Ripple Calls SEC ‘Raging’ In Heated Legal Battle Over Crypto Penalty

Source Bitcoinist
Jun 17, 2024 20:00

The simmering legal battle between Ripple Labs and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reached a boiling point. The dispute centers around the classification of XRP, Ripple’s native cryptocurrency, and the appropriate penalty for its alleged unregistered securities offering. Stuart Alderoty, the Chief Legal Officer at Ripple, responded sharply, igniting the penalty debate and raising doubts about the case’s outcome.

Ripple: From Astronomical Fines To Discordant Negotiations

The SEC initially sought a staggering $2 billion in fines from Ripple, a figure that sent shockwaves through the cryptocurrency industry. Ripple vehemently contested this astronomical sum, arguing that XRP is not a security and therefore shouldn’t be subject to such regulations.

Negotiations ensued, and the SEC lowered their proposed penalty to a still-substantial $102.6 million. However, Alderoty’s recent comments suggest Ripple remains far from accepting this offer.

Alderoty called the SEC’s strategy “raging” and stressed that investors suffered no harm from Ripple. He further underscored the absence of fraud allegations in Ripple’s case, contrasting it with the recent Terraform Labs settlement, where the SEC secured $4.47 billion despite the firm’s insolvency.

A Precedent-Setting Battle With Industry-Wide Repercussions

The court’s decision on the appropriate penalty will be a landmark case for the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry. A hefty fine for Ripple could set a precedent for stricter SEC regulations on cryptocurrencies deemed unregistered securities.

This, in turn, could stifle innovation and hinder the growth of the crypto market. Conversely, a lenient penalty could be interpreted as a lack of enforcement muscle from the SEC, potentially leading to a Wild West scenario in the crypto space.

Alderoty may have been using his harsh wording as a bargaining chip to get the SEC to accept a settlement that is less than Ripple’s requested $10 million. Alternatively, it could signal Ripple’s resolve to fight the case all the way to court, potentially leading to a protracted legal battle that could take years to resolve.

A Glimmer Of Hope, Or A Negotiation Tactic?

The significant reduction in the proposed penalty from $2 billion to $102.6 million suggests some room for compromise exists. The court might ultimately impose a figure somewhere in the middle, leaving both parties with some concessions.

As Ripple and the SEC continue their legal clash, accusations of emotional bias have taken center stage. The reduction in the SEC’s penalty demand from $2 billion to $102.6 million hints at compromise, yet Ripple’s firm stance and Stuart Alderoty’s critique of the SEC’s “raging” approach highlight deeper conflicts.

Featured image from Leon’s Existential Cafe, chart from TradingView

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