Innovating From Cryptocurrency to Equities Trading


Enable a crypto trading platform to offer a seamless customer experience between crypto and equities trading by offering registered broker-dealer services.


Uphold, a well-regarded traditional and crypto trading app, had already attracted millions of users worldwide with its crypto trading experience and user-friendly approach. But the company had a bigger, more ambitious vision, which “embraces a future where people and businesses around the world have access to safe, transparent, fair and affordable financial services.”


  • While equities are a core element of investing and trading, purchasing them with cryptocurrencies creates significant regulatory complexities and adaptations to special middle- and back-office requirements.

  • Uphold wanted to make it simple to use the value stored in their crypto wallets to purchase fractional shares of publicly traded companies.

InnReg's Solution

  • Helped guide Uphold through the regulatory requirements around acquiring a broker-dealer to settle fractional buy- and sell- trades that initially originated from an end-user’s crypto wallet.

  • Advised on moving the acquired broker-dealer from a fully-disclosed to an omnibus structure so that it could manage trades within one, proprietary set of digital books and records in the broker's name.

  • Provided essential input on obtaining regulatory approval from FINRA to provide these new services and persisted with the process through several rounds of inquiry.

  • Designed the strategy for Uphold to mitigate risks and quickly build a compliance program to meet all regulatory requirements for its new broker-dealer business model and operations.

Client Results

  • On March 31, 2021, Uphold announced that it received regulatory approval to purchase JNK Securities, a U.S. broker-dealer, making it one of the first cryptocurrency firms to own a broker-dealer approved to offer equities.

  • News of the approval made big waves in industry press covering cryptocurrency, fintech, and regulation, as well as lifting Uphold’s search traffic by roughly 1,000%.

  • The ability to offer equities to U.S. investors will drive new account openings and trading volumes to greater heights of success, giving Uphold customers greater wealth-creation opportunities.

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