Whole lotta crypto going on: Bitcoin slips as SEC, FSA and Twitter dither

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There is much dithering in the cryptocurrency space today as the US SEC says some cryptocurrency exchanges may be “potentially unlawful”, Japan’s FSA gets tough on exchanges with penalties and shutdowns, and Twitter takes steps to ban cryptocurrency-related scams. So of course Bitcoin’s price has gone haywire again.

SEC wants cryptocurrency exchanges to be registered …

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Wednesday that many online trading platforms for cryptocurrencies should be registered with the regulator and subject to additional rules.

In a statement, the SEC said these “potentially unlawful” platforms may be giving investors an unearned sense of safety. And it said many of these platforms likely need to register with the SEC as a national securities exchange or an alternate trading system.

The new statement marks the latest effort by the SEC to apply existing markets rules to the rapidly growing cryptocurrency sector. Read more …

… And Bitcoin’s value drops 7.5% as a result

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bitcoin fell to a 1-1/2 week low on Wednesday after the US Securities and Exchange Commission warned of “potentially unlawful” systems that trade cryptocurrencies, which investors may use with an unearned sense of safety.

At 1:07 p.m. (1807 GMT), the world’s biggest and best-known digital currency was last down 7.53% at $9,924.03 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange. It fell as low as $9,450 earlier Wednesday, which was the lowest since Feb. 26. Read more …

Japan’s FSA lays the smack down on cryptocurrency exchanges

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s financial regulator on Thursday punished seven cryptocurrency exchanges, suspending business at the two of them, in an effort to shore up consumer protection after the $530 million theft of digital money from Tokyo-based Coincheck.

A senior official at the Financial Services Agency told reporters at a briefing on Thursday it had confirmed Coincheck had funding to reimburse its customers for digital NEM coins stolen from its exchange. It said the company would announce details of its reimbursement plan later in the day.

The regulator issued business improvement orders to Coincheck and six other exchanges, saying the seven exchanges lacked the proper and required internal control systems. Read more …

Twitter lays the smack down on cryptocurrency scams

Reuters) – Twitter is taking measures to prevent cryptocurrency-related accounts from running scams on its platform, the company said on Wednesday.

“We’re aware of this form of manipulation and are proactively implementing a number of signals to prevent these types of accounts from engaging with others in a deceptive manner,” Twitter said in a statement.

Facebook is also banning ads promoting financial products and services tied to cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings. Read more …

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