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(Cryptocurrency) exchanges are organized markets where people and entities exchange an amount of cryptocurrency for fiat money or another cryptocurrency. Having no legal or regulatory basis with regard to cryptocurrencies, the term "exchange" is used informally for a broad swath of businesses. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC's) Divisions of Trading and Markets and Enforcement formally warned the public not to be confused about the term exchange being used by trading platforms which are not regulated or overseen by the SEC stating, " 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."[1]

All cryptocurrency exchanges seem to be electronic platforms. Recently, a new type of trading platform called a decentralized exchange has emerged. [2]

As of August 1, 2018 CoinMarketCap reported on and ranked 207 different cryptocurrency exchanges from around the world.[3] Markets Media Group Traders magazine estimated the number of number of exchanges to be more than twice that at over 500 of them.[4] Exchanges have often been hacked, frequently with losses valued in multiple millions of U.S. dollars. The two largest publicly known hacks - $450 million at Mt. Gox in 2014 and $535 at Coincheck in 2018 - occurred at Japanese exchanges.[5]