The stewards of the XRP coin, Ripple Labs, have scored a little victory in their long-running lawsuit with the SEC by getting critical papers that may aid them in their fight against the regulator.
After 18 months and six court demands, Ripple has obtained what has become known as the Hinman papers, which are internal SEC drafts and emails pertaining to a former director’s speech from almost four years ago.
William Hinman, who at the time was Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, gave a significant statement in which he seemed to announce that the agency did not consider ether to be a security.
Ripple’s general counsel, Stuart Alderoty, tweeted on Thursday that while the papers pertaining to the 2018 Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit address remain classified for the time being at the request of the regulator, “it was well worth the effort to get them.”
Ripple has regularly requested the records via discovery, while the SEC has at least three times tried to suppress them. In February and April, Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn of the Southern District Court of New York ruled against the SEC’s position.
Late last month, Judge Analisa Torres ruled for the third time against the SEC’s efforts to conceal the records. The announcement caused the price of XRP to increase by more than 9 percent. XRP was last seen trading at $0.44, a decrease of 1.8% over the last 24 hours.
“I’ve always felt comfortable about our legal arguments, but now I feel much better,” tweeted Alderoty. The SEC’s methods have always made me feel horrible, but I feel much worse about them now.
As the lawsuit proceeds, the conclusion of the legal battle between the two parties might have far-reaching implications for the sector, as it could set a precedent for how cryptocurrencies are regulated and classified as either securities or commodities.
Since filing an action in 2020, the SEC has maintained that Ripple and two of its executives, former and current CEOs Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen, violated securities laws in 2013 when they attempted to raise capital without first registering with the agency.
By press time, Blockworks had sought to contact the U.S. securities authority for comment on the development but had not received a response.
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