Prometheum CEO's secret to finding favor with the SEC

Quick Take

  • Aaron Kaplan reveals how Prometheum secured the SEC’s first and only special-purpose broker-dealer license to date.

Episode 83 of Season 5 of The Scoop was recorded with The Block's Frank Chaparro and Prometheum Founder & Co-CEO Aaron Kaplan.

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Aaron Kaplan founded Prometheum to create a trading venue for digital assets that is compliant with federal securities laws. However, Kaplan's firm came under fire following the SEC's approval of Prometheum's special purpose broker-dealer license back in May of this year — the only such license issued by the SEC to date.


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In this episode, Kaplan lays out how Prometheum managed to secure the special purpose broker-dealer license and why he believes strict adherence to the federal securities laws is the key to increased institutional participation in the digital asset industry.

While companies like Coinbase claim regulatory ambiguities exist surrounding digital assets, Kaplan firmly believes that existing federal securities laws can be applied to digital assets without alterations.

As Kaplan explains, "Our approval shows that if you put your head down, you work hard, you focus on how the regulators have laid out the rules and regulations, that you can be compliant."

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Authors

Davis Quinton is the Director of Podcasts at The Block and runs our flagship podcast called The Scoop, hosted by Frank Chaparro. Since joining The Block as an 'intern' in early 2022, he has worked closely with leaders across departments to translate The Block's written content into engaging multimedia formats. He holds a degree in Social Research & Public Policy from New York University in Abu Dhabi and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Frank Chaparro is the Editor At Large at The Block. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. He runs his own podcast The Scoop and writes a biweekly eponymous newsletter. He leads special projects, including The Block's flagship podcast, The Scoop. Prior to The Block, he held roles at Business Insider, NPR, and Nasdaq. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].