Gary Gensler, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Gensler, continues to litigate the case, which, if successful, would have far-reaching regulatory implications for the $1 trillion crypto industry.(Bill Clark/pool/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)
Netburn’s most recent ruling dismissed the SEC revision to its argument that Hinman wasn’t merely stating a personal opinion, but making an argument on behalf of the government thus retaining a level of confidentiality.
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The legal tussle over the Hinman drafts began in January, when Judge Netburn ordered the SEC to turn over other documents to the court while she weighed whether Ripple could gain access to them.
The SEC is expected to appeal Judge Netburn’s ruling to Federal District Judge Analisa Torres.
A federal judge in Manhattan has accused Wall Street’s top cop of “hypocrisy” over its litigation tactics in a case that’s being called the cryptocurrency trial of the century.
The characterization comes as U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn ruled against a motion by the Securities and Exchange Commission in its lawsuit against cross-border payments company Ripple Labs.
The SEC has accused the crypto platform of illegally issuing an unregistered security, XRP, to build out its business and make company insiders rich.
The SEC is seeking to keep confidential documents relating to a speech given by a former SEC official in 2018 when he sought to provide clarity on the then-nascent cryptocurrency market.
Ripple had no comment. Bill Hinman could not be reached for comment.
Ripple has argued that drafts of Hinman’s speech were sent to various members of the SEC for their input and will show the muddled thinking by the commission in bringing the case two years later, the last official act of Trump SEC chair Jay Clayton.
Bill Hinman, the former director of corporation finance at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)
Clayton’s replacement, Biden appointee Gary Gensler, continues to litigate the case, which, if successful, would have far-reaching regulatory implications for the $1 trillion crypto industry.
The SEC’s statutory authority in crypto has been murky; a clear win in the Ripple case could open up avenues for further SEC enforcement.
Ripple price marches ahead, preparing for a recovery
Judge Sarah Netburn has ruled that the Securities and Exchange Commission must surrender the email with the former director of corporation finance, William Hinman’s speech on Ethereum. Proponents of the payments giant believe that Hinman’s speech could be instrumental in striking fair notice provided by the SEC.
The SEC argued that Ripple’s largest public holder Ripple Labs, traders and investors were aware of the altcoin’s status as security since 2013. However, Hinman’s speech comments on the status of Ethereum in 2018 and reveals the loopholes in the SEC’s arguments against Ripple.
Since December 2020, members in Ripple leadership have faced charges of selling security in violation of the federal securities law.
Hinman worked as the SEC’s corporate finance division chief from mid-2017 to late-2020. In June 2018, Hinman famously stated, “The Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions,” (our emphasis).
However, information obtained by
Empower Oversight Whistleblowers & Research shows Hinman was receiving substantial retirement benefits from his previous employer at the time of his statement. Law firm Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett is a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, a group that supports Ethereum projects.
Creditors were late to realise that 3AC was collapsing as insolvency was only reported in mid June.
Co-founder Zhu Su used borrowed money to make luxury purchases including a yacht and property which was likely used to indicate creditworthiness of 3AC.
The co-founders went MIA but recently broke their silence by saying they will be moving 3AC to Dubai to see whether the firm has a future.
3AC’s default on debts caused a knock on impact on both the Celsius Network and Voyager Digital.
In California, a SOL investor filed a suit against Solana’s team and its venture capitalist backer Multicoin Capital for unlawfully making ‘enormous profits’ through the sale of the tokens to retail investors.
SOL to US dollar
The suit claims that the sale of SOL securities constituted “the sale of unregistered securities under controlling federal law.
However, the securities regulator has sought to block Hinman from testifying, stating that the blockchain firm has failed to argue the “exceptional circumstances” required to justify the deposition.
The cross-border remittances firm believes that the deposition could help bolster its defense with Hinman’s statements on the agency’s stance on Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP.
According to Ripple, Hinman could provide “a critical window into the SEC’s communications with important third parties about the regulatory status of digital assets.”
In 2018, the former SEC official stated that Ethereum is not a security. Hinman’s ruling on ETH at the time was controversial, and he left the agency shortly after.
Moving forward, the blockchain firm would continue to convince the court that XRP should have a similar regulatory status as Bitcoin and Ether.
After a year of back and forth on documents and privileged information, the SEC has been asked to release the Hinman speech. This is considered a small win for the payments giant Ripple.
Sources close to the matter believe that expert discovery could be pushed to a delayed close on February 28, 2022.
Ripple price is on its path to recovery, and analysts believe that all eyes would be on XRP soon. @CredibleCrypto, an analyst and trader, thinks that Bitcoin and Ethereum have swept their wick lows, while Ripple price has held through the recent correction.
The path of least resistance for Ripple price is up.
FXStreet analysts have evaluated the Ripple price trend and predicted that the altcoin looks ready to bounce up to $0.96.
The latest order, dated July 12, denied SEC’s motion to claim attorney-client privilege over the documents.
In its July 27 brief asking US District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Analisa Torres to toss Netburn’s orders, the agency argues that the speech didn’t reflect SEC policy, but rather what advice his division would give the agency.
Although the SEC maintains that it isn’t bound by Hinman’s speech, it says that Hinman’s remarks still provided “meaningful information” to the public about the division’s approach to regulating digital assets. The communications surrounding the speech therefore ought to be protected by the deliberative process privilege, it says.
In other words, the agency would like to have it both ways, which Netburn has said pointedly, more than once, that it cannot do.
Ripple legal battle has dragged on for over a year ever since Jay Clayton, in his last action as the SEC head, charged Ripple with conducting an illegal securities offering in December 2020. Each side has had minor battle victories as they fought over whether the SEC gave Ripple fair notice, but none emerged significantly ahead.
Fox Business recently learned from sources close to the case that the trial would take even longer as the expert discovery in the case is set to be pushed by a month due to the Omicron variant.
SCOOP: The expert discovery deadline in the Ripple vs. SEC case will be pushed back a month due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
A source close to the case tells @FoxBusiness a letter outlining this new motion will be filed in court as early as tomorrow.