The US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) motion to seal Hinman’s documents is denied. The XRP community recognizes the verdict as a significant victory, in a battle that has lasted for more than two years.
Last December 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), filed a motion to seal internal emails, text messages and expert reports that followed Hinman’s famous speech. The regulator issued a series of arguments in the case. They said that “its mission trumps the law of public opinion”, and that these documents are irrelevant to the court.
As it turned out, however, on Tuesday, May 16, Judge Analisa Torres ruled that these documents were considered by her to be court documents and thus subject to a strong presumption of public access.
This ruling represents a real revolution and gives a significant victory to Ripple over the SEC. Recall that the legal battle between the organizations has been going on since December 2020. At that time, Ripple was accused of selling unregistered securities. One of the lines of defense adopted by the blockchain company were documents referring to a famous speech by the former director of the SEC’s corporate finance division, from June 2018. It is in these that Hinman confirms that Ether is not a security. Elements that represent similarities between the Ethereum and XRP blockchains, are supposed to confirm that the same situation applies to the latter.
Judge’s firm decision
Judge Torres firmly rejected the SEC’s argument regarding the need to seal the documents in the name of the agency’s “openness and honesty,” stating:
“Hinman’s speech documents do not enjoy the protection of the deliberative process privilege because they do not address agency positions, decisions or policies.”
Although the court ordered disclosure of the documents, it backed the SEC’s other two requests. They asked for the removal of the names and identifying information of SEC experts and XRP investors, as well as the personal and financial information of the defendants.
The court also rejected some sealing requests on Ripple’s part, including references to revenues related to XRP sales and the amount of compensation offered to various trading platforms and other entities.
This information almost immediately affected the price action of XRP itself. In just 5 hours after the stipulation was made public, the coin soared nearly 8.5%. The coming days will show whether this was just a short-term reaction to the news, or whether investors can expect the upward movement to continue, however.