Hong Kong Crypto Giant Defies SEC, Targets Global Expansion
Hong Kong-based blockchain unicorn Animoca Brands is shifting its focus to markets outside the US.
This decision comes after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) labelled the firm’s Sand cryptocurrency token as an unregistered security.
The SEC’s action against Sand, used by Animoca’s metaverse platform The Sandbox, raises legal risks for companies selling such tokens.
However, Animoca co-founder and chairman Yat Siu said the company is not focused on a single territory but operates globally, including in progressive jurisdictions like Hong Kong and Japan.
Animoca has already started placing more emphasis on other markets due to the recent “blockchain-hostile” approach in the US.
Yat Siu stated via email:
“Animoca Brands 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.”
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong stated that the company has no plans to delist the tokens named by the SEC, setting up a legal fight over what types of crypto constitute a security.
Meanwhile, Animoca announced in March that it plans to make a significant investment in the Middle East, valued in the tens of millions of dollars, as part of its global expansion strategy.
The blockchain gaming company, which is valued at around $6 billion, aims to capitalise on the region’s crypto-friendly regulations, strong gaming culture, and young population.
Among its planned projects is a partnership with Manga Productions, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s MiSK Foundation, to co-create a Web3 project using the studio’s content.