Ripple’s Split-Decision Victory Over SEC Marks Significant Win for Crypto Industry, but Lawyers Urge Caution

Ripple Labs’ recent victory against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is being hailed as a blow to the regulator’s “war on crypto.” However, experts caution that this is not a definitive win for the industry. In a landmark ruling on July 13, U.S. district court Judge Analisa Torres determined that XRP, the cryptocurrency associated with Ripple, is not a security when sold to the general public. This decision sparked jubilation among XRP tokenholders and led to a surge in the token’s price. Industry leaders also praised the ruling, believing it could benefit crypto exchanges Coinbase and Binance in their ongoing lawsuits.

Luke Martin, the founder of crypto investment firm Venture Coinist, highlighted that the SEC’s claims against Coinbase and Binance revolved around the sale of unregistered securities. With the court ruling in favor of XRP, Martin believes this is a significant setback for the SEC and its chair, Gary Gensler. He described the decision as “inconceivably bullish” for the crypto industry. Other proponents of XRP, including lawyer John Deaton and Gemini CEO Tyler Winklevoss, echoed this sentiment, seeing the ruling as a blow to the SEC’s case against Coinbase and suggesting that altcoins could benefit.

Following the ruling, several platforms, including Coinbase, Kraken, and iTrustShares, have already relisted XRP. However, while this outcome is positive for XRP, legal experts urge caution. Stephen Palley, a partner at law firm Brown Rudnick, points out that the summary judgment is only partial, and the ruling by Torres does not establish a precedent. Palley believes it may serve as persuasive commentary for future courts, but higher courts could overturn the decision if the SEC decides to appeal.

Justin Slaughter, policy director at Paradigm and a former SEC adviser, believes that even if the SEC wins at the appellate level, they will likely lose at the Supreme Court. He suggests that the Supreme Court’s recent stance towards agencies does not bode well for the SEC’s authority over cryptocurrencies. Despite the positive outcome for Ripple, the company still faces challenges, including the SEC’s claim that Ripple’s CEO and co-founder “aided and abetted” the institutional sale of XRP. Other experts, such as U.S. lawyer James “MetaLawMan” Murphy, highlight the SEC’s allegation that $728 million worth of XRP was sold through institutional sales.

Overall, while Ripple’s victory in the case against the SEC is seen as a significant development for the crypto industry, experts urge caution and emphasize that the situation is not yet definitive. The possibility of an appeal by the SEC and the uncertainty surrounding higher courts’ decisions adds complexity to the outcome. Nevertheless, XRP supporters and industry participants view this ruling as a positive development that could have implications for other cryptocurrencies. The final verdict will only be determined after further legal proceedings.