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Buterin’s ETH sales more like a security offering than Ripple’s XRP sales: John Deaton

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  • According to Deaton, the SEC is applying a double standard in the case against Ripple in consideration of fundraising by the Ethereum Foundation. 
  • Deaton’s motion to intervene remains open, with Judge Torres granting Deaton leave to represent the proposed intervenors on Monday.

Attorney John E. Deaton continues to fight for the XRP community, seeking arguments as to why the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is wrong in classifying XRP as a security. In a Twitter thread yesterday, Deaton laid out why the Ethereum Foundation’s sales of Ether (ETH) met the facts for a security much more than any sales of XRP by Ripple that he is aware of.

In doing so, Deaton specifically referenced a video shared by “Digital Asset Investor” via Twitter in which Ethereum’s creator, Vitalik Buterin, spoke about the initial fundraising and transfer of 500,000 ETH to Galaxy Digital’s Mike Novogratz. Deaton explained:

What @VitalikButerin is doing in the below video is much more of an “offering” of a security than any specific sale of #XRP that I’m aware of – (although I’m not aware of all #XRP sales).

As Deaton claims, the transfer of 500,000 ETH to Novogratz by the Ethereum Foundation is a much clearer example of the sale of an unregistered security than what is in the SEC’s hands against Ripple.

Who benefited from the lawsuit against Ripple?

Deaton and the video refer to the “pre-mine” that the Ethereum team conducted in 2014/2015. The team had set up three pools prior to the launch of the network to pre-mine ETH according to the fundraising collected, for the co-founders and early team members as well as the Ethereum Foundation.

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The pre-mined ETH were then sold to early investors, which included Novogratz (who bought half a million Ether at $0.99). In relation to this, Deaton argues:

Let’s assume #XRP JUST LIKE #ETH was a security between 2013-2017. Why the selective enforcement? Many have argued that it’s all about the ESCROW! I agree that the escrow is a relevant factor. But the escrow doesn’t turn it into a security.

In this context, Deaton also raised the question of what the motive of the lawsuit was – as did former SEC Commissioner Joseph Grundfest. Just a few days ago, the SEC refused to release its documents on the classification of Bitcoin and Ethereum as non-securities. As Jeremy Hogan stated, the SEC is apparently trying to hide something damning, which is why Ripple may be trying to obtain those documents. Along those lines, Deaton stated:

When this case was filed against Ripple, individuals at the SEC knew that it would face problems & hurdles prosecuting this case. […] Was the filing of the Complaint itself, the goal? Was the Complaint the weapon?

The relevant question isn’t who will be harmed by the mere filing of the Complaint. The relevant question is who benefited by the mere filing of the Complaint (causing the harm)? It’s not that someone was against #XRP per se but favored or promoted #BTC and #ETH and ?

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Motion to intervene by XRP holders remains open

Meanwhile, Deaton has at least taken the first step for intervention on behalf of over 10,000 XRP holders in the lawsuit between Ripple and the SEC. On Monday, Judge Analisa Torres granted Deaton permission to appear in her court for all purposes as counsel for the proposed intervenors. However, a decision on the motion to intervene is still pending.

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Ripple Vs SEC

Court Orders SEC to Answer Ripple’s Interrogatories

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Ripple, however, has failed to bury the SEC in paperwork, with the judge granting the agency’s motion for a protection order against “unduly burdensome” requests

Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn has ordered the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to answer some of Ripple’s hotly-contested interrogatories, which are meant to determine whether or not the plaintiff’s contentions can be supported by facts. 

The agency will have to specify why the company’s XRP sales are investment contracts:

The SEC’s legal theory is not an excuse to avoid responding to Defendants’ factual inquiry. Nor is it a basis to answer a different question than posed.

In addition, the SEC will have to state whether it believes that Ripple’s efforts were key to boosting the price of XRP.

However, Ripple’s interrogatory about whether or not the XRP Ledger was fully functional prior to the start of the securities offering has been denied for being too vague:

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The Court agrees that this interrogatory seeks relevant information. But Defendants’ interrogatory is too vague for the reasons identified by the SEC.

