Pro-XRP attorney John Deaton considers XRP ruling the most significant non-fraud SEC enforcement action


  • Pro-XRP attorney John Deaton commented on the SEC’s request to Coinbase to halt trading of all tokens except Bitcoin.
  • Attorney Deaton believes that the US financial regulator has an anti-crypto stance and the XRP ruling protected the ecosystem from the SEC’s full force.
  • Deaton argues that every coin is in danger and the XRP ruling is significant to all projects in the crypto ecosystem.

XRP holder community is awaiting the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) next steps to appeal versus  Judge Torres’ ruling on XRP status as a security. Amidst the anticipation surrounding the ruling, pro-XRP attorney John Deaton has made more comments on the recent information about the SEC lawsuit against Coinbase.

Deaton explained the relationship between the XRP ruling and the crypto ecosystem, arguing that no cryptocurrency is safe from the SEC’s anti-crypto stance.

Also read: XRP Ledger notes monumental transfer of 54.3 billion Palau Stablecoin, network effect could boost XRP price

XRP ruling and its impact on cryptocurrencies listed on Coinbase

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong told the Financial Times in an interview that the US SEC requested the exchange to halt trading for all cryptocurrencies except Bitcoin. Armstrong said that the SEC believes every asset other than Bitcoin is a security and that the regulator refused to explain how the agency arrived at such a conclusion. 

The request was to delist from the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world every asset other than Bitcoin. Deaton used these words by Armstrong to remind the XRP community how important Judge Torres’ ruling is. According to Deaton, all cryptocurrencies in the ecosystem are “in danger” of the full-force of the SEC coming at them, if XRP was proven to be an investment contract/ security. 

The ruling makes it clear that XRP is not a security in itself, however the altcoin can be considered as a security depending on the circumstances of the transaction or sale. Deaton believes that this XRP ruling is a win for the crypto ecosystem and that the SEC vs Ripple case is “the most significant non-fraud SEC enforcement action in modern history”, since 1946. 

Deaton believes that “every coin is in danger”

John Deaton had already warned the crypto community nearly a year ago that the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple could emerge as a groundbreaking one, as the regulator’s argument could be applied to every single asset. Deaton wrote to the SEC, asking the regulator to limit their claims against Ripple, to the way the firm sells XRP, instead of a blanket reference to the asset.

The SEC filed its first amended complaint against Ripple on February 19, in the southern district of New York, and the regulator’s response was to refer to XRP as a “digital asset security.” This is where, Deaton explains, the regulator clarified their stance on cryptocurrencies and shifted its stance from 2013 to the present, referring to assets as “securities” instead of referring to the circumstances of sale of the asset.

SEC vs Ripple lawsuit FAQs

Is XRP a security?

It depends on the transaction, according to a court ruling released on July 14:

For institutional investors or over-the-counter sales, XRP is a security.
For retail investors who bought the token via programmatic sales on exchanges, on-demand liquidity services and other platforms, XRP is not a security.

How does the ruling affect Ripple in its legal battle against the SEC?

The United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) accused Ripple and its executives of raising more than $1.3 billion through an unregistered asset offering of the XRP token.

While the judge ruled that programmatic sales aren’t considered securities, sales of XRP tokens to institutional investors are indeed investment contracts. In this last case, Ripple did breach the US securities law and will need to keep litigating over the around $729 million it received under written contracts.

What are the implications of the ruling for the overall crypto industry?

The ruling offers a partial win for both Ripple and the SEC, depending on what one looks at.

Ripple gets a big win over the fact that programmatic sales aren’t considered securities, and this could bode well for the broader crypto sector as most of the assets eyed by the SEC’s crackdown are handled by decentralized entities that sold their tokens mostly to retail investors via exchange platforms, experts say.

Still, the ruling doesn’t help much to answer the key question of what makes a digital asset a security, so it isn’t clear yet if this lawsuit will set precedent for other open cases that affect dozens of digital assets. Topics such as which is the right degree of decentralization to avoid the “security” label or where to draw the line between institutional and programmatic sales are likely to persist.

Is the SEC stance toward crypto assets likely to change after the ruling?

The SEC has stepped up its enforcement actions toward the blockchain and digital assets industry, filing charges against platforms such as Coinbase or Binance for allegedly violating the US Securities law. The SEC claims that the majority of crypto assets are securities and thus subject to strict regulation.

While defendants can use parts of Ripple’s ruling in their favor, the SEC can also find reasons in it to keep its current strategy of regulation by enforcement.

Can the court ruling be overturned?

The court decision is a partial summary judgment. The ruling can be appealed once a final judgment is issued or if the judge allows it before then. The case is in a pretrial phase, in which both Ripple and the SEC still have the chance to settle.


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