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Ripple v. SEC: Hinman Emails Are a "Nothingburger," Top Lawyer Says

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Tue, 13/06/2023 - 15:02
Ripple v. SEC: Hinman Emails Are a "Nothingburger," Top Lawyer Says
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Despite the fervor among XRP supporters over the recent release of the much-awaited Hinman emails, top securities lawyer Gabriel Shapiro has dealt a sobering blow to their high hopes.

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In a series of tweets, Shapiro dismissed the emails as a "nothingburger" that offers no substantial benefits to Ripple in its ongoing litigation with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Shapiro clarified that the emails, which include Hinman's intention to discuss Ethereum operations with co-founder Vitalik Buterin, do not materially alter the situation. The emails merely corroborate Hinman's belief that Ethereum's native asset, ETH, did not qualify as a security -- a stance already public. This planned conversation, according to Shapiro, was already known among cryptocurrency lawyers.

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Shapiro did acknowledge that the release of new documents related to Hinman's controversial speech might be seen as beneficial for Ripple's fair notice defense, but he also emphasized that the specific content of these emails doesn't provide any bombshells. The lawyer did note, however, that the mark-ups in the new documents offer an intriguing glimpse into the thinking of various SEC personnel at the time.

This legal expert's dismissive stance on the Hinman emails stands in stark contrast to the fiery indignation expressed by Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, who says that he doesn't have "a single polite word" after the publication of the emails. 

Ripple's chief legal officer, Stuart Alderoty, had also called for Hinman's speech to be removed from the SEC's website.

Despite these protestations, it appears that Ripple's much-anticipated silver bullet in the form of the Hinman emails may prove to be a dud. 

Adding to the skepticism, Bennett Tomlin, a well-known crypto skeptic, weighed in on Twitter: "Imagine having enough XRP bags in 2023 that you end up thinking these emails are exciting." 

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