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Denied: Ripple’s Request for SEC’s Trading Policy Documents

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  • The US SEC had a little win against Ripple yesterday.
  • Ripple requested the SEC’s ‘trading policies governing digital assets’.
  • The judge denied the Ripple request for documents as it may ‘cause confusion’.

Yesterday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had a little win against Ripple. Judge Sarah Netburn denied the latter’s request for documents detailing the ‘trading policies governing digital assets’.

Based on the ruling provided by Atty. James Filan, the US magistrate judge declined to grant the defendants access to documents. To explain, the judge does not want to ‘cause confusion’ than provide any relevant findings.

Courts have ordered the regulator to disclose its crypto trading policies in the past. Ripple claims the SEC’s counsel advised that their employees are prohibited from trading XRP since the investigation began in 2019.

Ripple maintained that the SEC did not produce any formal documentary evidence supporting their claim. Additionally, Judge Netburn’s analysis in the denied motion summarized the firm’s request as,

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Defendants argue that individual trading decisions will, at a minimum, expose the lack of clarity regarding XRP’s status and whether the SEC believed XRP to be a security. Such evidence arguably would undermine the SEC’s allegations that the Individual Defendants acted recklessly and would bolster the Defendants’ fair notice defense.

In addition, Judge Netburn maintained that such arguments don’t seem to be relevant to the case as defendants have not shown such individual trading decisions bear on the issues in the case. Besides, the Privacy Act protects the financial conduct disclosures of SEC employees. Thus, Ripple had yet to prove that suspending such protections would make a material difference to the case.

While the SEC employees’ trading records might be out of bounds for Ripple now, this recent motion reaffirmed that the watchdog must provide documentation that would prove its claims that agency employees were barred from trading XRP in 2019. SEC may have won this round in the war, but it is far from over

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Ripple CEO Comments on Prospects of XRP ETF in U.S.

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Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse believes that the SEC is deliberately picking winners and losers

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse lamented the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for picking winners and losers when asked about the prospects of an XRP exchange-traded fund launching in the U.S. by Fox Business’s Charles Gasparino during an Oct. 18 interview:

Why is the SEC picking winners and losers?

Garlinghouse went on to mention that Bitcoin has “massive” power consumption.

Hence, prioritizing Bitcoin doesn’t sit well with SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s climate agenda, according to the Ripple boss. Earlier, he mentioned that XRP is 100,000 times more efficient than the largest cryptocurrency, estimating that only one Bitcoin transition consumes 75 gallons of gasoline.    

In addition, Garlinghouse is concerned about Gensler’s silence on the regulatory status of Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency.

There are several pending Ether ETF filings in the U.S. that are waiting for the regulator’s nod.

In the meantime, ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, the first approved Bitcoin futures ETF, is set to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange.   

Garlinghouse says that it’s “ironic” how the SEC fights for disclosures and clarity but fails to reciprocate when it comes to its own actions:

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What we seek more than anything is clarity and certainty.          

As reported by U.Today, an XRP exchange-fund product (ETP) was listed on Zurich-based SIX Swiss by crypto asset management firm CoinShares this April.

However, Swiss crypto money manager 21Shares moved to remove XRP from the list of its ETP products after the SEC sued Ripple, alleging that the cryptocurrency is an unregistered security.

Ripple is not willing to settle

According to Gasparino, Garlinghouse said that Ripple wouldn’t settle if XRP were deemed a security.

The most recent comment echoes the executive’s earlier statement about how there should be “absolute certainty” about the cryptocurrency’s regulatory status:

There is no scenario though when we gonna settle unless there is absolute certainty about what is XRP on the go-forward basis.

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RIPPLE’S ALDEROTY QUESTIONS SEC EXTENSION REQUEST, MR. HOGAN SAYS JUDGE WILL “SPLIT THE BABY”

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As the lawsuit is again at risk of extending deadlines potentially for summary judgment, Mr. Hogan was clear that the SEC v Ripple has an end in sight.

The SEC has requested the court to extend the expert rebuttal report deadline to November 12, 2021, and the expert discovery deadline from November 12, 2021, to January 14, 2022.

The agency says the parties need sufficient time to prepare rebuttal reports and depose a minimum of 14 expert witnesses.

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The plaintiff added that Ripple consents to an extension of the rebuttal report deadline until November 12, but opposes the January 14 deposition deadline.

Ripple’s General Counsel Stuart Alderoty commented on the SEC request as something quite unusual. “Every litigator will tell you it’s always the defendant – never the plaintiff – asking to delay proceedings. Why would any plaintiff, let alone one with unlimited resources, play the delay card?”

JUDGE TORRES SAID “COURT IS NOT INCLINED TO PERMIT FURTHER DELAY”

According to the SEC, Ripple intends to file its opposition to this letter motion on October 18, 2021. The SEC offered a compromise that expert discovery be completed by December 22, but Ripple also rejected that offer.