Netburn has also granted the SEC’s motion for a protective order, which allows the regulator not to respond to all of Ripple’s “unreasonably burdensome” interrogatories.

The agency claimed that covering all the 29,947 requests would take 104 days without “breaks or sleep.”

Earlier this week, the court also granted the SEC’s motion to extend the expert discovery deadline to Jan. 14, 2022, despite Ripple’s protestations.

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Ripple CEO Says the SEC Helped Ethereum to Surpass XRP as No.2 Crypto

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  • Ripple CEO aired his opinion on the crypto market and regulations.
  • Brad Garlinghouse said the US SEC granted Ethereum regulatory green light.

At the DC Fintech Week virtual conference on October 21, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghounse aired his thoughts on the state of the crypto market and regulations. Besides, he holds a grudge over the financial regulator’s approach to Ethereum.

In addition, Garlinghouse declared that the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) granted Ethereum regulatory green light that enabled it to surpass his firm’s XRP token.

Likewise, the Ripple boss feels that his firm has been played out. But, at the same time, Ethereum’s subsequent success is at least in part down to more favorable treatment by the US SEC. Also, Garlinghouse stated that it is affecting its market. He said,

“Within the last few years, XRP was the second most valuable digital asset. As it became clear the SEC had given a hall pass to ETH, ETH obviously has exploded, and that clarity has helped.”

To clarify, XRP was the second-largest crypto asset by market cap in late December 2017. But, currently, it has dropped to seventh place while Ethereum has kept the second spot ever since.

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Furthermore, the reason why XRP dropped is the US SEC pursuing Ripple over claims that XRP is unregistered security. In fact, in January, Ripple filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the US SEC demanding to know why it didn’t consider ETH security.

As a result, later in July, a district judge allowed the firm to depose a former official who declared in 2018 that ETH was not a security.

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Ripple CEO reinstates SEC bias towards ETH, claiming XRP could’ve been No.2

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It is not news that the ongoing XRP lawsuit has got the better of Ripple’s XRP token. Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse recently questioned the SEC’s bias towards Ethereum, claiming that XRP would’ve been at the No. 2 position instead of ETH if it weren’t for the commission’s partial crackdown. Garlinghouse spoke at the DC Fintech Week virtual conference yesterday, arguing that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged Ripple’s XRP as unregistered security while granting Ethereum a regulatory free pass, which in turn helped ETH shoot through the roof.

“Within the last few years, XRP was the second most valuable digital asset. As it became clear the SEC had given a hall pass to ETH, ETH obviously has kind of exploded and that clarity has helped.”

XRP secured the position of the second-largest crypto asset by market capitalization during the latter half of 2017. However, the token has dropped down to seventh place while Ethereum stands strong as No. 2. Furthermore, Garlinghouse claims that the SEC’s exclusively aggressive anti-crypto stance to allegedly protect the consumers is in fact anti-investors. Referring to the XRP lawsuit, Ripple CEO emphasizes that “nearly 50,000 U.S. people who hold XRP who are trying to sue the SEC for ‘protecting them’”.

XRP Holders left with bearish and frozen funds

Earlier this week, Attorney Deaton Filed a Letter Motion on behalf of the XRP Holders (Movants) that contended SEC’s extension request, with the main argument concerning the XRP holders’ frozen funds because of the consistent postponement of the lawsuit’s final verdict. During the ongoing bull run, XRP remains considerably bear because of the regulatory crackdown on Ripple. However, the court has overlooked the community’s concern and granted the extension explaining that in lieu of pending motions, extra time will only facilitate both parties to complete pending fact discovery and thoroughly prepare for upcoming expert depositions.

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“The lack of liquidity within the United States, coupled with the mass de-listings prevents XRP Holders from trading, selling, transferring, or converting their XRP. It is because of this de facto in place seizure of their property that XRP Holders took the extraordinary step to seek intervention as defendants… Any delay in the underlying action marks yet another day XRP Holders do not have access to their funds.”, wrote Deaton.

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