The US regulator’s investigation into Uniswap is just the beginning of a broader initiative targeting the entire decentralized finance sector.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Uniswap Labs, which develops the popular decentralized exchange (DEX), is under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The seriousness of the SEC’s intention to detailed analysis of the work of Uniswap Labs is confirmed by sources with close knowledge of the situation. They point specifically to an investigation, and not a request for information of a reference nature.
As part of its investigative action on violations of securities legislation, the Commission has the right to initiate civil actions in federal court, up to
According to The Defiant, the Uniswap Labs case is just the tip of the iceberg, and SEC agents have been conducting large-scale investigations of a number of other DeFi platforms for over a month now.
According to The Block, in addition to the investigation into Uniswap Labs, the SEC has sent requests for information to a number of startups as part of the study of their cryptocurrency lending services.
Delphi Labs General Counsel Gabriel Shapiro said lawyers specializing in crypto assets have long known this.
“Lawyers in this area know and have been discussing for about a month that DeFi projects began to receive letters from the SEC and requests from regulators, but now this has become more public information.”
The Block analyst Frank Chaparro clarified that the letters were received by firms “allowing users to lend their cryptocurrencies to generate income.”
Separately, apparently the SEC has sent multiple letters to firms that allow users to lend out their crypto for yield. So this Uniswap thing seems like it is part of a wider examination in crypto vs a UNI specific thing
– Frank Chaparro (@fintechfrank) September 4, 2021
However, the Swiss Stake company behind the Curve decentralized exchange, according to its founder, Mikhail Yegorov, has not received requests from the SEC.
“I think we just prepared well in advance and discussed the possibility of such events with our lawyers,” Egorov wrote to The Defiant by e-mail.
Surely, if the SEC takes restrictive measures against Uniswap Labs, it will affect the entire DeFi segment. But it’s worth noting that the SEC’s close attention to Uniswap Labs can hardly be considered an attack on the entire DeFi industry. Despite its role as the main developer of the Uniswap decentralized exchange, Uniswap Labs is a commercial company and a New York-based startup, and the investigation may be for other reasons.