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Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
FINRA logo.gif
Founded 2007
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Key People Robert W. Cook, President and CEO
Employees 3400
Products OpenFinance Network Trade Platform, Investor Passport
Twitter @FINRA
LinkedIn Profile
Facebook FinraFoundation
Website FINRA Homepage

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the U.S. The company strives to promote transparency, compliance with U.S. laws, enforcement of those laws for all registered broker-dealer firms in the U.S., and education for investors.[1]

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FINRA and Cryptocurrency

FINRA has been involved with educating investors about cryptocurrency for several years. In December of 2015, FINRA published an educational article on their website entitled, "What You Should Know About Bitcoin."[2] The article highlighted bitcoin-related arrests and regulatory measures taken by the SEC between 2014 and 2015, as well as the risks of investing in a poorly-regulated speculative asset like bitcoin and the risk of investing in ICOs. This included a link to one of FINRA's Investor Alerts, "Avoiding Investment Scams."[3] Later that month they released another Investor Alert entitled "Don’t Fall for Cryptocurrency-Related Stock Scams."[4]

In July 2018, FINRA issued a regulatory notice to its member organizations asking for detailed reports on their cryptocurrency or blockchain-related activities, including plans for future investment or trading activities, in order to "ascertain the extent of FINRA member involvement related to digital assets."[5][6] That month, FINRA approved Coinbase's acquisition of three companies - Keystone Capital Corp., Venovate Marketplace Inc., and Digital Wealth LLC - which enabled Coinbase to offer security tokens. The official approval from FINRA, along with the SEC, allowed Coinbase to do so legally, under federal oversight.[7]

FINRA publishes educational articles about cryptocurrency on their official site. In November 2018, they published an article explaining how to store cryptocurrencies. The explanation included an overview of different kinds of wallets, including the difference between "hot" and "cold" wallets.[8]