The lawsuit between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ripple (XRP) is dragging on. Ripple can score a point as the SEC has been court-ordered to disclose internal communications.
Once again, the circumstances surrounding the so-called “Hinman speech” in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) court case against Ripple (XRP) are occupying the litigants. A judicial decision has now reconfirmed that Ripple has the right to view accompanying internal SEC communications about the “Hinman speech” and to use them as evidence in the trial. Ripple hopes to use this to prove that XRP was misclassified by the SEC and should actually be exempt from regulation like Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC).
The background is that William Hinman gave a keynote speech on cryptocurrencies in 2018 as a then SEC board member. In it, he explicitly defined Ethereum as a largely decentralized network and gave ETH regulatory carte blanche. How Hinman came to this conclusion and why he did not grant XRP this privilege is one of the questions Ripple is trying to get to the bottom of. But the SEC kept trying new legal maneuvers to prevent the release and exploitation of the internal discussion leading up to the “Hinman speech.”
Litigation observers read the latest court ruling differently. The two lawyers James Filan and Jeremy Hogan interpret the judge’s decision on Twitter as tending to be positive for Ripple and XRP. However, they also point to the danger that the SEC could delay the delivery of the documents on the “Hinman speech” with further dodges.
Other legal experts interviewed by U.S. media are more skeptical about the probative value of the “Hinman speech” communications. They say the ruling text evaluates the documents as contributing to Hinman’s personal opinion-making and doubts whether they can be interpreted as the SEC’s official position. Moreover, the emails – as far as known – revolve around Ethereum and not explicitly about XRP.
Conclusion: optimism for XRP premature? Ripple vs. SEC never comes to an end
Almost two years have already passed in the proceedings, in which the SEC not only wants to achieve a billion-dollar fine for Ripple, but also to emphasize far-reaching responsibilities for the crypto industry. For this reason alone, the crypto scene is watching the developments, even if individually XRP is not part of the portfolio. If the SEC wins against Ripple, it will unleash its lawyers on other altcoins as well, is the assumption. A success for Ripple, on the other hand, will not only enable XRP to make a comeback, but will also severely curtail the SEC’s desire to regulate, is the second scenario. It is already foreseeable: The “Hinman speech” and its preparations remain a central bone of contention between the SEC and Ripple.