Despite opposition from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Ripple is pushing ahead with plans to question former SEC director William Hinman, the former head of the regulator’s Division of Corporation Finance, telling the judge overseeing discovery in the SEC v. Ripple Labs lawsuit that Hinman’s deposition has been rescheduled to July 19, according to a new court filing.
- “Mr. Hinman’s deposition has been re-noticed for July 19, 2021, to accommodate his availability,” wrote the attorneys representing Ripple Labs, Ripple Labs CEO Brad Garlinghouse and executive chairman Chris Larsen, in a letter to U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.
- James Filan, a defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor who frequently comments on developments in the SEC v. Ripple lawsuit, said in a tweet: “They’re saying to Judge Netburn that they would like a decision denying the SEC’s Motion to Quash before then so they can take Mr. Hinman’s deposition that day.”
- Hinman’s deposition was originally scheduled for June 30, but the SEC has sought to block him from testifying, saying that Ripple had failed to establish the “exceptional circumstances” needed to justify the deposition “of someone who held one of the highest-ranking positions within an independent federal agency, in order to question him about external meetings (about which they could depose other participants), and about internal SEC deliberations that are privileged.”
See related article: SEC says Ripple not entitled to testimony on XRP from ex-director
- Ripple, however, has argued that Hinman was never a high-ranking government official, and that his testimony will provide “a critical window into the agency’s communications with important third parties about the regulatory status of cryptocurrencies.”
See related article: Will court let Ripple force ex-SEC director to testify about XRP?
- Ripple believes Hinman could help shed light on the SEC’s stance on Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP to bolster its defense that Ripple did not receive “fair notice” that the agency would be treating XRP differently from how it has treated other cryptocurrencies. As an agency director, Hinman gave a speech in 2018 suggesting that the SEC did not regard Bitcoin and Ether as securities.
- Despite being bogged down by litigation in the U.S., Ripple has been expanding its cross-border payment partnerships elsewhere, exploring central bank digital currencies. The company recently announced plans to expand to provide tokenized services to enterprises and XRP users. “In the future, customers can use their Ripple-enabled wallet to custody XRP, BTC, stablecoins, and anything that’s tokenized,” wrote RippleNet General Manager Asheesh Birla in a recent blog post.
- XRP was trading at US$0.64 as of press time, ranking as the sixth-largest cryptocurrency with a market value of US$30 billion, according to CoinGecko data.