In a fiery exchange on social media, Ripple's Chief Legal Officer Stuart Alderoty and a16z's General Counsel and Head of Decentralization Miles Jennings engaged in a heated debate over the security status of XRP.
The spark was ignited by a tweet from Alderoty, where he responded to claims that the SEC did not consider XRP as a security. He emphasized that the SEC had indeed referred to XRP as an investment contract, and this statement was included in the complaint filed against Ripple. Alderoty asserted that this point was ultimately rejected by the presiding Judge, implying that the SEC's position lacked credibility.
To those saying the SEC doesn't think a token itself is a security... this is false. See the SEC's own words in the complaint against us (which the Judge ultimately rejected) pic.twitter.com/RIoAbs1pM5— Stuart Alderoty (@s_alderoty) August 5, 2023
Jennings swiftly responded, pointing out the phrase "during the Offering" in the complaint, suggesting that it implied XRP's classification as an investment contract applied to all sales during that period. This exchange opened the floodgates to an intense back-and-forth between the two legal experts.
Alderoty continued to defend Ripple's stance, stating that the term "Offering" encompassed the time frame between 2013 and 2020, during which the complaint was filed. He criticized the SEC's "embodiment theory," claiming that it propagated the idea that XRP itself represented the investment contract, which Ripple vehemently disagreed with.
However, the dispute took a personal turn when Alderoty accused Jennings of attempting to rewrite history and reminded him of his past prediction that Ripple would lose against the SEC. To this, Jennings conceded that he had been mistaken in his prediction but maintained his doubts about Alderoty's character.
The verbal spar comes in the wake of Jennings' previous statement in November 2022, where he expressed skepticism about Ripple's prospects against the SEC. Despite his prior doubts, Jennings affirmed his support for Ripple back then and revealed his involvement in CCI's brief.