February 23, 2024



The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) faces another hurdle in its Ripple lawsuit as a judge rules against its motion to block the release of controversial Hinman documents.

Hinman files will not be archived

In a major development in the ongoing legal dispute between the SEC and Ripple Labs Inc., a court has denied the regulator’s request to seal documents related to statements by former SEC official William Hinman about ether.

The court’s decision to deny the SEC’s request to seal documents of Hinman’s speech was seen as a victory for Ripple. Hinman, a former director of corporate finance at the SEC, suggested in a 2018 speech that Ether was not a security. Ripple considers these claims relevant to its case because they provide a precedent for digital assets similar to XRP.

The controversy revolves around the SEC’s classification of XRP, a digital asset associated with Ripple, as a security. Ripple strongly disagrees with this classification and has accused the SEC of providing insufficient transparency into its regulatory framework.

Hinman speech not protected: Judge Torres

The latest ruling represents a potential breakthrough for the cryptocurrency company in its battle against the SEC charges.Judge Analisa Torres, who oversees the Ripple lawsuit, previously passed a ruling Order the regulator to hand over the document to Ripple’s legal team.The judge’s latest decision to ensure Hinman Files Remaining open to the public reflects the importance of transparency in the legal process and underscores the public’s right to obtain relevant information in such high-profile cases.

she wrote,

“As Judge Netburn found in her order dated January 13, 2022, the Hinman Lecture documents are not protected by the privilege of the deliberative process because they do not relate to an agency position, decision, or policy. Therefore, the sealing of these documents has nothing to do with the Nor is the interest in being ‘open and candid’ within the agency outweighed by strong assumptions of public access.”

Ripple Team Hopeful About SEC Case

Ripple’s legal team hailed the court’s ruling as an important step towards a fair settlement. They argued that unsealing the Hinman filing would allow the company’s legal team to mount a stronger defense and demonstrate inconsistencies in the SEC’s regulatory approach. The team remains hopeful that the court’s ruling will help the litigation to a favorable outcome and bring more clarity to the regulatory environment for digital assets.

In response to the ruling, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tweeted:

“Another victory for transparency! Unredacted Hinman emails will be made public shortly – stay tuned for lawyers to work through mechanisms to make this happen.”

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It does not provide or be intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice.