It’s no secret that Ripple has been killing it when it comes to the legal scuffle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The San Francisco-headquartered fintech firm has been on the run in recent months, to say the least. Most of the motions filed by Ripple’s legal counsel have been granted by the court.
Ripple and its native cryptocurrency XRP have continued surprising pundits in the midst of the courtroom drama, and despite plunging hard — even losing its place as the top 3 crypto by market capitalization — after the lawsuit was lodged late last year, the coin has remained resilient. Even with the SEC firing salvos, Ripple is still sitting pretty.
Well, the SEC has just snatched up some of that momentum for itself. The court has approved the financial regulator’s request for Ripple employees’ Slack messages, which is a huge deal.
SEC’s Request For Slack Messages Granted
Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn ruled that the SEC can access the Slack messages between Ripple employees as they are relevant to the case.
For those who don’t already know, the SEC filed a motion last month requesting over a million messages, claiming that the previous tranche of communications data was incomplete. The agency further asserted that the missing documents were necessary to “build a complete and accurate record for the summary judgement and trial”.
In response, Ripple argued that the SEC’s request was “extraordinarily burdensome” as it would take months to gather all the Slack messages from all the identified custodians. Additionally, the blockchain firm estimated that the collection and processing of the Slack data would cost over $1 million.
Nonetheless, Judge Netburn has proclaimed that Ripple’s arguments are trifling and the company will have to produce Slack messages from the 22 email custodians named by the SEC as they are “relevant”.
“The Slack messages sought are relevant to the parties’ claims and defenses and proportional to the needs of the case. Any burden to Ripple is outweighed by its previous agreement to produce the relevant Slack messages, the relative resources of the parties, and the amount in controversy.”
XRP Lawsuit Is Moving Slowly
The SEC initiated a major complaint against Ripple in December of last year, alleging that the company and its top two executives sold XRP in what constituted a $1.3 billion unregistered securities offering.
This is the latest development in the ongoing lawsuit. Besides asking the former director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, William Hinman to testify in court, Ripple recently moved to compel members of the regulatory agency to disclose their XRP holdings.
There’s no telling when this case will end and it feels like a bit of a waiting game. This means we’ll have to wait and see the outcome of the SEC v. Ripple, with lawyer Jeremy Hogan suggesting that a summary judgment is not likely to be reached until early 2022.