According to unconfirmed reports, the US Securities and Exchange Commission initiated an investigation into the activities of the decentralized trading platform Uniswap.
Investigators from the SEC's legal department began collecting information about the activity of Uniswap, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing anonymous sources familiar with the investigation.
A spokesman for Uniswap Labs said the company “committed to complying with the laws and regulations governing our industry and to providing information to regulators that will assist them with any inquiry.” An SEC spokesman declined to comment on the report, saying the agency does not confirm or deny investigations.
In August, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said the watchdog should start regulating the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. Specifically, DeFi projects that reward participants with valuable tokens or incentivize similarly are subject to regulation no matter how “decentralized” they are, Gensler said at the time.
“These platforms facilitate something that might be decentralized in some aspects but highly centralized in other aspects. There’s still a core group of folks that are not only writing the software, like the open source software, but they often have governance and fees. There’s some incentive structure for those promoters and sponsors in the middle of this. Projects that reward participants with valuable digital tokens or similar incentives could cross a line into the activity that should be regulated, no matter how “decentralized” they say they are.”
In late August, the US Securities and Exchange Commission signed a contract with analyst firm AnChain.AI, which will help it monitor and regulate the decentralized finance market, Forbes reported.
It looks like the investigation is in its early stages and concerns the distribution of UNI governance tokens, which kicked off on September 17, 2020 between historical liquidity providers, users, and SOCKS redeemers/holders based on a snapshot ending September 1, 2020, at 12:00 am UTC.