In a notable crypto legal development, Ripple Labs, the company behind the XRP digital currency, achieved victory in its ongoing battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC).
The U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York ruled that the sale of Ripple’s XRP tokens on cryptocurrency exchanges and via algorithms are not “investment contracts”, providing some regulatory clarity to the cryptocurrency industry.
- The court found that the institutional sale of the tokens violated federal securities laws.
- The court denied the SEC’s motion for summary judgment on an “aiding and abetting claim” against Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Christian Larsen.
- Legal experts suggest that the ruling falls short of settling the question of whether and under what circumstances a digital asset meets the definition of a security under U.S. law.
In a statement, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said:
The most important part of this ruling: “XRP, as a digital token, is not in and of itself a “contract, transaction[,] or scheme” that embodies the Howey requirements of an investment contract.” This is a now a matter of law (not up for trial.)
XRP Surge After Court Decision
The court decision made an immediate impact on the crypto market. The market value of XRP soared 96%, climbing the most among the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. XRP climbed to as high as 93.8 cents, its peak since March 2022, before stabilizing to 81 cents at the time this article is written.
SEC Lawsuit Over XRP’s Status as a Security Will Go to Trial
Despite the partial victory, the legal battle is far from over. The federal district judge declined to issue a summary judgment requested by both the SEC and Ripple Labs, thus sending the issue to trial.
- The judge ruled partially in favor of both sides, agreeing with the SEC’s argument that direct sales of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of XRP sold to institutional investors were unlawful securities sales, but took Ripple’s side on other “blind bid” sales, where Ripple did not know who the buyer was, ruling that those did not break securities laws.
US SEC Likely to Appeal
Analysts have described the federal judge’s split decision in the SEC’s case against Ripple as a ‘wake-up call’ for the SEC. However, the decision could be reversed on appeal, and the full impact of the decision beyond Ripple’s case remains to be seen.
- The SEC said it is still reviewing for possible appeal, does not fully exonerate Ripple or its lead executives from possible civil consequences.
- The crypto industry at large celebrated the win for Ripple, framing it as a development that showed cracks in the SEC’s armor. The agency has an undefeated track record in enforcement cases brought against crypto firms dating back to the initial coin offering bubble of 2017.
This article is published on BitPinas: XRP Price Surge in Ripple Victory vs US SEC
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