Animoca Brands Shifting Focus to Markets Outside US Amid the SEC’s Anti-Crypto Stance

The announcement comes after the Hong Kong-based company’s associated SAND token was listed in the SEC’s lawsuit against Binance and Coinbase.
Image source: Animoca Brands

Quick take:

  • Animoca Brands will focus on investing in jurisdictions outside of the US.
  • One of the company’s leading tokens $SAND was named in a SEC lawsuit.
  • The US capital markets watchdog labelled the token an unregistered security.

Animoca Brands will shift its focus to regions outside the US following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) lawsuit against Binance and Coinbase. The Hong Kong-based web3 investment company’s $SAND token, the native token of its metaverse platform The Sandbox was listed in the SEC lawsuit as an unregistered security.

The SEC is cracking down on crypto following the collapse of the crypto exchange platform FTX last year. 

Writing in an email sent to South China Morning Post, Animoca Brands co-founder and executive chairman Yat Siu said his company is not focused on a single territory but operates globally.

“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,” said Siu.

According to Siu, the company has already set things in motion to “place more emphasis on other markets” citing the hostile approach to blockchain technology demonstrated by the US.

However, while Animoca Brands chooses to focus on the rest of the world, Coinbase has no plans of delisting any of the tokens mentioned in the lawsuit. The crypto exchange company’s CEO Bryan Armstrong’s Stand With Crypto NFT, allows users to protest against the hostility being directed towards the industry. That NFT has already been minted more than 140,000 times up from about 17,000 mints in April.

Several crypto companies including Coinabse have already hinted at shifting their operations outside of the US amid the country’s anti-crypto stance, with the UAE becoming a major crypto hub due to its regulatory framework.

The SEC has unleashed a war on the token economy, specifically focusing on staked tokens. According to the SEC, any token that was used for fundraising with investors expecting a return qualifies as a security, which then subjects them to the laws of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to the SEC, the SAND token raised $3 million in a private round and holders were led “reasonably to view Sand as an investment in and to expect to profit from [the company’s] efforts to grow the Sandbox protocol”.


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