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Uniswap vs. the SEC: Crypto Leaders Demand Regulatory Clarity

2 mins
Updated by Harsh Notariya
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In Brief

  • Crypto leaders voice support for Uniswap following SEC Wells notice.
  • Industry figures criticize the SEC's "regulation by enforcement" approach.
  • The SEC's action against Uniswap signals increased scrutiny of the DeFi sector.
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The crypto industry is rallying behind Uniswap, a leading decentralized exchange (DEX), after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued the platform a Wells notice.

The notice signals a potential enforcement action, escalating regulatory tensions within the fast-growing decentralized finance (DeFi) sector.

Industry Titans Stand United; Uniswap Shows Resilience

Prominent figures, including Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Haun Ventures CEO Kathryn Haun, have publicly backed Uniswap. They expressed criticisms of the SEC’s approach.

Armstrong emphasizes the importance of unity in the crypto sector during the upcoming November election. He also promoted Stand With Crypto, an organization pushing for clear cryptocurrency regulations, in his support for Uniswap.

Meanwhile, Haun emphasized Uniswap’s thoughtful approach to securities laws. She calls the SEC’s actions “regulation by enforcement” rather than through clear guidelines. Haun thinks that such approaches might threaten innovation and fairness within the sector.

Read more: What Does It Mean To Receive a Wells Notice From the SEC?

Kraken CEO Dave Ripley echoed Haun’s sentiments. He describes the SEC’s targeting of Uniswap as “a gross abuse of power.”

Adam Cochran, General Partner at Cinneamhain Ventures, also affirms the need for regulatory clarity. Cochran stated that “the SEC has had years to provide guidance,” but the commission has chosen not to.

On April 10, 2024, at 18.22 UTC, Hayden Adams, Uniswap’s founder, publicly announced receiving Wells notice from the SEC. However, he reiterated his commitment to defend his platform’s legality.

Furthermore, he accused the SEC of unfairly targeting established DeFi projects while seemingly ignoring fraudulent actors.

“I am confident that the products we offer are legal. People often ask me why we stay in the US and my answer is simple: I believe that blockchain is incredibly powerful technology … And that when you build technology that improves people’s lives – you don’t need to hide,” Adams declared.

Following the SEC’s action, Uniswap’s native token (UNI) has sharply declined, from $11.20 to $9.10, representing approximately a 15% decrease for the last 24 hours.

Interestingly, data from DefiLlama shows that Uniswap still has a total value locked (TVL) of $6.23 billion, of which more than half came from Uniswap V3.

Read more: How To Buy Uniswap (UNI) and Everything You Need To Know

Uniswap's TVL Throughout 2024.
Uniswap’s TVL Throughout 2024. Source: DefiLlama

DefiLlama data further reveals that among other DEX protocols, Uniswap still holds the biggest TVL and volume in the past seven days, which is $16.77 billion.

The SEC’s potential enforcement action against Uniswap will be closely watched, as it holds significant implications for DeFi’s future within the US. Regardless of the outcome, the crypto industry looks poised to continue its fight for regulatory clarity and decentralized innovation.

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Lynn Wang
Lynn Wang is a seasoned journalist at BeInCrypto, covering a wide range of topics, including tokenized real-world assets (RWA), tokenization, artificial intelligence (AI), regulatory enforcement, and investments in the crypto industry. Previously, she led a team of content creators and journalists for BeInCrypto Indonesia, focusing on the adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in the region, as well as regulatory developments. Prior to that, at Value Magazine, she covered...