Legal specialist John E. Deaton highlights a 2018 SEC memo that could clear Ripple’s XRP token sale from controversy. The argument grows stronger about whether digital assets like XRP have inherent value that sets them apart from usual goods.
Ripple’s ongoing legal dispute with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken a new turn. Lawyer John E. Deaton, who closely watches the case, suggests that a 2018 internal SEC memo could have held important insights into the SEC’s position on XRP. This memo, written by the commission’s enforcement lawyers, seemingly didn’t propose any penalties against Ripple for its XRP sales.
Although the memo hasn’t been shared publicly due to legal privileges, its non-recommendation nature suggests that around mid-2018, the SEC enforcement team might not have considered XRP as a security. This raises questions about what Ripple’s executives knew and intended, leading to discussions about whether they were aware of potential breaches in securities rules.
The Value of Digital Assets: A Key Argument
The central issue in the debate revolves around the inherent value of digital assets, like XRP. Legal expert Bill Morgan recently raised questions about the SEC’s approach. He highlighted their apparent effort to distinguish digital assets from traditional commodities, like gold. Morgan suggests that the SEC aims to simplify their assessment using the Howey Test, a legal tool to identify investment contracts.
Morgan points out that this regulatory focus on inherent value might not be on target. He suggests that the value of a digital asset isn’t solely based on its inherent worth. Instead, its value could be significantly influenced by the usefulness and functionality it provides.
SEC’s Firm Stance and Upcoming Trial Amid Ripple Drama
The SEC, however, stands firm in its position. The commission is determined to create a clear distinction between cryptocurrencies and traditional commodities. This stance becomes clear as the SEC disputes comparisons between cryptocurrencies and physical assets like gold.
Adding complexity to this legal situation, the SEC has shown readiness for a trial in spring 2024, following a recently submitted appeal request.
As the cryptocurrency world eagerly awaits more updates on the Ripple-SEC situation, the potential impact of the undisclosed 2018 memo could reshape discussions. It might provide key insights into the regulatory complexities surrounding digital assets.
Important: Please note that this article is only meant to provide information and should not be taken as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other type of advice.
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