exchanges were possibly operating as unlawful online trading platforms¹.  The SEC staff noted that “many online trading platforms appear to investors as SEC-registered and regulated marketplaces when… Read More

The ABCs of Investing in ICOs

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have recently become very popular, causing investors of all levels of sophistication to consider buying ICO tokens (or coins). Regardless of whether you view ICO tokens as “investments,” or whether you want to buy tokens for their utility function to make… Read More

The 2017 State of Regulation Crowdfunding: US Securities-based Crowdfunding under Title III of the JOBS Act

Recently, my company crafted a report for the US Securities and Exchange Commission that summarizes progress on Title III of the JOBS Act of 2012, also referred to Regulation Crowdfunding or Reg CF. This newest securities exemption was added to the options that smaller companies… Read More

There are Now 36 FINRA Approved Reg CF Portals. Can They All Survive?

Last month, we visited the roster of FINRA approved Reg CF funding portals which stood at 34. Today, that number has increased by 2 so now it stands at 36 in total. Last week, we discussed the three Reg CF platforms that departed this segment… Read More

Three Reg CF Crowdfunding Portals are No Longer FINRA Approved

The Reg CF crowdfunding sector has had a mixed bag this year. While several platforms are experiencing success most approved portals have had little to no activity. This is due to a combination of ill thought out rules where myopic officials made compliance too harsh… Read More

ICO Advisors: Are they Broker-Dealers or Finders?

Despite the record success of many initial coin offerings (ICOs), raising capital for ICOs is a difficult process.  It is tempting to accept help anywhere one can get it, and there is no shortage of persons and companies clamoring to “find” or refer investors in… Read More

FINRA Moves to Boost Transparency & Communication with Member Firms

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has revealed several changes to its advisory committees. These changes are designed to increase transparency around the committees and improve their effectiveness as a vehicle for firms to provide input on key issues before FINRA. The move is part… Read More

There are Now 34 FINRA Approved Reg CF Crowdfunding Platforms

There are now 34 FINRA approved crowdfunding platforms leveraging Title III of the JOBS Act, widely called Reg CF. The number of Reg CF portals is inching higher having added 5 approved platforms since this past summer (after revoking Ufundingportal ‘s certification). Under Reg CF an… Read More

Pitfalls for Funding Platforms Continuing to Raise Capital over the Internet under Rule 506(b)

Even with the flexibility provided to Regulation D private placement offerings by Title II of the JumpStart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) data has consistently shown that most Regulation D offerings continue to raise capital under traditional Rule 506(b). … Read More

A New Direction for FINRA? – Washington, DC & Live Stream

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is a regulator of central importance to the functioning of U.S. capital markets. It regulates nearly 4.000 broker-dealers and almost 650,000 registered representatives.  It is a private, not-for-profit organization. In 2015, FINRA levied $94 million in fines against broker-dealers,… Read More

Is FINRA Broken? Does FINRA Need to be Fixed?

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or FINRA is currently in the midst of a comprehensive review of its rules and practices. The internal project has been labeled FINRA 360 and is said to ensure that FINRA is operating as the most effective self-regulatory organization it can be…. Read More

Return of Congress: Two Congressional Hearings to Watch Next Week

Congress returns next week hopefully reinvigorated and ready to reduce regulation and pass meaningful tax reform following some time off. Congress has not accomplished too much this year, much like many past years, but hope springs eternal and after a bumpy start of the year… Read More

FINRA Wants to Better Understand Fintech. Launches “Innovation Outreach Initiative”

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has created a new entity to help it better understand Fintech innovation. Announced today, FINRA has created “Innovation Outreach Initiative” to “foster an ongoing dialogue” with the securities as finance goes digital. FINRA says the initiative will build on… Read More

There are Now 29 FINRA Regulated Reg CF Crowdfunding Portals

The number of FINRA approved and regulated crowdfunding portals has been inching higher. Today, there are 29 different Reg CF crowdfunding platforms each targeting the new securities exemption created under the JOBS Act 0f 2012. At the beginning of 2017, that number stood at 22… Read More

Minimizing Potential Litigation & Regulatory Risks for Crowdfunding Platforms

Crowdfunding regulations were enacted with the goal of providing small businesses access to capital without imposing arduous registration and disclosure burdens.[i]  In that regard, the regulations have shown significant promise. Commentators have rightfully highlighted the substantial benefits to both issuers and investors based on their… Read More

FINRA Schedules Blockchain Symposium in July

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has scheduled a symposium in New York City to discuss Blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Blockchain has powered the growth of digital currencies and since the advent of Bitcoin, Blockchain has stolen a growing amount of attention as… Read More

Is Your Crowdfunding Portal Ready For Your First FINRA Exam?

With the one year anniversary of Crowdfunding under Regulation Crowdfunding occurring on May 16th, business executives and compliance officers at registered Crowdfunding Portals (CFPs) should be actively preparing for their first regulatory examination by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).   FINRA’s 2017 exam cycle… Read More

FINRA CEO on Change: “We must avoid incrementalism or convenient compromises when bold action is required”

At the annual FINRA Conference in Washington, DC, this week FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook took the stage to talk about change.  In a speech entitled A Changing Industry – A Changing Industry, Cook reflected on his initiative to build a better FINRA.  In… Read More

Regulatory Notice: FINRA Asks for Comments on Capital Formation Including Crowdfunding & More

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has filed a regulatory notice and a request for comments regarding capital formation. The review includes aspects of the JOBS Act and crowdfunding. FINRA said the request for comments was part of its FINRA360 initiative, a comprehensive review of… Read More

FINRA Approved Funding Wonder Announces First Loan Offering

Online lending crowdfunding portal Funding Wonder announced on Thursday the launch of its first loan offering which is dedicated for Annapolis, Maryland Dental Fix Rx franchisee, Ryan Clark. This news comes just a few months after the platform was approved by the Financial Industry Regulatory… Read More