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Ripple CEO’s ‘Misleading Statement’: Potential Securities Suit

Ripple Labs faces a securities lawsuit in California. The focus is on statements by CEO Brad Garlinghouse. Judge Phyllis Hamilton decided XRP could be a security when sold in the retail market. This ruling allows the lawsuit to proceed, despite Ripple’s attempt to dismiss it. 

Logo of Ripple, symbolizing the company involved in a securities lawsuit
source: https://blockworks.co/news/sec-emails-highlighting-alleged-conflict-of-interest-set-to-take-center-stage-in-ripple-trial

On June 20, Judge Hamilton ruled that a jury should decide if Garlinghouse made misleading statements during a 2017 interview. This decision dismisses four allegations about Ripple’s failure to register XRP as a security. 

Brad Garlinghouse’s Controversial Statement 

The interview happened on Canada’s BNN Bloomberg. Garlinghouse claimed to be “very, very long” on XRP. However, the lawsuit alleges he sold millions of XRP throughout 2017, contradicting his statement. 

Ripple argued that this claim should be dismissed. They said XRP is not a security under the Howey test. They referenced a significant ruling from July 2023 by Judge Analisa Torres in the SEC case against Ripple. 

Judge Hamilton disagreed with Ripple’s argument. She found that XRP could be a security when sold to non-institutional investors. These investors might expect profits from Ripple’s efforts. 

This expectation of profit is a key criterion of the Howey test. Hamilton stated that Ripple’s conduct could lead a reasonable investor to expect profit from others’ efforts. 

Ripple’s general counsel, Stuart Alderoty, responded to this ruling. He emphasized that Judge Torres’ ruling in the SEC case still stands and remains undisturbed. 

The Broader Implications of Judge Torres’ Ruling and Ripple’s Legal Challenges 

Judge Torres’ ruling has not had the expected impact. In the SEC’s case against Terraform Labs, Judge Jed Rakoff disagreed with her ruling. He rejected Terraform’s dismissal motion in August. Eventually, Terraform Labs lost the case and paid a $4.5 billion settlement to the SEC. 

This situation highlights the complexities of regulatory and legal battles in the cryptocurrency industry. Ripple’s case underscores the challenges of navigating securities laws and the differing interpretations by various judges. 

As the lawsuit proceeds, it will be crucial to monitor the jury’s response to the allegations against Garlinghouse. The implications for Ripple and the broader crypto market are significant. 

The outcome of this case could influence how other cryptocurrencies are treated under securities laws. It also reminds industry leaders about the importance of transparency and accuracy in public statements. This is especially critical when dealing with volatile and heavily scrutinized assets like cryptocurrencies. 

As the legal proceedings continue, the crypto community will watch closely. They anticipate further developments and their potential impact on the market. 

June 23, 2024 at 12:00 pm

Updated June 23, 2024 at 12:00 pm


Remember, investing in cryptocurrencies involves risks, and it’s important to conduct thorough research and seek professional advice before making any financial decisions. (Please keep in mind that this post is solely for informative purposes and should not be construed as financial or investment advice.)


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