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It seems that the blockchain firm believes that such an extension would disrupt the briefing schedule for summary judgment motion(s), which would likely affect the end of the lawsuit.

The XRP community has quickly responded to the SEC’s request and Twitter user @XRPMoonOrBust pointed to Judge Analisa Torres’ order denying the XRP Holders’ motion to intervene (while granting the Amicus Curiae status).

The ruling was on the grounds that “discovery in this action has already been extended… and the Court is not inclined to permit further delay by granting intervention and prolonging discovery…”

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HOGAN EXPECTS ONE MORE MONTH AND LAWSUIT TO END IN SUMMER AT THE LATEST

Jeremy Hogan, an XRP-friendly lawyer, has commented on the request as well: “What’s clear from this motion to extend discovery out 2 more months is that the SEC filed this $1.4 Billion dollar lawsuit without setting aside the resources to prosecute it. If the judge grants it, the main parts of the case won’t be decided until March-May of ’22!”

“My instinct, without having read Ripple’s reply, is that the judge splits the baby and provides an additional month to expert discovery. Judges never want an appellate court to hear lack of “due process” arguments on a case”, he continued.

As the lawsuit is again at risk of extending deadlines potentially for summary judgment, Mr. Hogan was clear that the SEC v. Ripple is likely to end in the first half of 2022, summer at the latest.

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“The case will be over by summer at the latest. An appeal could take 9-12 months to be decided but while the appeal is going on, the trial judge’s ruling is “the law”.”

GRANTING MOTIONS TO COMPEL REQUIRE ADDITIONAL TIME

The SEC wants the extension because expert discovery has commenced with an incomplete factual record, and the case is even less ready for summary judgment motions.

“First, on September 1, 2021, Magistrate Judge Netburn granted the SEC’s motion to compel Ripple to produce certain instant messages among its employees, but Ripple has not completed its production of responsive documents and has not provided any timetable by which it will be complete.

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“Second, the parties have four discovery motions currently pending before Magistrate Judge Netburn: (i) Defendants’ motion to pierce the SEC’s deliberative process privilege and other privileges as to many of the SEC’s internal communications and communications with other law enforcement agencies (which will not be fully
briefed until October 22, 2021); (ii) the SEC’s motion for a protective order relieving it from answering over 29,000 requests for admission that Defendants served on the SEC in the last six hours of fact discovery; (iii) Ripple’s and Larsen’s motion to compel further responses to certain interrogatories; and (iv) the SEC’s motion to compel Ripple to conduct a reasonable search for and produce certain video recordings of internal staff meetings involving Individual Defendants and key executives.

The plaintiff added that if Magistrate Judge Netburn grants any of the pending motions to compel, at minimum, the parties would need additional time to review and produce the documents at issue.

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Ripple Forecast and XRP/USD Analysis October 19, 2021

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XRP/USD are trading at 1.1161 and continue to move as part of the correction and the formation of the ”Triangle” pattern. The capitalization of the Ripple cryptocurrency at the time of the publication of the forecast is $52,492,759,857. Moving averages indicate a short-term bullish trend for Ripple. Prices are again testing the area between the signal lines, which indicates pressure from buyers of the asset and a potential continuation of the rise in the XRP rate in the market already from current levels. At the moment, we should expect an attempt to develop a decline in the asset and a test of the support level near the 1.0905 area. Further, an upward rebound and a continuation of the rise of the cryptocurrency to the area above the level of 1.3355.

Ripple Forecast and XRP/USD Analysis October 19, 2021

In favor of raising the XRP/USD quotes, a test of the support line on the relative strength index (RSI) will come out. The second signal in favor of the growth of asset quotes will be a rebound from the lower border of the bullish channel. Cancellation of the option of raising the cryptocurrency will be the fall and closing of quotations below the level of 1.0205. This will indicate a breakdown of the support area and a continued fall in XRP/USD to the area below the level of 0.8505. Confirmation of the growth of the digital currency rate will be the breakdown of the resistance area and the closing of prices above the level of 1.2055, which will indicate a breakdown of the upper border of the ”Triangle” model.

Ripple Forecast and XRP/USD Analysis October 19, 2021

Ripple Forecast and XRP/USD Analysis October 19, 2021 implies an attempt to test the support level near the 1.0905 area. Where can we expect the cryptocurrency to continue to rise with a potential target at the level of 1.3355. An additional signal in favor of the growth of Ripple will be a test of the trend line on the relative strength index (RSI). Cancellation of the option to raise quotes will be a fall and a breakdown of the 1.0205 area. In this case, we should expect a continuation of the decline in the rise in digital currency with a target below 0.8505.

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