The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said that certain exchanges listing crypto-assets need to register with the agency because they offer trading in products that meet the definition of a “security”.
In particular, it is targeting exchanges that list crypto-assets linked to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
“A number of these platforms provide a mechanism for trading assets that meet the definition of a "security" under the federal securities laws. 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,” says the SEC in a statement today.
At the start of 2017, a single bitcoin was valued at less than $1,000, yet by mid-December it had almost hit $20,000. Investors were pouring into the space, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) were being launched left, right and centre and - given the limited supply of bitcoins that can ever exist - some market commentators were making wild predictions about how high the value of this asset would ultimately go.
But despite starting the year at around the $15,000 mark, the price of bitcoin has fallen to $6,671 at the time of writing and other major cryptocurrencies have suffered a similar decline. So what went wrong?
In a new report to the G20, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) has concluded that “cryptoassets do not pose a material risk to global financial stability at this time”.
While this is a welcome boost for the crypto industry, the FSB does make clear that these assets should be vigilantly monitored by authorities going forward.
As such, the FSB has requested that the Standing Committee on Assessment of Vulnerabilities (SCAV) and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) work jointly to develop a framework for monitoring the financial stability risks related to cryptoassets with a focus on identifying potential metrics that can be used to measure these risks.
Profit & Loss’s latest OnTheBlock series featured a one-one-one discussion with former CFTC staffer Justin Slaughter, now a partner at Mercury Strategies, in which he provided an insider’s perspective on how cryptoassets are being viewed by regulators in Washington, DC.
P&L OnTheBlock: An SEC official recently said that the agency does not view ether[eum] as a security. Does this mean that the issue is settled and the SEC definitely won’t try and regulate it as a security now?
Justin Slaughter: What we are basically hearing is that there isn’t an explicit, major problem with ether as a security. They are not yet saying it's totally, absolutely, not a security.
How have crypto markets in Asia evolved in comparison to those in the US and Europe? And will these markets look more or less different in the future? Galen Stops takes a look.
T aking a glance at the biggest crypto exchanges by volume and a clear pattern emerges: according to data from coinmarketcap.com, a website that tracks crypto trading volumes, at least seven of the top 10 ranked exchanges are based in the APAC region.
By contrast, some of the more better known US-based exchanges are found much further down the list.