The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ripple Labs have agreed to reschedule the deposition of William Hinman, the former head of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, to July 27.

Fast facts

  • Last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn ruled to authorize Hinman’s deposition to proceed, with a delay to allow the SEC and Ripple to come to an agreement on the scope of the deposition given the privilege issues involved. Hinman’s deposition was originally scheduled for July 19.
  • “The parties have made substantial progress in narrowing and resolving the privilege issues, and plan to have additional meet and confer discussions in the next few days to further narrow and resolve the issues relating to Mr. Hinman’s deposition, without waiver of any party’s rights,” wrote Ripple’s defense attorneys in a letter to Netburn on July 16.
  • The SEC, which filed a lawsuit against Ripple in December 2020, is alleging that the San Francisco-based payments technology company’s sale of XRP was an unregistered securities offering worth over US$1.38 billion.
  • The SEC earlier had sought to prevent Hinman from testifying but failed to persuade Netburn that Hinman’s prior public statements were not relevant to the agency’s lawsuit against Ripple. Defense attorneys successfully argued that Hinman’s testimony could provide important insights into the SEC’s position on cryptocurrencies, including XRP. Ripple is seeking to bolster its defense that the SEC failed to provide “fair notice” that the agency would treat XRP differently from Bitcoin and Ethereum — two cryptocurrencies that Hinman, in a 2018 speech, declared were not securities.
  • XRP is currently trading at US$0.58 as of publishing time, down 68.5% from a high this year of US$1.84 on April 15, according to CoinGecko data.