Animoca Brands Shifts Focus to Asia and Middle East for Growth Amid US Regulatory Challenges

by BSC News

June 8, 2023


As companies navigate uncertain regulatory environments, Animoca Brands leads the charge in redirecting focus toward dynamic markets and leaving behind the SEC's actions.

Legal Risks in the US

Hong Kong-based blockchain unicorn Animoca Brands has announced its strategic shift toward markets outside the United States after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) labeled its Sand cryptocurrency token as an unregistered security. 

The SEC recently took legal action against major exchanges Binance and Coinbase Global, explicitly naming $SAND and several other tokens, including Solana, Polygon, and Mana, as securities. This action has raised legal risks for companies associated with these tokens.

$SAND serves as the native crypto token for Animoca's metaverse platform, The Sandbox. According to a June 8 report from South China Morning Post, Animoca Brands has already begun placing more emphasis on other markets in response to the SEC's stance. The company aims to mitigate potential setbacks resulting from the SEC's actions and the perceived "blockchain-hostile" approach in the US.

While Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has stated that the platform has no plans to delist the tokens mentioned by the SEC, this sets the stage for a legal battle over the classification of cryptocurrencies as securities. However, this move may have a chilling effect on other exchanges that are not as heavily invested in selling these tokens.

The core issue for the SEC revolves around whether a token was used for fundraising purposes and if buyers expected a return on their investments. The SEC complaints against Binance and Coinbase assert that Sand raised $3 million through private sales on Binance.com, with holders led to view Sand as an investment in the growth of the Sandbox protocol.

Although this ‘Securities’ label does not necessarily prove fatal for the operators, as legal proceedings are ongoing, it does raise the legal risk for US firms, according to Pádraig Walsh, a partner at Tanner De Witt in Hong Kong. Recent reports suggest that Animoca is making significant investments in the Middle East and other parts of the world to capitalize on growing opportunities.

Following this news, the price of $SAND currently stands at $0.483, down 1.77% from yesterday. 

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