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Ripple’s Legal Battle: General Counsel Takes on SEC Chairman Over Cryptocurrency Classification

Ripple’s General Counsel, Stuart Alderoty, has raised concerns and strong objections regarding the upcoming Congressional testimony of SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, particularly regarding Gensler’s characterization of cryptocurrencies as securities. The advanced disclosure of Chairman Gensler’s statements has painted crypto assets primarily as securities, a view that Alderoty vehemently opposes, accusing Gensler of having ulterior motives in presenting his case to Congress.

Alderoty’s argument draws from a notable July decision in the Ripple case, where secondary sales of XRP were not classified as investments. This legal precedent contradicts Gensler’s assertion.

Gensler’s testimony outlines a firm stance, suggesting that most crypto assets meet the criteria of an “investment contract” under securities law. He emphasizes that investors and issuers involved in crypto asset securities markets should be entitled to the protections provided by securities laws. This stance implies a need for comprehensive compliance with these laws by intermediaries operating in the crypto space.

However, Gensler has avoided commenting on ongoing litigation, instead focusing on the applicability of existing regulations and proposing enhancements to ensure the safety of trading platforms and investment advisories dealing with crypto assets. While Gensler’s testimony implies a broad application of securities laws to crypto tokens, he refrained from making explicit judgments about individual tokens.

Stuart Alderoty has been a vocal critic of Gensler’s views in the past, even likening the SEC Chairman to a “flat-earther” for what he perceives as a fundamental misunderstanding of the cryptocurrency industry. Additionally, Alderoty has accused Gensler of lacking a comprehensive understanding of the law, highlighting instances where Gensler made statements before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee that appeared to misrepresent the criteria used by the Supreme Court to determine whether a token qualifies as an unregistered security.

The clash of perspectives between Ripple’s legal team and the SEC Chairman underscores the ongoing debate and legal battles surrounding the regulatory classification of cryptocurrencies and their respective implications for the industry. As the crypto space continues to evolve, these disputes will likely shape the future of crypto regulation in the United States.


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