Ripple claims 'a very big win' in SEC case
In December 2020, the SEC had filed a lawsuit against Ripple for allegedly selling unregistered securities, claiming that XRP is a security rather than a commodity. The SEC also claimed that the blockchain company illegally raised $1.8 billion by selling the token
By Shashank Bhardwaj
Ripple, the developer of the XRP blockchain whose native coin is XRP, has claimed a major victory in its continuing legal battle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
In December 2020, the SEC had filed a lawsuit against Ripple for allegedly selling unregistered securities, claiming that XRP is a security rather than a commodity. The SEC also claimed that the blockchain company illegally raised $1.8 billion by selling the token.
It turned out to be one of the most significant conflicts between a cryptocurrency company and the regulatory authorities. Even after a year of court hearings and motion filings, it was hard to determine who had the upper hand in the case.
However, one of the Ripple community lawyers, James Filan, has stated that "this is a big win for Ripple," in light of the new developments. In his tweet on Tuesday, April 12, Filan revealed that presiding Judge Sarah Netburn refused the SEC's request to review the shielding of documents connected to a June 2018 lecture given by William Hinman, who was then a director at the SEC.
At the time, Hinman admitted that Bitcoin and Ethereum could not be classified as securities. The SEC had previously stated that Hinman's comments were his personal opinions and did not reflect the agency's official positions. The regulator later insisted in court that Hinman's speech reflected the agency's official principles, not his personal beliefs, and therefore it should be protected.
“The SEC seeks to have it both ways, but the speech was either intended to reflect agency policy or it was not. Having insisted that it reflected Hinman’s personal views, the SEC cannot now reject its own position,” the Judge said.
Despite this important ruling that could significantly alter the outcome of the case, it is still ongoing, and the SEC has 14 days (beginning April 11) to file an objection to the judgment. The outcome of this case could determine the future of SEC charges against crypto companies for sales of unregistered securities.
It will also have a significant impact on the future of Ripple and the SEC, as well as the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem in the US. While a Ripple victory may cause the SEC to back off its aggressive actions against the crypto industry, a victory by the SEC might open the floodgates for further crypto regulations in the US.
The writer is a founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist.