Polkadot mulls research into 'token morphism' amid regulatory crackdown

Quick Take

  • Polkadot is looking into a research project for crypto token morphism guidelines.
  • The research will require up to $90,000 in funding from the Polkadot treasury.

The Polkadot community is looking into conducting a research study centered around “token morphism,” a term used to describe the process that was used to transform the protocol's native dot token from a security into software.

Polkadot announced that it achieved token morphism in November 2022, a process it said was the direct result of three years of dialogue with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Now, the project is considering funding a study that will explore how it managed the feat, according to a post on its governance forum.

The proposed purple paper will offer guidelines on token morphism for Polkadot and the wider crypto ecosystem, the proposal stated. It comes amid increasing regulatory scrutiny from the SEC and other regulators, including enforcement actions against stablecoin issuer Paxos and crypto exchange Kraken this month that have spurred fears of sweeping enforcement actions targeted at the broader crypto space in the U.S.

The proposal requested 14,776.74 dot tokens ($90,000) to sponsor the research. This funding will cover the work done by team members and ad hoc subject matter experts that include several of the people who were part of Polkadot’s dialogue with the SEC. The proposal asked for the funds to be delivered in two installments of 7,388.37 dot each.

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While Polkadot has previously claimed success in its interactions with the SEC, the regulator has not publicly confirmed any such regulatory approval. The Web3 Foundation, which funds the development of the Polkadot ecosystem, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Block.


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