Prometheum Talks About Special Purpose Broker-Dealer License And Rule 144 For Digital Assets

Prometheum – podcast brawl

Reporter Laura Shin of Unchained has released her podcast’s latest episode which refereed a conversation between Prometheum co-founder Aaron Kaplan and Rodrigo Seira, Special Counsel for investment firm Paradigm. Every minute of the rough-and-tumble one-hour podcast brawl explored what’s behind Prometheum and what’s really going on with the company which still is looking for its first revenue. Even the company’s appearance at the recent House Financial Services Committee meeting came under the microscope as did Senator Tommy Tuberville’s (R, AL) recent Wall Street Journal op-ed (on 6/7; Prometheum response on 6/25) about the company and its previous Chinese investor.

The podcast began with one of many “elephants in the room” for the digital assets industry: whether it’s possible – or not possible – for crypto exchanges to register with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Prometheum’s Kaplan took the side of “it’s possible” explaining, “It’s possible because Prometheum has done it. Essentially by operating within the compliant frameworks of the Federal securities laws as laid out by the SEC. Prometheum ATS has been approved as an ATS to publicly-trade digital asset securities. And Prometheum Capital was recently approved as the first special purpose broker-dealer that could compliantly custody digital asset securities under Federal securities laws. So, essentially, I think that’s an example others can follow in how to come into compliance.”

Paradigm’s Seira said on why “it’s not possible”, “I think Aaron in his statement just pointed to the recent SPBD (special purpose broker-dealer) license and the approval for the ATS. Two things to clarify there. He’s not really operating an exchange. This is an alternative trading system.  I think, most importantly, is what Prometheum really has is a license. But, they don’t really have a business because they’re not able to trade any tokens under the current law.”

Hear “Prometheum and Paradigm in Debate: Can The Status Quo Work” on Apple Podcasts. Or, watch it on YouTube.

Prometheum – Rule 144

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal covered Prometheum’s efforts to potentially expand its ability to list digital assets (a challenge for the company to-date) using something known as Rule 144. The WSJ explains that the rule “allows the owners of restricted securities to sell after they hold the shares for a year. The ownership period can usually be easily established because companies disclose when they grant shares to insiders. (…) The SEC hasn’t endorsed Prometheum’s use of the exemption to trade tokens that the agency believes are the kinds of investments it regulates.” Read more. This topic is covered in the Unchained podcast, too.

crypto tax update?

The much-anticipated crypto tax crackdown has yet to arrive and some are beginning to wonder if it ever will. Politico reports that Washington is scratching “its collective head over radio silence from the Biden administration on what the actual, nitty-gritty requirements for crypto reporting will be.” Read more. Lisa Zarlenga, a former Treasury tax official who is now at the law firm Steptoe & Johnson tells the publication, “This is the single easiest thing they can do to improve compliance, and they’re not doing it.”

Even Rep. Brad Sherman (D, CA) asked Secretary Janet Yellen at her recent HFS hearing about crypto tax guidance. She said, “We will get back to you shortly on that.”

advocating on the Hill

In a Twitter thread, Alex Hall, whose Web3 consulting company is a member of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, described his recent experience on Capitol Hill which included a visit with the office of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D, MA), a strong critic of the crypto industry.

Hall tweeted, “Her office and I are both in agreement that we need to have a regulatory framework in place to protect consumers. I think that we can find common ground & work together. (…) The most interesting thing that I absorbed from our discussion was that her office keeps a close eye on #CryptoTwitter. I would venture a guess to say that a lot of the interactions Warren’s office has had with our industry have been through observing what is said on CT…” Hall emphasizes that the digital assets industry needs to keep in contact with lawmakers directly and beyond the Twitter echo chamber. Read the thread.

bank invests in blockchain

Japan’s largest bank, MUFG, is investing in a blockchain technology startup called DataChain. According to Ledger Insights, “The two firms have been working together since last year on blockchain interoperability for MUFG’s Progmat Coin, a multi bank stablecoin issuance platform. Earlier this month the companies said they were targeting public blockchain stablecoins, with the timeline confirmed today as April 2024.” Read more.

survey says

A new survey across 15,000 people in 15 countries by blockchain company Consensys and YouGov beguiles the reader with new findings that project over 90% of the global population has awareness about crypto today.

On crypto concepts, the survey says, “Globally, cryptocurrency is seen as the ‘Future of Money’, and an ‘alternative to the traditional financial ecosystem.’ However, European countries are more likely to associate it with negative aspects such as speculation (especially in France and Germany) or scams/phishing.”

On the impact of centralized crypto exchange bankruptcies, nearly 75% of all respondents saw a moderate to heavy impact on their trust of the crypto ecosystem. See more insights.

In the press release announcing the survey’s results Consensys claims a new vision for itself, “Consensys is launching an evolved brand with a core message redefining the ‘builder’ as inclusive of everyone, and in support of open and fairer internet.” Read a bit more.

still more tips

The multi-billion dollar question posed by BlackRock’s bitcoin ETF move – The Block

Three Arrows Liquidators Seek $1.3 Billion From Fund’s Founders – Bloomberg

Israel seizes millions in Iran Quds Force, Hezbollah crypto assets – Jerusalem Post

Nevada Places Crypto Custodian Prime Trust Into Receivership – CoinDesk

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