Operator of bitcoin exchange sanctioned by Securities and Exchange Commission

The operator of a stock exchange that allowed clients to use bitcoins to trade in certain securities was ordered by U.S. regulators to pay $68,000 to resolve claims that he did not register the exchanges. Ethan Burnside and his company, BTC Trading Corp, operated two online exchanges through which account holders could buy, sell and trade securities of companies in the virtual currency business, the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Monday in announcing the settlement.

Burnside agreed to be barred from the securities industry but would be able to reapply after two years. His lawyer, Steve Ungar, said in a statement that they were pleased the SEC had approved the settlement, and that Burnside worked to protect website users and to cooperate with the SEC.

The exchanges had solicited more than 10,000 users who opened online accounts and executed more than 425,000 trader, the SEC said.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers