The US Securities and Exchange Commission and Ripple have requested a one-week extension on unsealing the internal deliberations following a speech by former director William Hinman. On Friday, both the SEC and Ripple reportedly filed a request seeking to extend the deadline for the filing of multiple exhibits including the Hinman documents. Later on the same day, District Judge Analisa Torres of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the motion, setting June 13th as the new deadline, according to James Filan, a defense attorney and ex-federal prosecutor who has been closely monitoring.
The SEC and Ripple have filed a “Joint Letter for one week extension, until June 13, 2023, to file public, [redacted] versions of cross-motions for summary judgment and accompanying exhibits, which includes the Hinman materials.” The Hinman documents primarily constitute a speech by the former SEC head in June 2018, during which he declared that Ether, the native token of the Ethereum blockchain, is not a security.
In December last year, the SEC submitted a motion to seal internal communication such as emails, text messages, and expert reports following the speech made by Hinman in the Ripple case. The organization argued that its mission took priority over the public’s right to access such documents, citing their lack of relevance to the court’s summary judgment decision, among other reasons. However, earlier this week, Judge Torres denied a motion from the SEC to seal records of the internal deliberations. The federal judge argued that the documents are “judicial documents” subject to a strong presumption of public access. She added that the Hinman Speech documents “would reasonably have the tendency to influence [the Court’s] ruling on a motion.”
The Ripple-SEC case has implications beyond Ripple and XRP because of how the court rules could set a precedent for how other cryptocurrencies are regulated and classified in the future. If the court decides that XRP is a security, it could lead to other cryptocurrencies being classified as securities as well, which would subject them to the strict regulations that govern securities. On the other hand, if the court decides that XRP is not a security, it could mean that other cryptocurrencies that share similar characteristics to XRP may also be exempt from securities regulations. The outcome of the Ripple-SEC case will have significant implications for the entire crypto industry and could potentially shape how cryptocurrency companies operate and are regulated moving forward. It is worth noting that the SEC has launched a legal battle against some other crypto companies too. Specifically, the commission has taken enforcement action against crypto exchanges Kraken and Bittrex, as well as crypto lending platform Nexo, while threatening Coinbase with a lawsuit.