In the court battle between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ripple over XRP, documents have surfaced that suggest biased behavior by the agency. At issue is the calendar of former SEC official Hinman.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is already on the defensive in the case against Ripple (XRP), according to trial observers – and newly surfaced documents are unlikely to lighten the mood at the agency. Because as Fox Business reports, the work calendar of former SEC board member William Hinman had to be disclosed. According to the report, the entries there suggest that Hinman met frequently and with an open ear with representatives and cooperation partners of Ethereum (ETH). Ripple reportedly did not have such exclusive access to the SEC to lobby on the XRP approach.
Hinman was the central person within the SEC where plans for cryptocurrency regulation converged from 2017 to 2020. The so-called “Hinman Speech” of 2018 gave Ethereum and Bitcoin (BTC) a virtual carte blanche in terms of regulation and also plays an important role in the SEC vs. Ripple lawsuit. Ripple has been pushing for some time to be allowed to publish internal SEC emails and documents in preparation for the “Hinman speech” and use them in the proceedings. This is to prove that XRP should also be entitled to the status of being left unregulated by the SEC.
Neither Ripple nor the SEC wanted to comment on Hinman’s calendar entries currently. In May, U.S. journalist Eleanor Terrett had reported suspicions that private monetary motives may have led Hinman and his entourage to treat Ethereum differently than Ripple. Terret is also a co-author on the recent Fox Business report.
Bottom line: role of William Hinman incriminating for SEC in Ripple lawsuit
The SEC has been adamant for months about wanting to keep internal documents by and about its ex-official Hinman under wraps. But the court in New York has just reaffirmed that Ripple must be granted access, as reported by lawyer James Filan via Twitter. The perhaps piquant calendar entries fit in this respect also from the timing perfectly to the defense strategy of Ripple to stage XRP in comparison to Ethereum as unfairly treated. But some observers already fear: This strategy could backfire for the crypto industry and lead to Ethereum also being re-evaluated by the SEC in regulatory terms.