SEC sets out conditions for broker-dealers to custody digital assets

The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a statement and request for comment regarding the custody of digital asset securities by broker-dealers in order to encourage innovation around the application of Securities Exchange Act Rule 15c3-3 to digital asset securities.

The SEC stated that for a period of five years a broker-dealer operating under specific circumstances will not face an enforcement action on the basis that the broker-dealer deems itself to have obtained and maintained physical possession or control of customer fully paid and excess margin digital asset securities under Rule 15c3-3.

These circumstances, among other things, include: that the broker-dealer limits its business to digital asset securities; establishes and implements policies and procedures reasonably designed to mitigate the risks associated with conducting a business in digital asset securities; and provides customers with certain disclosures regarding the risks of engaging in transactions involving digital asset securities.

In addition, the SEC is requesting comment to provide the Commission and its staff with an opportunity to gain additional insight into the evolving standards and best practices with respect to custody of digital asset securities. Such insights will serve to inform any potential future Commission action in this space.

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