SEC Investigating Uniswap Labs: Report

The regulator is seeking information about how investors use the decentralized exchange and how it is marketed.

Sep 3, 2021 at 11:35 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 7, 2021 at 3:24 p.m. UTC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating the developer of decentralized exchange Uniswap, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

  • The SEC is seeking information about how investors use the exchange and how it is marketed, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
  • The exchange’s developer, Uniswap Labs, has said that it will assist the regulator with its civil inquiry. The SEC has declined to comment, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • Uniswap is the Ethereum blockchain’s largest decentralized exchange by trading volume.
  • While it is still unclear exactly what the SEC wants to know, the news is a sign of the regulator’s intent to wield greater oversight of decentralized finance (DeFi), something SEC Chairman Gary Gensler hinted at in recent comments.
  • No wrongdoing appears to have been alleged at this time.
  • Gensler has argued that while there may be no central entity in charge of a decentralized exchange, DeFi projects that offer incentives or digital tokens to participants could fall under the purview of SEC regulation.
  • “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,” he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal last month.
  • The SEC filed what it called its first case involving securities using DeFi technology last month, charging so-called DeFi lender Blockchain Credit Partners with raising $30 million through allegedly fraudulent offerings.

UPDATE (Sept. 3, 14:45 UTC): Adds Gensler comments on decentralized finance, case against Blockchain Credit Partners; additional details.


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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.