Ripple Scores Legal Win as Judge Denies SEC’s Motion to Seal Cryptocurrency Lecture Papers

Pic Source: COINCU

In a significant development, a judge has rejected the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) plea to seal papers related to a controversial cryptocurrency lecture. The ruling has provided Ripple, the embattled crypto company, with a legal win in their ongoing legal battle against the SEC.

The conflict between Ripple and the SEC began in 2020 when the commission accused Ripple of unlawfully trading its XRP coin without proper registration as a security. Amidst the legal proceedings, one critical aspect of contention has revolved around records associated with Bill Hinman’s 2018 lecture on cryptocurrencies. Hinman, the former Director of the Division of Corporate Finance, made statements in the lecture asserting that Bitcoin and Ethereum should not be considered securities.

The SEC has sought to keep the documents and discussions linked to Hinman’s speech confidential, claiming that his remarks were personal opinions rather than official agency policy. Furthermore, the SEC argued that the records fall under the protection of legislation guarding internal discussions and Hinman’s commission responsibilities.

However, U.S. District Court Judge Analisa Torres ruled on Tuesday that the materials in question are judicial documents with a strong presumption of public access. Rejecting the SEC’s argument, Judge Torres stated in the court filing, “The Hinman Speech Documents are not protected by the deliberative process privilege because they do not relate to an agency position, decision or policy.”

The SEC had filed a petition on December 22 to seal internal emails, text messages, and expert reports connected to Hinman’s speech, claiming that their purpose outweighed the public’s right to access materials deemed irrelevant to the court’s summary judgment ruling.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse celebrated the judge’s decision as a victory for transparency. This ruling holds significant importance in Ripple’s protracted legal battle against the SEC. Notably, in a previous instance, the court had already dismissed another attempt by the SEC to conceal records related to the Hinman speech.

The outcome of this case has far-reaching implications for both Ripple and the wider cryptocurrency industry. The dispute between Ripple and the SEC will continue to unfold, shaping the regulatory landscape for digital assets and providing insights into the classification of various cryptocurrencies.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. It is advisable to conduct thorough research and seek professional guidance before making any investment decisions.