XRP Litigation: Court Orders Ripple to Hand Over Slack Messages
In a new twist in the lawsuit between the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ripple Labs, the regulator appears to have scored a point. The court has granted the SEC’s request to access more Slack messages between Ripple’s employees.
Ripple’s Motion Gets Denied
In a recent ruling, Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn ordered Ripple to produce the missing Slack messages from a wider group of custodians. Judge Netburn described the messages as critical and unique evidence for the SEC’s ongoing case.
According to the SEC’s estimates, over a million messages are to be assessed. Ripple would be required to produce Slack messages from 22 custodians listed out by the regulator.
The SEC first filed a motion for the court to order Ripple to disclose its employees’ Slack history last month. However, Ripple did not deliver all the Slack messages when the documents were first reviewed in the case.
Although Ripple initially denied the claim that its previous supply of the Slack data was incomplete, the firm later said it was a data processing mistake. This mistake resulted in the company only producing a small fraction of the messages.
The SEC has continued to argue that the Slack messages are relevant to the case because they show Ripple’s employees discussing pertinent issues of the case. This includes Ripple’s desire to create speculative trading in XRP. The regulator also said it touched on Ripple’s concerns on the price of XRP, XRP sales, and the regulatory status of XRP.
The new ruling by Judge Netburn is coming a few days after Ripple opposed SEC’s request for the slack data. The blockchain firm argued that producing such messages would be extensive and costly and take months to actualize. According to the firm, recovering all slack messages would cost up to $1 million.
Despite Ripple’s protestations, Netburn said that the importance of the messages to the case outweighed Ripple’s cost in producing them.
Since December 2020, the SEC and Ripple case had continued to drag on as the regulator maintains that Ripple and executives Chris Larsen and Bradley Garlinghouse allegedly sold the XRP tokens as unregistered securities.
Rakuten Resumes XRP Trading Back
While Ripple continues to face scrutiny in the US, countries like Japan favor the XRP token. One of Japan’s leading e-commerce portals, Rakuten Wallet, recently announced the resumption of XRP trading on its platform.
Rakuten had suspended XRP trading in December due to the SEC lawsuit and allegations leveled against Ripple. This news has given the XRP community hope that other US-based entities will follow suit soon.