Harbor Now Has Both Broker-Dealer and Transfer Agent Licenses in the US

Security token startup Harbor has been granted a transfer agent license by the SEC, a month after getting the green light from the CFTC.

Nov 1, 2019 at 9:55 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:39 a.m. UTC

Security token startup Harbor has secured a transfer agent license from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A month after receiving a broker-dealer license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Harbor was granted the license Thursday to better ensure interest and dividend payments to investors. The firm is the first blockchain company to be granted both licenses.

Transfer agents act as liaisons between firms, investors and regulatory bodies by keeping track of investment certificates. If a wallet contained security tokens is lost, for example, the transfer agent can help mint new tokens to replace the lost securities. By acquiring the license, Harbor has the green light to service higher class firms, investors, and offerings.

Seeking to become a “one-stop-shop” for digital asset issuance, Harbor has done its fair share of leg work to get the appropriate regulatory licenses.  In fact, it took over a year, according to CEO Josh Stein.

“It took the regulators a long time to get a handle on the space and understand it and its implications. This was very new for the SEC and FINRA, and they wanted to do it right," Stein said as the firm was awarded the broker-dealer license.

Harbor recently engaged in a $100 million real estate tokenizing effort on the ethereum blockchain on behalf of four firms. By tokenizing investor shares, Harbor and the 1,000 plus participating investors and placement holders hoped to decrease digital asset management friction.

Josh Stein image via CoinDesk archives

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