In response to a tweet, CryptoLaw founder and blockchain enthusiast John Deaton revised his belief that a settlement in the Ripple-SEC lawsuit might be unlikely due to the Hinman emails.
In a 2018 lecture, former SEC official William Hinman stated that Ethereum was not a security. After much wrangling from the SEC, Ripple confirmed in October that it now possessed the highly sought-after Hinman emails.
I haven’t become more pessimistic. Just giving my honest opinion, which may be proven wrong. I do not believe the judge grants summary judgment in favor of the SEC in the way the SEC is requesting. I just believe if the case was going to settle b/c of the emails it would’ve.— John E Deaton (@JohnEDeaton1) January 3, 2023
With the motions for summary judgment and to exclude expert testimonies now fully briefed, John Deaton believes a court verdict is more likely than one of settlement. In recent tweets, Deaton voiced his opinion that the Ripple case might not settle because of the Hinman emails.
According to him, "Judge Torres has implied that the Hinman emails, drafts, and comments are relevant only for purposes of cross-examination or impeachment. I don’t believe they are as damaging as people (including me) once believed. If they were, I believe the case would’ve settled by now and the emails wouldn’t have been turned over to Ripple."
According to U.Today, the majority of the XRP community — up to 59% — believes the case will be settled. Some market commentators also opine that the case might settle.
In his 2023 predictions, Miles Deutscher predicts that the XRP court case will come to an end this year. "After long and drawn-out proceedings for the last couple of years, I expect a final resolution. It's likely to come to an end via a settlement. Remember, a win for XRP is a win for crypto," he wrote.
According to Deaton, a settlement could happen for any reason other than the Hinman emails. In earlier tweets, Deaton opined, "The only other reason for Gensler to settle is to avoid a ruling setting a bad precedent for the SEC as it goes against other tokens. But, to be honest, I just don't think he’s too worried about it. There's been a push for the CFTC to oversee crypto, so Gensler may roll the dice."
He further added, "In sum, unfortunately, I think a settlement with Ripple is not in Gensler's mindset. I don't believe he's going to settle and publicly agree that ongoing and future XRP sales, including in the secondary market, are non-securities. And Ripple won't settle unless the SEC so agrees."
According to James K. Filan's predictions, Judge Torres may rule on summary judgment and expert motions concurrently on or before March 31, 2023.