XRP, ripple v sec
  • Ripple Labs is challenging the SEC’s demand for nearly $2 billion in penalties, arguing that its current financial standing and historical contracts are irrelevant to the case.
  • Represented by Andrew J. Ceresney, Ripple emphasizes the importance of privacy and commercial sensitivity, asserting that disclosing sensitive financial details is unnecessary and potentially harmful.

Ripple Labs has launched a robust legal defense against the SEC’s claims, directly challenging two key arguments presented by the regulatory body. Ripple’s defense strategy underscores the company’s assertion that its present financial standing and historical contracts hold no relevance to the SEC’s case.

Ripple Pushes the SEC on the Backfoot

Ripple Labs has intensified its legal defense against the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by directly addressing two key arguments put forth by the regulatory body in their ongoing legal battle. This move was detailed in a recent filing presented to Judge Analisa Torres of the Southern District of New York. The submission arrives at a crucial juncture, with the SEC pushing for penalties close to $2 billion, a figure significantly divergent from Ripple’s proposed cap of $10 million.

In a comprehensive letter addressed to Judge Torres, penned by Andrew J. Ceresney of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Ripple challenges the SEC’s argument that its present financial standing should factor into the court’s decisions regarding past penalties. Referencing the SEC’s opposition brief, where the regulatory body deemed this data “important to the Court’s determinations” concerning remedies for past misconduct, Ripple disagrees, asserting that its financial status, evaluated years after the alleged violations, should hold no relevance to the case.

“Ripple is not arguing that it may be unable to pay any measured penalty, and there is otherwise no reason to believe that Ripple’s current financial statements (from years after the challenged conduct) are relevant to the Court’s analysis.”

Moreover, the fintech firm highlights the lack of necessity in divulging sensitive financial details, which the court could disregard without due consideration. Ripple reinforces this stance with legal precedents, such as Tropical Sails Corp. v. Yext, Inc., which recognizes a “legitimate privacy interest in the financial documents of a privately held company”.

Ripple’s response to the SEC’s claims also addresses a crucial point regarding the relevance of its historical contracts. While the SEC dismisses these contracts as outdated and irrelevant due to changes in XRP sales methods, Ripple, represented by CFO Jonathan Billich, argues otherwise. According to Billich’s declaration, the terms of these past contracts remain confidential and commercially sensitive. Revealing them could potentially give future counterparties undue leverage in negotiations. Ripple emphasizes that its current sales of XRP differ significantly from past over-the-counter contracts, with no discounts offered to sophisticated counterparties.

Furthermore, Ripple challenges the SEC’s assertions regarding the necessity of public disclosure of XRP prices under securities law, even if they were considered investment contracts requiring registration. Given the court’s previous determination that XRP is not a security, Ripple argues that the court must treat the price terms in historical contracts differently from those applicable to registered securities.

This defense strategy underscores Ripple’s firm stance on the non-relevance of its current financial situation and historical contracts to the SEC’s case. Andrew J. Ceresney of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, representing Ripple, emphasizes the company’s right to privacy and commercial sensitivity in the financial sector. He states in the filing, “Even if the SEC’s arguments were plausible, Ripple has still established a valid, commonly accepted basis for sealing its confidential financial documents,” highlighting the importance of maintaining confidentiality in such matters.