Animoca doubles down on pressure from non-US markets after US ‘hostile blockchain’ approach
Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands is unfazed by the SEC considering the SAND cryptocurrency a security in its recent complaints against Binance.US and Coinbase, the South China Morning Post reported on June 8.
Animoca co-founder and chairman Yat Siu told the paper that the firm operates globally and as such is not overly concerned with what happens in one jurisdiction.
“The SEC focuses on the US, so it should have no impact on Animoca Brands in wider markets where Sand is widely available and accepted, including in more progressive jurisdictions such as Hong Kong and Japan.”
America’s “anti-blockchain” approach
Siu said the firm’s strategy has been to primarily focus on non-US markets due to the “hostile blockchain” approach of regulators in the country, and recent events have only spurred it to “put more emphasis on other markets.”
Despite Sius’ nonchalant statements, the SEC’s conviction that many cryptocurrencies are securities will have legal implications for companies involved with these tokens, which could spread across borders.
Meanwhile, The Sandbox co-founder Sabastien Borget told the media on June 8 that the platform’s day-to-day operations are unaffected by the SEC’s characterization of SAND. Borget added that the company disagrees with the SEC’s views.
However, it is unlikely that there will be any impact on operators and issuers of these cryptocurrencies until the trial is concluded, which could potentially end positively for the crypto industry.
Reasonable expectation of profit
The SEC’s complaint against Coinbase and Binance.US includes violations of securities laws for the sale of several cryptocurrencies it considers securities, including top ten projects such as MATIC and ADA – as well as several multiverse projects such as SAND and MANA.
According to the SEC, these cryptocurrencies are securities under the Howey test because they were issued as a fundraising tool for the companies behind them and buyers expected returns on their investments.
As for SAND, the SEC’s complaint states that the cryptocurrency was used to raise $3 million via private sales on Binance.com, and investors were “reasonably” led to “expect to profit from [the company’s] efforts to extend the Sandbox protocol.”
Whether the SEC’s claims will become law remains to be determined by US courts.
Meanwhile, most companies appear to have written off growth in the US, such as Animoca, amid the uncertain regulatory environment and have already shifted their focus to more dynamic markets such as Asia and the Middle East.
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