Stuart Alderoty, General Counsel at Ripple, confirmed that the company obtained the Hinman documents in the case against the Securities and Exchange Commission.
For more context, in December 2020, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple over the sale of XRP, alleging that it constituted an offering of unregistered securities.
The Hinman documents refer to a 2018 speech in which Bill Hinman, former Division of Corporation Finance Director, said that, leaving the initial sale aside, ether was decentralized and that therefore sales of ether were not securities transactions.
“Over 18 months and 6 court orders later, we finally have the Hinman docs (internal SEC emails and drafts of his infamous 2018 speech). While they remain confidential for now (at the SEC’s insistence), I can say that it was well worth the fight to get them,” said Alderoty on Twitter.
The SEC had repeatedly tried to shield these documents. However, last month a US District Judge denied the agency’s petition. The fact that Ripple is now in possession of these documents gives the company an advantage over the SEC, and raises the question of whether negotiations are in place to settle the case.
“I’ve always felt good about our legal arguments, and I feel even better now. I always felt bad about the SEC’s tactics, and I feel even worse about them now,” added Alderoty.
If Ripple wins in court and XRP is not recognized as a security, the crypto industry could claim a major win, as it will likely act as a precedent for many other tokens.