Ripple faces prolonged legal battle against SEC


The cryptocurrency world is no stranger to legal battles, and one of the most closely watched cases in recent times is the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) versus Ripple.


Pro-Ripple lawyer John Deaton recently shed light on the ongoing legal battle saga in a post on X (formerly Twotter), hinting at a potentially lengthy court battle and factors that might influence the possibility of a settlement.


John Deaton, a prominent advocate for Ripple, has expressed his expectations for a protracted legal process in the SEC versus Ripple case.


This prolonged legal battle could potentially stretch for a year or even longer, as the two parties wrangle over a series of complex issues. Deaton suggests that the possibility of a settlement remains remote, unless certain conditions are met.


Deaton highlights a significant aspect of the case: there has been little to no meaningful dialogue about a potential settlement between Ripple, its top executives (Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen), and the SEC.


He points out that the SEC’s aggressive stance includes a demand for a staggering $770 million penalty. The regulatory body seems determined to extract this substantial sum from Ripple, which further complicates the path to a settlement.


The penalty phase of the SEC’s case against Ripple involves a meticulous and exhaustive legal process that is comparable to a second legal battle.


It encompasses depositions, document requests, scrutiny of emails, examination of financial records, and a deep dive into various transactions, including those related to on-demand liquidity (ODL).


Deaton suggests that Ripple’s strategy might involve efforts to reduce the $770 million penalty, such as excluding certain types of transactions and minimizing additional expenses.


Deaton also draws parallels with the SEC’s past actions by referencing the LBRY case, in which the regulatory body initially sought a substantially larger penalty but ultimately settled for a considerably smaller fine after eight months of litigation. This example highlights the potential for negotiation and compromise even in the face of significant initial demands.


A key factor that could influence the outcome of Ripple’s case is the SEC’s lawsuit against Coinbase. Deaton suggests that if Coinbase succeeds in its motion to dismiss the SEC’s case, it might prompt the SEC to reassess its approach to cryptocurrency-related cases.


This could potentially pave the way for a settlement between Ripple and the SEC. However, if Coinbase’s motion fails, a settlement with Ripple appears unlikely.


One pivotal event to watch is the oral argument for Coinbase’s motion, scheduled for January 17, 2024. A decision on this motion is expected to follow within 60 to 120 days.


During this period, Ripple is poised to incur significant legal expenses as it continues to defend itself and strives to reduce the $770 million penalty sought by the SEC.


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