The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s motion to seal the controversial William Hinman Ethereum speech docs has been rejected by Judge Analisa Torres — a move hailed by Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse as a remarkable step toward transparency.
Ripple Wins Judgement Over SEC On Hinman Speech
The ongoing legal tussle between the SEC and San Francisco-based payments firm Ripple has seen another twist as the presiding judge rules that Hinman’s emails will be unsealed.
SEC’s former Director of Corporate Finance, William Hinman, declared in June 2018 in his much-cited “sufficiently decentralized” speech that Ethereum — crypto’s second-largest token by market capitalization — was not a security.
In late December 2022, the SEC filed a motion to seal the internal deliberations and viewpoints following Hinman’s speech, claiming that, for one, its mission overshadowed the public’s right to access records that bear no relevance to the court’s summary judgment decision.
However, Judge Torres ruled that the documents are “judicial documents” subject to a strong presumption of public access. She added that the docs will be used in the judicial process as they “would reasonably have the tendency to influence [the Court’s] ruling on a motion.”
The judge also indicated that the deliberative process privilege does not protect the Hinman speech documents, as the SEC argued, because they are not related to the agency’s position or policy.
The XRP price surged on the positive news, jumping 5.1% to trade hands at $0.4456 at press time, according to CoinGecko.
A Win For Transparency
Judge Torres further rejected the SEC’s argument that keeping the infamous Hinman emails a secret is crucial to preserve “openness and candor” within the commission.
Brad Garlinghouse, a defendant in the SEC vs Ripple lawsuit, celebrated the fact that the unredacted Hinman documents will be going public soon, noting that it’s “another win for transparency”. Ripple deems the documents as vital evidence to bolster their case against the securities watchdog. “Stay tuned as the lawyers work through the mechanics to make that happen,” Garlinghouse remarked.
DURING GARY GENSLER’S TENURE, the SEC has embarked on an intense crackdown on the crypto sector — most recently targeting three U.S.-based high-profile digital asset exchanges in recent months: Kraken, Bittrex, and Coinbase.
Observers have criticized the regulator’s latest actions, asserting that he is stifling regulation in the world’s biggest economy and forcing crypto companies to relocate overseas.