It was an expected move. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said in a statement that online trading platforms for cryptocurrencies have to be registered with the SEC if they deal with cryptoassets (digital assets) that may be regarded as securities. The SEC assumes that most tokens (cryptoassets/digital assets) offered through ICOs are securities and cryptocurrency exchanges trading those tokens should follow the same rules as every exchange.
If a platform offers trading of digital assets that are securities and operates as an “exchange,” as defined by the federal securities laws, then the platform must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange or be exempt from registration.
The SEC said these “potentially unlawful” platforms may be giving a “misimpression to investors that they are regulated or meet the regulatory standards of a national securities exchange“. The agency warned investors to be careful when trading on unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges.
Bitcoin fell below the key $10,000 level after the SEC statement. It may be expected that other regulators in other jurisdiction will follow SECs move and urge cryptocurrency exchanges to register with their respective regulators.