In a significant development in the legal dispute between Ripple, a blockchain company utilizing XRP in its On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) solution for cross-border transfers, and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Hinman materials have now been unsealed.
Ripple’s legal representatives had been asserting the relevance of these documents in their defense against the regulator. Still, XRP prices are below the $0.58 resistance level and tracking lower when writing on June 13.
Hinman Materials Unsealed
While earlier ordering the SEC to unseal Hinman documents, United States District Judge Analisa Torres ruled that the regulator had not clearly shown that the materials should be kept private.
Furthermore, the Judge acknowledged the significant public interest generated by the lawsuit since its filing in late 2020. In light of this, she concluded that the release of these documents surpassed the individual interests of the involved parties.
The Hinman materials comprise a compilation of documents from a speech delivered by former SEC Director of Corporation Finance, William Hinman, in June 2018.
In his speech, Hinman expressed his perspective that ETH, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network, should not be considered a security. However, the SEC had, before this ruling, chosen not to disclose the Hinman materials, asserting their confidential nature.
The SEC argues that a verdict favoring their release could set a precedent for revealing internal government communications in legal cases. Meanwhile, Ripple lawyers initiated legal proceedings against the SEC, asserting that the regulator’s decision to file a lawsuit against the payment company was “discriminatory and infringed on their First Amendment rights.”
In its lawsuit, Ripple contends that the Hinman materials hold critical significance for its case. They also claimed that the SEC’s denial to disclose them represents a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. Under this act, federal agencies, including the SEC, must adhere to specific procedures when engaging in adjudication or any other rulemaking.
With the unsealing of these documents, Ripple lawyers now have a stronger case to build on their defense. Moreover, they could prove that the SEC’s lawsuit is pointless because XRP is a utility like Bitcoin.
Is XRP A Utility Coin? But Why Are Prices Lower?
Despite the decision by the Judge to unseal these contentious documents, XRP prices are volatile and lower. Notably, it is below $0.58, the resistance level, and 2023 highs. Even so, trading volumes are elevated, indicating increasing interest from the trading community.
How XRP prices will react in the days ahead is yet to be seen. However, a break above $0.60 and April highs could push the coin to $0.80.
Feature Image From Canva, Chart from TradingView