Decrypt’s Art, Fashion, and Entertainment Hub.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) unveiled a high-profile lawsuit against Binance on Monday, but a slew of altcoins like Solana and Polygon are also in the agency’s sights.
Binance and the exchange’s CEO Changpeng Zhao were hit with 13 charges, accused of conduct like commingling customers’ funds and trying to evade U.S. securities laws with “sham controls” for determining who can do business with the firm.
But the SEC also claimed that Solana, Polygon, Cardano, and several other coins are securities in the lawsuit. Almost all of them are among the crypto market’s largest, with multi-billion dollar market caps, while others belong to more nascent, gaming-centered projects.
The coins in question include Binance’s BNB token, the exchange's stablecoin, BUSD, and 10 other tokens: Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), Polygon (MATIC), Filecoin (FIL), Cosmos Hub (ATOM), The Sandbox (SAND), Decentraland (MANA), Algorand (ALGO), Axie Infinity (AXS), and COTI (COTI).
While many tokens tanked immediately after the SEC’s enforcement action came to light, Solana was among those hit hardest as the lawsuit broke. The coin tumbled more than 6% to $20.14 in an hour, according to CoinGecko.
Alogrand, a coin that SEC Chair Gary Gensler has talked about positively in the past, was down 9.9% to around $0.13 over the past day, as of this writing.
Polygon and Polkadot also posted significant declines, falling 7% and 6.9% over the past 24 hours, respectively, according to CoinGecko.
A core pillar of the SEC’s charges against Binance and BAM Trading—the operator of Binance.US, which Binance has said is a separate company—is that the two operated as exchanges without registering with the SEC, in addition to being broker-dealers and clearing agencies.
In connection with those claims, certain cryptocurrencies were offered and sold as securities on Binance’s international exchange and Binance.US, the SEC claims.
“Binance and BAM Trading have unlawfully engaged in unregistered offers and sales of crypto asset securities,” the lawsuit states. “In so doing, they have deprived investors of material information, including the risks and trends that affect the enterprise and an investment in these securities.”