SEC initiates an investigation into Uniswap Labs
The US Securities and Exchange Commission initiated an investigation into Uniswap Labs, the developer of the decentralized exchange of the same name. Lawyers study exactly how investors use Uniswap and how the platform works.
DEXs appeared relatively recently, but have already become an integral part of the DeFi market, and Uniswap has gradually grown to the largest DEX in terms of the trading volume. The main difference between DEX was the lack of a control body that decides which tokens will be listed on the trading floor. Thanks to this, tens of thousands of different tokens can be traded within Uniswap.
Among Uniswap's main merits is also the trading volume of the latest version of DEX in the region of $39 billion in August, while the early version of Uniswap, still in use in the crypto community, processed transactions worth $14 billion. At the same time, IntoTheBlock stated that trading on Uniswap generated over $1 billion in commissions.
Although it is not yet entirely clear what exactly the SEC wants to find out, the regulator's intention to closely monitor the sphere of decentralized finance was previously announced by the head of the financial regulator, Gary Gensler.
Some Uniswap users make money by contributing their assets to a shared pool that other clients of the exchange can use. Thus, pool members are entitled to a portion of the commission earned by the exchange from transactions carried out using assets placed in the pool. The commission is from 0.05% to 1% of the transaction amount.
The sources close to the SEC told the Wall Street Journal that the department sent letters to several DeFi projects at once asking them to provide them with information about their platforms. They are mainly interested in the process when users offer personal assets in cryptocurrency equivalent in debt to other participants in trading platforms, making a profit for this. The WSJ also stressed that some of the letters were sent back in July this year.
In addition, SEC representatives have requested data on the quarterly earnings of Uniswap, its founders and intend to conduct a thorough analysis on whether the digital assets represented under this DEX are securities or not. Depending on this, a decision will be made on the need for their registration with the SEC.
The SEC has previously shown interest in the process of earning interest on cryptocurrencies. This was the case with BlockFi, which allows its clients to earn on deposits provided for the use of the company. In July, BlockFi was charged with classifying its interest-bearing accounts as unregistered investments in violation of New Jersey's investor protection clause.
In July, Uniswap Labs was forced to inform users that it was limiting trading to dozens of tokens due to the “changing regulatory landscape”. This was announced shortly after Gensler warned DEX about the possible consequences of trading in unregistered securities. However, the Uniswap protocol can still support excluded asset trading as there are options to access it bypassing the Uniswap Labs application.