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Ripple Is Using Letter to Retail Investor in SEC Lawsuit Over $XRP Sales

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Ripple has used a viral tweet citing an email on the status of the XRP token from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sent to a user who questioned the regulator on whether the token was a security.

Late last year, a Twitter user going by “frank” reached out to the regulator in a bid to understand whether what they bought was a security or not “because there was no decision yet.”

In response, the SEC noted it had “not issued a determination on whether the cryptocurrency XRP is a security” and added that whether “a cryptocurrency is considered a security will depend on the characteristics and use of the cryptocurrency.”

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Two months after the tweet was published, the SEC sued Ripple and two of its executives alleging they “raised over $1.3 billion through an unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities offering.” 

Ripple is now citing the tweet in a court filing, regarding statement made by the former director of the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance William Hinman, who had said he viewed XRP as an unregistered security.

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In the filing, first reported on by Daily Hodl, Ripple argued the email shows Hinman’s testimony is “refuted by the SEC’s own communications to the public.” The fintech firm has said the regulator’s history with cryptoassets shows the SEC’s case is flawed as in 2017 Hinman “admitted” the “application of the federal securities laws to digital assets was ‘new for everyone’,” the firm said.

Ripple cited Hinman saying he did not think “people had completely thought through all the ways… the securities laws may apply to that activity,” and added:

This testimony, the documents produced – and potentially the documents that should be produced in discovery as a result of Defendants’ Motion – fatally undermine the SEC’s allegations that the Individual Defendants acted recklessly in failing to recognize Ripple’s sales of XRP as an unregistered securities offering as at that time, securities law experts of Mr. Hinman’s stature (to say nothing of the full Commission) had not reached that conclusion themselves, despite looking into the issue.

As CryptoGlobe reported, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has revealed the fintech firm is highly likely to go public after it settles the lawsuit the SEC filed. Garlinghouse said the company first started looking into how it could become publicly traded in early 2020, but noted that the SEC’s lawsuit hindered its plans. While it still plans on being listed on an exchange, it hopes to do so after it resolves its lawsuit with the SEC.

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Cryptocurrency legal expert and XRP supporter Jeremy Hogan has revealed he believes Ripple’s legal battle with the SEC could have a positive outcome for the price of XRP.

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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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