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SEC v. Ripple: Judge grants XRP holders status to assist in future legal briefings

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  • Ripple has locked in another major victory as the judge has given XRP holders more power in the ongoing case.
  • Judge Analisa Torres has given the XRP community the status of “amici curiae” in the lawsuit.
  • Token holders would be able to assist the court in briefing legal issues relevant to the SEC v. Ripple case.

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) v. Ripple case has taken a turn as the judge on the case granted the power to a prominent XRP advocate and lawyer representing many of the cryptocurrency’s holders to be a part of the ongoing legal battle.

XRP holders granted ‘amici status’

John Deaton, a lawyer who represents XRP token holders wishing to insert themselves in the ongoing lawsuit filed by the SEC, has been granted “amici status” by US District Judge Analisa Torres. 

Deaton and XRP holders would be allowed to act as “friends of the court,” by assisting the court in briefing legal issues relevant to the case. However, these legal issues must be first approved in advance by the court.

According to the order by the judge, the court believes that this type of assistance would be beneficial during the briefing of dispositive motions. The order further stated that it may also exercise its discretion to request or deny further applications.

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Another notable lawyer familiar with the case, James Filan commented that this is a “huge win” for the XRP community, because the interests of the Ripple executives and the community are aligned.

However, it is also worth noting that the XRP holder’s motion to intervene in the case is denied despite the capacity to be involved in the case as amici curiae. The court further stated that in order to maintain the balance between the parties and Ripple investors, the court will not allow the community to offer evidence or present witnesses.

XRP bulls catch their breath before heading higher

XRP price has broken out of the symmetrical triangle pattern and attempted to reach the bullish target set out by the governing technical pattern. However, Ripple fell short of reach as strength declined, as the bulls are catching their breath before the next run-up.

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The optimistic target set out by the triangle pattern was set at $1.11, where the 100 twelve-hour Simple Moving Average (SMA) sits. 

Currently, Ripple is consolidating and accumulating strength before its next move as it continues to trend sideways. XRP price is ranging between the 27.2% and 38.2% Fibonacci retracement levels at $1.01 and $1.07, respectively. The former acts as the first line of resistance for the token, where the 50 twelve-hour SMA rests.

XRPUSDT

XRP/USDT 12-hour chart

Should XRP price be faced with increased selling pressure following its rally, Ripple would discover further support at the 20 twelve-hour SMA before dropping toward the September 21 high at $0.95. If the bears were to continue to take control, the token would discover a strong foothold at the apex of the triangle, where the support line given by the Momentum Reversal Indicator (MRI) and 200 twelve-hour SMA coincide.

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The next target for the bulls is to break above $1.07 resistance and tag the 100 twelve-hour SMA at $1.10. Further buying pressure may incentivize XRP price to shoot for the 50% Fibonacci retracement level at $1.13.

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SEC v. Ripple – Court orders plaintiff to ‘answer Ripple’s interrogatories’

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Within 24 hours of the court approving the Securities and Exchange Commission’s request to postpone the discovery deadline to January 2022, Judge Sarah Netburn has responded to two pending motions in the SEC v. Ripple Labs lawsuit.

One of the motions was from defendants Ripple Labs and Chris Larsen to compel the SEC to supplement its responses to eleven of its interrogatories and two of Larsen’s. Meanwhile, the other motion from the SEC sought a protective order to relieve it of the obligation to respond to 29,947 separate requests for admission, as per the filing.

Judge Netburn has now granted and denied both motions in part.

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The judge ordered the SEC to answer Ripple’s interrogatories and identify the specific terms of the “investment contract” from XRP sales. The order added,

“Ripple’s interrogatory is relevant (and precise) and will clarify whether the SEC contends that the terms of any contract identified in response to Ripple’s Interrogatory No. 1 created an expectation of profits by the purchaser of XRP.”

“Accordingly, Defendants’ motion regarding Ripple Interrogatory No. 2 is GRANTED, and the SEC must supplement its response to Interrogatory No. 2 to identify any specific contractual terms and not just implicit and explicit promises as previously identified.”

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The SEC must also respond to whether it contends that “efforts by Ripple were necessary to effect any increase in the price of XRP.” The court granted most of the defendants’ motions to compel answers on interrogatories, except one.

This was the motion from Chris Larsen on when XRPL is fully functional. Judge Netburn denied it without prejudice for being “too vague,” with the parties ordered to confer clarity terms.

Meanwhile, the SEC’s motion for protective orders was also partially granted and denied. The judge granted protection on Defendants’ 28,849 RFAs, noting that “it is hard to view this stunt as anything more than theater.” The order added,

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“The motion for a protective order is GRANTED on burden grounds. Having granted the motion to compel a response to Ripple’s Interrogatory No. 2, the protective order is also GRANTED as cumulative and duplicative of another form of admissible evidence.”

As the SEC and Ripple filed their responses, the timeline for the case may extend due to the postponement of the discovery deadline. This deadline was pushed so that the parties could complete the expert depositions and beef up their preparations.

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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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