Ahead of U.S. midterm elections, a recent Grayscale national survey points to the bipartisan consensus that crypto is the future of finance

By Anastasia Samaras

A new national survey from Grayscale, conducted by The Harris Poll on its behalf, presented interesting findings about public perception surrounding the crypto market ahead of the U.S. midterm elections.

53% of Americans surveyed agree that “cryptocurrencies are the future of finance,” including 59% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans, and 44% of Americans expect to have crypto as part of their investment portfolio in the future.

Further, nearly half of Americans are familiar with cryptocurrency and familiarity rises among younger investors, including 70% of those aged 18–34 and 62% of those aged 35–44.

As a blockchain-powered exchange that enables NFT trading, Upstream finds the results of this survey very promising. Increased support for cryptocurrencies paired with the demand for clear regulation point to a greater adoption rate and increasing positive public perception not just for digital currency but for the underlying technology.

Surrounding the regulatory gray area the crypto and greater blockchain market operate in, 81% surveyed agree there should be clearer cryptocurrency industry regulation.¹

There has been a notable movement towards regulation over the past year, but we believe more meaningful, concise language would aid in industry adoption and understanding.

Recap of incoming and ongoing regulation in the NFT Market

  • In January 2021, congress passed the anti-money laundering act of 2020 as part of the national defense authorization act, with the biggest changes to the BSA in two decades.​²
  • In March 2021, the financial action task force issued a draft for updated virtual asset guidance, which could have implications for NFTs.³
  • Buyers of the $600k Nyan cat NFT and other notable NFTs are only known by their wallet addresses. This could have serious implications.⁴
  • The AML act extends the scope of the BSA to crypto exchanges, maintaining that virtual currency businesses are money services businesses, and therefore, subject to BSA requirements.⁵
  • In March 2022, the SEC reportedly sent subpoenas to NFT marketplaces for potential regulatory violations.​⁶
  • In August 2022, the SEC issued investigative subpoenas and requests for information surrounding Coinbase’s listing process, staking programs, and yield-bearing products.⁷

How Upstream navigates regulatory uncertainty

As a fully regulated digital stock exchange, Upstream’s NFT market inherently meets U.S.-securities and bank-secrecy regulations as standard practice. We’ve integrated KYC/AML compliance checks seamlessly into the app to keep our community protected.

Upstream is the first securities exchange to offer both NFT and securities trading and was designed for everyday investors with secure, clear, and intuitive functionality.​​

“Most NFT platforms have moved faster than regulation, but we’ve always taken the approach that regulation was a “when” not an “if” for the multi-billion-dollar NFT market,” said Upstream Co-Founder and Horizon CEO Brian Collins. “We’ve built our exchange to be adaptable with potential new policies, seamlessly integrating identity verification, AML, and copyright protection to safeguard NFT traders.”

We are proud to be a MERJ Exchange Market which is an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges(WFE), built by a team of Wall Street veterans and proven software engineers to create a fair and accessible market.

Upstream works with brands across sports, music, and entertainment offering a secure, safe entry point into Web3. It was paramount to include benchmarks that protect personal brands and their fans and promote longevity no matter the regulatory landscape.


Global News Wire | 2 Thomson Reuters | 3 Coin Desk | 4 The New York Times | 5 FDIC | 6 Cointelegraph | 7 Blockworks |

About Upstream:

Upstream, a MERJ Exchange Market (merj.exchange), is a fully regulated global stock exchange for digital securities. Powered by Horizon’s proprietary matching engine technology, the exchange will enable investors to trade NFTs, shares in IPOs, crowdfunded companies, U.S. & Int’l. equities, and celebrity ventures directly from the app: https://upstream.exchange. Interested issuers can reach the team at hello@upstream.exchange.

About MERJ:

MERJ Exchange (MERJ) operates Upstream as a fully regulated and licensed integrated securities exchange, clearing system and depository for digital and non-digital securities. MERJ is an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), recognized by HM Revenue and Customs UK, a full member of the Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) and a Qualifying Foreign Exchange for OTC Markets in the US. MERJ is also a member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative. Visit https://merj.exchange/ to learn more.

About Horizon:

Horizon is a fintech company that builds and powers global securities exchanges with an integrated suite of software for compliant issuance, management, and secondary trading of securities. Our in-house solutions combine Wall Street and Silicon Valley to power the next generation of securities offerings and trading in the U.S. and globally. Learn more at https://www.horizonfintex.com/.


This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell securities or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction where such offer or solicitation is not permitted.

NFTs received have no economic value, royalties, equity ownership, or dividends. NFTs are for utility, collection, and display only.

*U.S. investors are not permitted to purchase Upstream listed securities. U.S. and Canadian citizens will only be able to trade in securities they currently own, that have been listed on Upstream, for liquidation purposes only.

If funding Upstream with an ACH or wire bank payment, users must complete Upstream’s in-app KYC process to get their new, FDIC insured, Upstream U.S. bank account details via email. Users may then initiate a funds-transfer from their bank or financial institution to this new U.S. Dollar bank account. If you haven’t completed KYC yet, or didn’t select ‘Bank’ as the ‘Deposit From’ option when you completed the process initially, then please go through KYC again selecting the ‘Bank’ payment method. Users may complete the simple KYC process by tapping the settings icon and the KYC option inside the Upstream app.

Upstream is a MERJ Exchange market. MERJ Exchange is a licensed Securities Exchange, an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges, and a full member of ANNA. MERJ supports global issuers of traditional and digital securities through the entire asset life cycle from issuance to trading, clearing, settlement, and registry. It operates a fair and transparent marketplace in line with international best practices and principles of operations of financial markets. Upstream does not endorse or recommend any public or private securities bought or sold on its app. Upstream does not offer investment advice or recommendations of any kind. All services offered by Upstream are intended for self-directed clients who make their own investment decisions without aid or assistance from Upstream. All customers are subject to the rules and regulations of their jurisdiction. By accessing the site or app, you agreed to be bound by its terms of use and privacy policy. Company and security listings on Upstream are only suitable for investors who are familiar with and willing to accept the high risk associated with speculative investments, often in early and development stage companies. There can be no assurance the valuation of any particular company’s securities is accurate or in agreement with the market or industry comparative valuations. Investors must be able to afford market volatility and afford the loss of their investment. Companies listed on Upstream are subject to significant ongoing corporate obligations including, but not limited to disclosure, filings, and notification requirements, as well as compliance with applicable quantitative and qualitative listing standards.

Forward-Looking Statements

This communication contains “forward-looking statements.” Such statements may be preceded by the words “intends,” “may,” “will,” “plans,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “estimates,” “aims,” “believes,” “hopes,” “potential,” or similar words. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, are based on certain assumptions, and are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, and cannot be predicted or quantified, and, consequently, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with (i) difficulties in obtaining financing on commercially reasonable terms; (ii) changes in the size and nature of our competition; (iii) loss of one or more key executives or brand ambassadors; and (iv) changes in legal or regulatory requirements in the markets in which we operate. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise

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