Apr 11, 2024 - Economy

Uniswap warns of potential enforcement action from SEC

Illustration of the SEC logo with a hand in front making a "shushing" hand motion.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Uniswap Labs was served with a notice Wednesday that it would likely be sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to a blog post from the company.

Why it matters: An enforcement action would continue the SEC's slow march against top cryptocurrency companies. Previous lawsuits against major U.S.-based crypto firms have hit Ripple Labs, Coinbase, Kraken, Bittrex and others.

Context: Details of the coming enforcement action aren't known. The SEC declined to acknowledge the investigation, as a matter of policy. Uniswap Labs has so far not provided a copy of the so-called Wells notice.

Zoom out: Uniswap Labs is the main developer behind the Uniswap decentralized exchange, which is the best known such exchange on any blockchain.

  • While the company developed all three versions of Uniswap, the application operates on its own, on 16 different blockchains.

By the numbers: Uniswap's token, UNI, is down 17% Thursday morning since news of the Wells notice, trading at $9.29.

  • More than $6 billion is deposited on various versions of Uniswap today, which collectively facilitate between $1 and $3 billion in trading volume per day.

The big picture: The main path to registering crypto assets with the SEC has been through litigation, which has largely ended with companies shutting down as part of a settlement.

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