SEC Has Uniswap in Its Crosshairs: Here’s What Comes Next

The Securities and Exchange Commission is gearing up for legal action against Uniswap, drawing criticism for yet another hostile regulatory move.

Doctor taking a closer look at an Xray of Uniswap.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • SEC targets Uniswap in new potential enforcement action.
  • Uniswap founder Hayden Adams has condemned the hostile nature of the SEC’s actions.
  • The potential looming legal battle has spurred a debate among experts.

Regulatory clashes in the crypto industry have become common, spearheaded by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in enforcement actions against exchanges and projects. In recent years, industry giants like Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, and Ripple have found themselves embroiled in battles with the financial watchdog, resulting in lengthy legal chapters and subsequent sanctions.

However, the SEC’s regulatory radar appears to be expanding, now turning its attention towards decentralized finance (DeFi).

SEC Eyes Uniswap: What Does It Mean?

In a blog post on Wednesday, April 11, decentralized exchange Uniswap announced that it received a Wells notice from the Enforcement Division of the SEC. A Wells notice is a formal notification provided by the regulatory commission to inform a recipient that the commission staff is recommending enforcement action.


While the notice does not equate to an immediate lawsuit, it does signify a prelude to a potential legal confrontation between both parties. Typically, upon receiving a Wells notice, the decentralized exchange can respond and present its case before the commission, which would determine whether to proceed with enforcement action.  

Responses to Wells notices are usually concealed but could be publicized upon the request of the involved party. The response may include Uniswaps’s arguments and evidence in defense of its product offerings and operations, allowing the exchange to justify whether the proposed enforcement action is unwarranted.

However, should Uniswap fail to establish a defense, the SEC will initiate full legal proceedings against it, which could include accusations of securities laws and other market violations. Nonetheless, the SEC’s regulatory actions have already drawn the ire of the exchange’s founder.

Uniswap CEO “Ready to Fight” SEC

Addressing the SEC’s notice in a tweet, Uniswap founder and CEO Hayden Adams condemned the SEC’s actions as another move in its streak of antagonistic enforcement actions.


Adams, who expressed his annoyance and disappointment, emphasized confidence in Uniswap’s offerings as in line with the law, criticizing the SEC for targeting reputable players rather than questionable industry actors.

“It's been clear for a while that rather than working to create clear, informed rules, the SEC has decided to focus on attacking long-time good actors like Uniswap and Coinbase. All while letting bad actors like FTX slip by,” he stated.

The Uniswap CEO added that the DeFi exchange had done better at “protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitating capital formation” rather than the SEC, whose designated mission is to fulfill these objectives.

Asserting Uniswap’s commitment to defending itself and the industry, Adams stated that the exchange is prepared to fight the agency, even if it takes years. He emphasized that the future of financial technology and the industry is at stake and called for unity across the industry, stating, “If we stand together, we can win. I think freedom is worth fighting for. I think DeFi is worth fighting for.”

On the Flipside

  • Currently trading at $9.32, Uniswap’s native token, UNI, suffered a 17% decline in the wake of the notice.
  • The SEC is still embroiled in cases against Binance, Ripple, Coinbase, and Kraken.
  • Crypto exchange Coinbase is advocating for clearer guidelines for the crypto industry to mitigate the SEC’s enforcement actions.

Why This Matters

The emerging legal dispute between Uniswap and the SEC could mark the commencement of another regulatory battle within the crypto industry. Should it escalate, the legal outcome could have far-reaching implications, especially in shaping the classification and regulation of future decentralized finance (DeFi) projects and platforms.

Read here to better understand Uniswap’s reference to the SEC’s legal actions against Coinbase:
SEC Intensifies Legal Clash Against Coinbase In New Lawsuit

Here’s how the Sui network is expanding its ecosystem with a dollar-pegged stablecoin:
Sui Network Welcomes FDUSD as First Native 1:1 Stablecoin

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Grace Abidemi

Grace Abidemi, a cryptocurrency reporter at DailyCoin, covers industry developments and trends. She previously worked as a freelance writer. With a Bachelor's degree in German Language and certifications in marketing and storytelling, Grace creates engaging content. When not working, she's in Nigeria, mastering cooking and canvas painting, and enjoys learning about different cultures and languages.