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SEC Never Loses? Veteran Labels Ripple Case Mixed Verdict

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Fri, 17/05/2024 - 15:53
SEC Never Loses? Veteran Labels Ripple Case Mixed Verdict
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In a notable development, the SEC has appointed a new director of the Chicago Regional Office, the commission’s second-largest regional office. Amid the backdrop of this appointment, the ongoing discourse around cryptocurrency regulation has been reignited.

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Crypto enthusiasts quickly questioned the new director's stance on crypto, hinting at the pervasive uncertainty within the industry about regulatory attitudes.

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However, Marc Fagel, a former SEC worker and specialist in security law enforcement, clarified that personal stances on crypto are irrelevant in such regulatory roles. According to Fagel, the primary focus for individuals in these positions is the enforcement of federal securities laws, not personal opinions on cryptocurrencies.

Fagel’s remarks come at a time when the SEC's approach to cryptocurrency enforcement remains a contentious issue. Critics argue that the federal securities laws are outdated and frequently misapplied to cryptocurrency protocols and foundations.

Fagel countered this criticism by emphasizing the SEC's track record in crypto enforcement actions, noting that the SEC has yet to lose a case on the merits. He acknowledged that the Ripple case was a mixed result but underscored that the courts have generally upheld the SEC's positions.

SEC v. Ripple

The Ripple case, presided over by Judge Analisa Torres, has been particularly significant. In her ruling on July 13, 2023, Torres determined that while the XRP token itself is not a security, the manner in which it was sold could constitute the sale of a security.

Specifically, institutional sales of XRP were deemed unregistered offers and sales of investment contracts, while programmatic sales and other XRP transactions by Ripple were not.

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Currently, the Ripple case has moved to the remedies phase, with the SEC demanding a $1.9 billion fine, a figure the company contests, suggesting the penalty should not exceed $10 million.

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