“The SEC staff has concerns that many online trading platforms appear to investors as SEC-registered and regulated marketplaces when they are not,” said the SEC in a statement. “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. Although some of these platforms claim to use strict standards to pick only high-quality digital assets to trade, the SEC does not review these standards or the digital assets that the platforms select, and the so-called standards should not be equated to the listing standards of national securities exchanges.”

Although bitcoin futures were viewed by many market observers as a potential segue to ETFs backed by the digital currency, U.S. regulators have yet to approve any such funds.

In fact, ETF issuers have been withdrawing plans for bitcoin funds. Direxion, ProShares and VanEck are among a handful of ETF issuers that have withdrawn filings to launch bitcoin ETFs at the request of U.S. regulators. The SEC requested the issuers withdraw their filings.

“Japan’s Financial Services Agency suspended operations Thursday at two relatively small exchanges, Bit Station and FSHO, for one month. The regulator said a manager at Bit Station used customers’ bitcoin for personal purposes, according to wires and a Google translation of an online statement,” according to CNBC.

For more information on the cryptocurrency, visit our Bitcoin category.