Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

SEC Issues Statement on Crypto Exchange Regulation

SEC Issues Statement on Crypto Exchange Regulation

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) now requires that platforms trading digital assets which meet the definition of a security must register with the agency as an exchange, according to a public statement issued by the regulatory body on Wednesday, March 7.

"I think it's one more message from the SEC that they view coins as securities and they encourage everyone in the space to. follow securities laws", said Jason Gottlieb, partner at Morrison Cohen, where he leads the cryptocurrency litigation team. Consequently, if a service offers trading solutions for assets that resemble securities and acts as an exchange, it must register with the SEC as "a national securities exchange or be exempt from registration". Coinbase's GDAX, one of the largest US crypto trading platforms, does not appear on the SEC list of registered securities exchanges.

Instead of registering with the SEC, some of the largest trading platforms like COinbase have money transmission licenses with separate states.

Numerous unregistered platforms give investors the power to buy and sell digital assets hastily.

Does the platform operate as an alternative trading system (ATS)? Highly popular exchange platform Bittrex has responded to the announcement in order to assuage investor fears, stating that tokens listed on the platform are unequivocally not securities.

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"The federal regulatory framework governing registered national securities exchanges and exempt markets is created to protect investors and prevent against fraudulent and manipulative trading practices", it said. He also said many digital tokens he had seen were actually securities and should be regulated as such.

Do you trade securities on this platform?

How does the platform select digital assets for trading? Many platforms refer to themselves as "exchanges", which can give the misimpression to investors that they are regulated or meet the regulatory standards of a national securities exchange.

Does the platform operate as an ATS?

In reality, the SEC explained, the agency does not review the listing requirements of these exchanges or the "trading protocols" they might employ.

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Overstock.com Inc.'s tZero says it aims to be a fully compliant trading platform.

How are prices set on the platform?

What are the platform's protections against cybersecurity threats, such as hacking or intrusions?

Does the platform hold users' assets?

Cryptocurrencies have been embraced by "crypto-anarchists" and others leery of centralized financial authorities and powers. If so, how are these assets safeguarded? He now lives in Los Angeles.

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