Animoca doubles down on non-US market push after America’s ‘blockchain-hostile’ approach
Siu said the firm's strategy has been to primarily focus on non-U.S. markets due to the "blockchain-hostile" approach of regulators in the country.
Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands is unfazed by the SEC deeming the SAND cryptocurrency a security in its recent complaints against Binance.US and Coinbase, South China Morning Post reported June 8.
Animoca co-founder and chairman Yat Siu told the newspaper 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 that should not have an impact on Animoca Brands in broader markets where Sand is widely available and accepted, including in more progressive jurisdictions like Hong Kong and Japan.”
America’s “blockchain-hostile” approach
Siu said the firm’s strategy has been to primarily focus on non-U.S. markets due to the “blockchain-hostile” approach of regulators in the country, and recent events have only spurred it to “place more emphasis on other markets.”
Despite Siu’s nonchalant statements, the SEC’s conviction that many cryptocurrencies are securities will have legal implications for companies involved with those tokens, which could spill across borders.
Meanwhile, The Sandbox co-founder Sabastien Borget told media on June 8 that the platform’s daily operations are unaffected by the SEC’s characterization of SAND. Borget added that the company disagrees with the SEC’s views.
However, there is unlikely to be any impact on operators and issuers of these cryptocurrencies until the legal proceedings conclude, which could potentially end favorably for the crypto industry.
Reasonable expectation of profit
The SEC’s complaint against Coinbase and Binance.US includes violations of securities laws for selling multiple cryptocurrencies that it considers securities, including top ten projects like MATIC and ADA — as well as multiple multiverse projects like 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 a return on their investments.
In respect to 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 grow the Sandbox protocol.”
Whether the SEC’s claims will become writ of law remains to be determined by U.S. courts.
In the meantime, most companies seem to have written off growth in the U.S., like Animoca, amid the uncertain regulatory environment and are already shifting focus to more dynamic markets like Asia and the Middle East.