Promethium Ember Capital, (“PEC”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Promethium, has become the first digital asset custody provider to come under federal regulation. PEC was approved as a special purpose broker-dealer (“SPBD”) for digital asset securities. The approval allows Promethium to custody digital asset securities on behalf of both retail and institutional clients.
The significance of this is two-fold. First, as digital asset securities, should the SEC classify digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and NFT as securities rather than derivatives, Promethium will be well positioned to offer the related custody services.
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Secondly, as a qualified custodian, which is what the SPBD classification offers, subjects Promethium to provisions of the landmark United States Exchange Act of 1934. As noted by Promethium Co-CEO Aaron Kaplan, “Digital asset investors in the IS are currently custodying cryptocurrencies that are securities on platforms that don’t offer the same SEA 15c3-3 customer protections required by the federal securities laws.”
15c3-3 offers retail clients superior collateral protections against losses in the event of a custodian bankruptcy and require more frequent and stringent collateral protections for both retail and institutional clients.
While there are many other digital asset custodians in the marketplace currently, they are operating under state licenses, many of which do not offer the same protections to retail or institutional clients.