Uniswap Challenges SEC Over Proposed Definition Expansion for Crypto Exchanges

  • Uniswap Labs has recently taken a significant step against the SEC’s proposed rulemaking changes.
  • This proposed change seeks to broaden the definition of a crypto ‘exchange’ to include decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, sparking substantial debate.
  • In a public letter to the SEC, Uniswap’s Chief Legal Officer highlighted recent Supreme Court decisions that could challenge the validity of such regulatory efforts.

Uniswap Labs is pushing back against the SEC’s efforts to redefine ‘exchange,’ arguing that the move could have far-reaching and unsupported legal implications.

Uniswap Challenges SEC’s Proposed Expansion of ‘Exchange’ Definition

Uniswap Labs is rigorously contesting the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed regulation changes that aim to broaden the definition of an ‘exchange’ to encompass decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms. This battle is encapsulated in a detailed letter to the SEC, reinforced by recent Supreme Court rulings that could affect the interpretation and enforceability of such regulatory expansions.

Implications of Recent Supreme Court Decisions

In a post on X, Uniswap’s Chief Legal Officer, Katherine Minarik, emphasized the significance of the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling rejecting Chevron deference in federal agency rulemaking. Minarik stated, “For better or worse, the Supreme Court has rejected Chevron deference. The SEC’s proposal was flawed even with that deference — and it’s all the more so under today’s standard.” The Chevron deference historically allowed courts to side with a federal agency’s interpretation of ambiguous statutes within their jurisdiction. However, the Supreme Court’s decision in Loper Bright Enterprises, et al. v. Raimondo mandates stricter adherence to the statutory text by federal agencies, influencing the current regulatory landscape.

Legal Grounds for Uniswap’s Position

The crux of Uniswap Labs’ argument lies in its assertion that the SEC’s proposed amendment to the definition of a ‘crypto exchange’ is unsupported by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. According to this Act, an exchange is defined as “a marketplace or facilities for bringing together purchasers and sellers of securities.” Uniswap contends that extending this definition to include decentralized protocols like itself deviates from the statutory language and exceeds the Act’s scope. Minarik warned that such an expansion would likely face legal challenges shaped by the Supreme Court’s recent decision, resulting in an “unlawful rule” that could squander both regulatory and industry resources.

Impact of Judicial Pushback Against SEC’s Enforcement

Uniswap’s letter also highlights two significant court cases: SEC vs. Binance Holdings and SEC vs. Coinbase. In both cases, the courts expressed reservations about the SEC’s strategy of regulating the crypto industry through enforcement rather than clear, predefined rules. These judicial reservations signal a broader judicial resistance against applying traditional securities laws to the decentralized crypto landscape, potentially influencing how the SEC’s proposed rule changes are perceived in future legal proceedings.

Call for Reopening Comment Period for Industry Feedback

Uniswap Labs recommends that the SEC should reopen the comment period for its proposal in light of the Supreme Court’s Loper Bright decision. Reopening the comment period would allow for more comprehensive industry input, considering the altered legal environment post-decision. Fine-tuning the proposal with updated feedback could lead to a more balanced regulatory approach that considers both legal precedent and industry perspectives.


Uniswap Labs’ firm stance against the SEC’s proposed redefinition of ‘exchange’ under securities laws underscores a pivotal moment in the regulatory landscape of cryptocurrencies. This development highlights the ongoing tension between regulatory bodies and the burgeoning DeFi sector. Moving forward, the outcome of this regulatory challenge could set significant precedents for how decentralized technologies are governed within the US financial system, ultimately shaping the future of the crypto industry.

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Jocelyn Blake
Jocelyn Blakehttps://en.coinotag.com/
Jocelyn Blake is a 29-year-old writer with a particular interest in NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). With a love for exploring the latest trends in the cryptocurrency space, Jocelyn provides valuable insights on the world of NFTs.

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