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Judge Allows SEC to Seek Info on Ripple's Overseas XRP Transactions

In the ongoing lawsuit against Ripple, a judge has ruled in favor of the SEC's request to view overseas XRP sales.

Shutterstock cover by Wit Olszewski

Key Takeaways

  • Judge Sarah Netburn has rejected Ripple's motion to dismiss the SEC's requests with foreign regulators over XRP transactions. 
  • Previously, the SEC had made requests to various foreign regulators to acquire information about Ripple's overseas XRP transactions.
  • The judge further ruled that the SEC must provide Ripple with copies of the requests it previously sent to maintain transparency.

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In an ongoing legal battle between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and blockchain payments firm Ripple, the former has landed a small victory. The lawsuit concerns whether Ripple’s XRP sales constitute unregistered securities.

Judge Rules in SEC’s Favor

Sarah Netburn, the judge presiding over the legal case involving Ripple, has rejected the firm’s motion to dismiss the SEC’s requests with foreign regulators over XRP transactions.

Previously, the SEC had made requests to various foreign regulators to acquire data about XRP transactions made on exchanges outside the U.S. With this, the agency tried to understand whether certain overseas transactions made by Ripple executives allegedly affected XRP‘s token price.

The SEC made such requests under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with various countries to help its investigation against Ripple, also known as the “discovery process.”

In response, Ripple filed a motion with the U.S. Court, pleading for the SEC to be ordered to stop making requests to foreign regulators.  Ripple claimed that such requests violate the U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Hague Convention processes for obtaining foreign discovery once the legal case has already begun.

The judge has now argued the SEC sought information on Ripple’s XRP overseas through voluntary requests, not formal notices such as subpoenas. Therefore, it was not subject to legal processes set under the Hague Convention. Furthermore, such requests had been made previously for legal discovery, the judge ruled. Judge Netburn said:

“The Court concludes that the SEC’s use of the Requests is permissible and not an afront to the Court’s jurisdiction. There has been no argument that the Requests exceed the scope of any governing bilateral agreement. Instead, courts have routinely rejected the proposition that the Hague Convention is the exclusive or priority means of conducting foreign discovery.”

Even though the latest ruling was made in favor of the SEC, it was not all bad news for Ripple. Judge Netburn further ruled that to maintain transparency, the SEC must provide Ripple with copies of the requests it sent previously and information it received in response.

Disclosure: The author did not hold the digital asset mentioned in this article at the time of press.

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