Crypto startup Uphold has been given the green light by a U.S. financial regulator to acquire a broker-dealer firm and begin offering licensed securities.
The approval by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) paves the way for the digital finance platform to scoop up JNK Securities following its initial filing in 2018, according to a press release shared with CoinDesk on Wednesday.
Uphold is set to become one of the first cryptocurrency businesses in the U.S. to offer securities on an omnibus basis to retail investors, the company said. Uphold also said it now plans to launch fractional equities in the U.S. sometime this year and to provide trading between cryptocurrencies, stocks and precious metals, among others.
“Bitcoin to Tesla stock in one seamless user experience will soon become a reality for our U.S. customers,” said Uphold’s CEO JP Thieriot in a statement. “Our fractional equities offering will render even the most expensive equities accessible and affordable to ordinary people.”
Uphold said the acquisition will also create an “effective vehicle” to market its cryptocurrency investment fund, Digital Asset Alpha, to hedge funds via JNK’s existing traditional client base. The company also said it plans to expand its equities offerings later in the year, from 50 to 3,500 U.S.-based stocks and options.
InnReg, a compliance consulting firm specializing in supporting fintech companies, handled the regulatory approval process, according to the release.