• FINRA plans to boost resources to better understand and observe cryptocurrencies
  • The move aligns with the SEC’s plans to hire more staff for crypto enforcements

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is gearing up for more involvement in cryptocurrency after several organization members have shown interest in trading digital assets.

While federal agencies consider market protection measures, FINRA expects to play a role in policing digital asset markets, Reuters reported CEO Robert Cook saying at an industry conference on Tuesday. 

Cook said FINRA — which regulates registered brokers and broker-dealers in the US — will need to engage with the industry and requires resources to do so. 

FINRA has approved dozens of its members to trade in cryptocurrencies, Cook said. Boosting resources and staff aside, the non-governmental watchdog is exploring whether it can perform cross-market surveillance across blockchains, he added.

Cook even encouraged employees recently laid off by crypto companies to call him. Tumbling crypto prices have triggered layoffs at major crypto exchanges, including Coinbase, Gemini, Crypto.com, BitMEX, Buenbit and Bitso. 

Echoing Cook, SEC Chair Gary Gensler called for urgent action to protect crypto investors and other market participants in a video interview on Tuesday, citing this week’s account lockouts at Celsius.

Last month, the SEC (which oversees FINRA) pledged to boost the headcount of its Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit enforcement division from 30 to 50 dedicated positions.

In any case, FINRA’s Cook isn’t alone in seeking fired blockchain industry employees during one of the space’s most turbulent periods in years. Crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun said in a Tuesday tweet that his firms TRON, Poloniex, BitTorrent, USDD, APENFT, JUST Foundation and SunIO are actively hiring.

Binance also said it has 2,000 open position while Kraken flagged its global hiring push in a blog, confirming plans to fill more than 500 positions this year.

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  • Blockworks
    Shalini is a crypto reporter from Bangalore, India who covers developments in the market, regulation, market structure, and advice from institutional experts. Prior to Blockworks, she worked as a markets reporter at Insider and a correspondent at Reuters News. She holds some bitcoin and ether. Reach her at [email protected]