A former executive from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission believes the regulator has a good chance of losing its $1.3billion lawsuit against Ripple “on the merits” of the case.
Attorney Joseph Hall has also voiced concerns over what the SEC’s endgame could be regarding the high-stakes case against Ripple, which will have ramifications for the entire industry.
The lawsuit alleges that the company and its co-founders, Brad Garlinghouse and Christian Larsen, failed to notify the SEC about its sale of XRP beginning in 2013 and that the tokens are unregistered securities. The SEC has been trying to prove that securities fraud took place as a result.
“I’m not entirely sure what the SEC is planning on proving in the XRP litigation.”
The implications for the SEC and for the crypto industry as a whole are massive. As Hall puts it, “The SEC has a lot riding” on the case, and “their entire regulatory project could be basically shut down if they lose on the merits of the case.” He continued:
“And I continue to think there is a pretty good chance that [the SEC] will lose on the merits.”
Hall believes that Ripple has a strong defense on the basis that the SEC failed to give fair notice of its investigation. The SEC is required to notify individuals and corporations that they are being scrutinized.
“I’m very sympathetic to that argument. It’s a basic due process argument. The Ripple network was operating for years before the last-minute filing of a lawsuit against them.”
Jeremy Hogan, another attorney who has been following and commenting on the Ripple case for some time, also believes that Ripple’s fair notice defense will be strong enough to keep it out of the proverbial fire. In a Wednesday tweet, he cited a precedent from the case the SECn brought against Library Credits (LBRY) last March that was stricken because the SEC failed to give fair notice.
Uhhmm... In the LBRY case, LBRY actually asserted a Fair Notice Defense and not only did it not get stricken, the SEC didn't even TRY and strike it.— Jeremy Hogan (@attorneyjeremy1) February 22, 2022
So, how a trial level court striking a completely different affirmative defense in that case is relevant... I don't understand. https://t.co/g9XuBWr4Ob pic.twitter.com/X0OSRecUdB
The Ripple case could have effects that set the tone for investigations and litigation in cases regarding cryptocurrency for the foreseeable future once a ruling is made. If the SEC wins, it could begin a deluge of new investigations and court cases against crypto projects. If Ripple wins, it could force the SEC to drastically curtail attempts to go after the crypto industry.