The Securities and Exchange Commission has started turning over such a tremendous treasure trove of email messages and files to Ripple, whose creators developed the XRP cryptocurrency and are now defendants in a high-profile legal battle with the regulatory authority over its claim that XRP was illegally obtained as unlicensed security.

General counsel Stuart Alderoty announced on Twitter on Thursday, claiming victory in an 18-month battle over the collection of exploration substances known as "the Hinman documents."

The documents center on former SEC director William Hinman and a heavily published speech he gave in 2018 announcing that Ethereum, like Bitcoin, was sufficiently decentralized to be exempt from federal securities regulation.

Hinman's statements that day portray the heaviest cloud currently lurking over active negotiations about crypto regulations. They play an essential role in the December 2020 legal case against Ripple, which claims that it sold XRP as unlicensed security. XRP is the sixth-largest cryptocurrency, with a market cap of $22.3 billion, according to CoinGecko.

A federal district judge last month overrode the repetitive attempts to block Ripple from attempting to access the documents, which is something the company says will reveal internal discussions and deliberations that did lead to the controversial proclamation that appears to favor "two winners" in the cryptocurrency world, Bitcoin and Ethereum, over different options like XRP.

In January, Ripple managed to win the right to request the documents. Some industry observers believed the documents would not significantly strengthen the case, but Alderoty believes those assumptions are incorrect.

CEO Brad Garlinghouse took it a step further. Even though his company was celebrating its tenth anniversary just hours before the documents were released, he was enraged on Twitter.

In response to his general counsel's official statement, Garlinghouse criticized the SEC once more, saying don't believe them when they claim to be concerned about disclosure, accountability, and clarity.

Even though access to files pertaining to Hinman's 2018 speech may provide considerable insight into his and his peers' thought processes at the SEC, Ripple's attorneys also anticipate hearing straight from Hinman, having won the right to dethrone the former SEC director last year. That decision came shortly after another court denied the SEC's request for access to Ripple's executive compensation records.

The development will almost certainly reawaken the long-running dispute, where both Ripple and the SEC have recently requested a summary judgment rather than a trial. A 44% increase followed the push for a quick resolution to the case in the value of XRP.

The SEC's motion was met with opposition from Ripple, which claimed that the agency "still has no feasible legal theory to endorse its central claim" that Ripple was obligated to register XRP as a security.

A judge recently granted an individual XRP holder's request to join the litigation.

Noticeably, current SEC chair Gary Gensler has not publicly and specifically reacted to Hinman's assessment and has restricted his remarks to Bitcoin, avoiding the Ethereum waters that engulfed director Hinman.

What do you think about the SEC's take on Ethereum? Let us know your thoughts by sharing this article online.

Posted 
Oct 21, 2022
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