Payment protocol Ripple has won the right to access the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) emails about Ethereum. Now, the SEC is under obligation to disclose their emails on a speech in which a former official said Ethereum is not a security. A federal judge, Sarah Netburn, passed the ruling on the 13th of January, compelling the SEC to disclose certain emails to Ripple.
Judge Gives Right to Ripple to Access SEC Emails About Ethereum
The long-lasting legal battle between Ripple and the SEC started in 2020, involving the company’s co-founder Christian Larsen and CEO Brad Garlinghouse. The SEC claimed that Ripple and the two executives made more than $1.3 billion through an unregistered securities offering. As the war persists, there have been many rulings concerning the matter. The most recent one states that the Commission cannot refer to the emails as privileged documents.
The speech in question was delivered in 2018 by former SEC official William Hinman. In the speech, Hinman specified that Ethereum could not be regarded as security because it was decentralized appropriately. As the struggle to defeat the other party lingers on between Ripple and the SEC, the payment protocol moved to obtain emails about an SEC official referring to Ethereum as security.
In response, the SEC argued that the documents are “merely peripheral to actual policy information” and therefore “privileged”. However, Netburn ruled that “emails concerning the speech or draft versions are neither pre-decisional nor deliberate agency documents entitled to protection.”
The judge added that the privilege does not protect the Commission’s employees’ personal views. She, however, included a condition that “unless they bear on the formulation or exercise of policy-oriented judgment.”
However, the court still rejected Ripple’s request to access a range of some other SEC documents.
Notably, the speech contradicts the SEC’s claim that Ripple officials sold the XRP token as an unregistered security. However, the executives denied the accusation. And any form of a statement by the SEC that ETH is not security will benefit Ripple.
Ripple’s Lawyer Claims SEC Is Intentionally Dragging the Trial
The case between Ripple and the SEC has gotten the attention of many, especially crypto lovers. Stuart Alderoty, a Ripple executive lawyer, attacked the SEC on Twitter, saying that the agency is intentionally prolonging the trial. The lawyer said the agency is ready to drag the case, even as Ripple seeks a speedy conclusion. Stating that the SEC is playing “the delay card and using it to their advantage,” Alderoty said:
“So much for ‘justice delayed is justice denied.’ How about publicly coming to moving the Ripple case as ‘swiftly’ as possible with no more delay?”
With a market cap of over $36 billion, XRP is the 8th largest cryptocurrency. The token is currently trading at $0.7639, declining 3.13% in the last 24 hours.