XRP Lawsuit: SEC Case Takes Surprising Turn As Coinbase Asks Court For Permission To Support Ripple

XRP Lawsuit: SEC Case Takes Surprising Turn As Coinbase Asks Court For Permission To Support Ripple

November 1, 2022

America’s largest crypto exchange, Coinbase, has come out in support of Ripple amid its ongoing legal brawl with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which could get the final say by the first half of 2023. 

Coinbase Throws Weight Behind Ripple

In a series of tweets on Oct 31, Coinbase’s chief legal officer Paul Grewal announced that the exchange had asked U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres for permission to submit an amicus brief, also known as “friend of the court,” in the SEC enforcement action against Ripple.

Nearly two years ago, the SEC sued Ripple, former CEO Chris Larsen, and current CEO Bradley Garlinghouse on allegations that they raised $1.3 billion through an unregistered securities offering of the XRP cryptocurrency. The high-profile suit has gone through a wave of procedural motions since, and the parties recently filed their motions for summary judgment.

Citing its “unique perspective on the issues at stake in this matter” and “the absence of a regulatory framework governing digital assets,” Coinbase asserted that it thinks “parties like Ripple must be permitted to pursue fair notice defenses in matters where they are facing surprise enforcement actions like this one.”

The exchange further argued that this case is a “textbook” example of “just how critical fair notice is.”

The company added that one of the fundamental due process protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution is that authorities can’t “condemn conduct as a violation of law without providing fair notice that the conduct is illegal”, reiterating a common industry complaint that the securities watchdog has not provided clear guidance to crypto-focused businesses.

“By suing sellers of XRP tokens after making public statements signalling that those transactions were lawful, the SEC has lost sight of this bedrock principle,” the motion for leave said.

Coinbase went on to note that the majority of digital assets traded on the exchange do not represent ownership stakes or pay returns to investors in the way shares in publicly listed companies may do.

“Existing SEC registration requirements for national securities exchanges are currently unsuitable to the way digital asset platforms operate,” Grewal said, adding that “the end result is extraordinarily costly to U.S. innovation in this new industry.”

Ripple And Allies Fight Back Against The SEC

If Coinbase’s request is granted, the company will join the crypto industry lobbyist group the Blockchain Association, crypto payments app SpendTheBits, and the non-profit organization Investor Choice Advocates Network, in hoping of bolstering Ripple’s defence against the SEC.

The filing also comes shortly after Rhode Island attorney John Deaton asked the court overseeing the case for permission to file an amicus brief on behalf of the decentralized XRP community.

XRP’s price is up 1.15% over the past 24 hours, currently changing hands at $0.46. It is currently the 6th largest cryptocurrency on the market. Besides the recent positive news for Ripple, there are also speculations that the SEC will likely lose the lawsuit, potentially giving XRP the rocket fuel it needs to get to the moon.

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