Bitcoin drops below $10,000 as SEC says exchanges must be registered

Bitcoin fell below $10,000 on Wednesday after the Securities and Exchange Commission said cryptocurrency exchanges must register with regulators.

The SEC said in a statement that a platform that offers trading of digital securities and operates as an exchange “must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange.”

“The SEC staff has concerns that many online trading platforms appear to investors as SEC-registered and regulated marketplaces when they are not,” the SEC said.

Investors took the news as a sign that the agency, which currently doesn’t regulate cryptocurrencies, will increase oversight of the fast-growing market.

Bitcoin dropped nearly 10% to $9,760 per coin on Coinbase, the largest U.S. bitcoin exchange.

Also on Wednesday, bitcoin exchange Binance said it was investigating reports of "irregularities in trading activity."

In an exclusive interview with FOX Business, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said the agency is examining whether certain initial coin offerings (ICOs) are violating securities laws. He also said investors should “think long and hard” before putting their money into an ICO.