Bitcoin hovers around $10,000 as regulators crack down
Bitcoin is sitting just above the $10,000 mark after yesterday dropping by more than $1,000 in an hour as regulators continued to scrutinise digital assets.
Yesterday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it would require digital asset exchanges to register with the agency, sending bitcoin's price plunging below the key $10,000 level.
"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.
It added that it had "concerns" that online trading platforms appear to investors as SEC-registered and regulated marketplaces when they are not.
"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," it said.
Japanese regulators heaped more pressure on bitcoin today with a decision to order two cryptocurrency exchanges to suspend trading. The Financial Services Agency is working to bolster protections for consumers following the $530m (£382m) theft from Tokyo's Coincheck.
Bit Station and FSHO were ordered to stop operations for a month while a number of other exchanges were also punished.
Meanwhile, crypto exchange Binance was forced to halt withdrawals today due to a "large scale" attempt of phishing and stealing.
Binance said hackers accumulated user account credentials over a long period of time and that the earliest phishing attack dated back to January.
The exchange said so far all funds were safe.
After a thorough security check by Binance, we resumed withdrawals. Trading functionality was never affected. There are still some users whose accounts where phished by these hackers and their BTC were used to buy VIA [viacoin] or other coins. Unfortunately, those trades did not execute against any of the hackers’ accounts as counterpart. As such, we are not in a position to reverse those trades. We again advise all traders to take special precaution to secure their account credentials.