SEC reportedly contracts blockchain analytics firm to monitor DeFi industry

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly signed a $125,000 deal with blockchain analytics firm AnChain.AI to help monitor and regulate the decentralized finance industry.

According to a Friday report from Forbes, an AnChain.AI company spokesperson confirmed the agreement with the federal regulator, saying the SEC and blockchain firm had the option to sign up to five separate 1-year contracts for $125,000 each, or $625,000 total. The first contract reportedly began in May.

“The SEC is very keen on understanding what is happening in the world of smart contract-based digital assets,” said AnChain.AI CEO and co-founder Victor Fang. “We are providing them with technology to analyze and trace smart contracts.”

The reported agreement between the government body and the blockchain firm comes following SEC chair Gary Gensler urging decentralized finance, or DeFi, projects to register with the agency, claiming they are “decentralized in some aspects but highly centralized in other aspects.” Gensler said that DeFi platform developers and others could constitute a centralized team falling within the SEC’s regulatory umbrella. The SEC recently announced it had had its first case involving securities using DeFi technology which resulted in an enforcement action.

According to data from CoinGecko, the industry currently has a market capitalization of more than $126 billion. Uniswap is ranked as the largest decentralized exchange by volume, with more than $1 billion DeFi tokens traded in the last 24 hours — its UNI token also leads with a $14.2 billion market cap.

Related: Crypto Mom: True decentralization is the only thing that will save DeFi projects

Based in California, AnChain.AI provides blockchain analytics and tracks crypto transactions across many public and private chains. According to Forbes, the company has developed solutions to make its business more “preventive,” by identifying suspicious addresses and transactions rather than always conducting investigations after a hack or other incident.

Cointelegraph reached out to the Securities and Exchange Commission, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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