Ripple's Legal Officer Demands Probe into SEC Official's Speech

Ripple's Legal Officer Demands Probe into SEC Official's Speech
Ripple's Chief Legal Officer, Stuart Alderoty, has recently urged for a thorough investigation into the underlying motivations that prompted William Hinman, a former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) official, to deliver his controversial speech in 2018.

Alderoty's demand for an inquiry was expressed through a series of tweets on June 13, following the public release of the Hinman documents. These documents brought to light the fact that Hinman had proceeded with his speech despite receiving cautionary advice from other divisions within the SEC.

During his speech in 2018, Hinman made the claim that Ether (ETH), currently valued at $1,738, should not be classified as a security due to its sufficient decentralization. He went on to elaborate on the specific factors that need to be met when determining the status of a digital asset.

Alderoty contended that the newly disclosed documents indicate that Hinman disregarded warnings from other SEC officials, suggesting that "his speech contained fabricated analysis lacking any legal basis." Furthermore, Alderoty asserted that the speech ultimately led to confusion within the cryptocurrency industry regarding the definition of a security.

Alderoty emphasized that appointed officials should adhere to the existing laws rather than attempting to establish new ones. He firmly stated that "Hinman's speech should never again be cited in any serious discourse concerning the classification of a token as a security."

Echoing Alderoty's concerns, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse also criticized the regulator in a series of tweets on June 13. Garlinghouse argued that it was "unconscionable" to proceed with the speech despite facing significant opposition.

In a conversation with Cointelegraph, John Deaton, a pro-XRP lawyer and founder of CryptoLaw, supported the call for an investigation, suggesting that Hinman's motivation behind the speech raises questions. Deaton specifically noted Hinman's reference to the speech as the "Ether Speech," which points to potential ties between Hinman and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance—an advocacy organization promoting the use of Ethereum's blockchain technology.

Prior to and following his tenure at the SEC, Hinman worked at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLC, a law firm that was a member of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance.

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