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Ripple vs. SEC: There is no prospect for settlement at this time

  • The settlement discussions between the SEC and Ripple seem to have broken down, for now.
  • The two parties are set for a virtual pretrial conference on Feb. 22.
  • The previous settlement discussions were held with the previous administration, and not the current one.

The case between Ripple and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) looks likely to go ahead without a settlement.

In a joint letter submitted to Federal Judge Analisa Torres of the U.S. District of New York by both parties, the “prospect for settlement” looks thin at the moment, although a change of heart was not ruled out.

Settlement prospects

Previous discussions of a possible settlement have proved futile, per the joint letter.

“Counsel for both parties have met and conferred and, having previously discussed settlement, do not believe that there is a prospect for settlement at this time,” reads the letter. 

In early January, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse addressed questions related to the lawsuit.

Without getting into specifics, he said the company tried to settle with the SEC but to no avail. He highlighted that they will try to settle with the new administration to resolve the matter.

The letter also notes that the previous settlement discussions were held under a previous administration and the key players in the discussions are no longer part of the securities regulator.

“Defendants agree with the statement, but note that previous settlement discussions took place under a previous administration and were principally with relevant division directors who have since left the SEC.”

The letter did not rule the possibility of the parties involved settling.

“However, the parties will promptly notify the Court if any settlement in principle is reached as to any Defendant,” reads the letter.

The case is on till at least August

The case is likely to drag on and will not be over until at least Aug. 16 this year when “all discovery shall be completed.”

The SEC filed a lawsuit against the blockchain firm in December 2020 for allegedly holding an unregistered securities token sale.

Ripple insists that XRP is a currency and not a security because there was no “investment contract involved.”

The pretrial conference for the landmark case is set for Feb. 22.

Hopes lie on a new administration

Ripple’s action has shown that the company hopes that the new administration will be more receptive to the cryptocurrency industry, and lenient towards the company.

President Joe Biden’s top pick to chair the SEC, Gary Gensler, said that there are several unregistered securities like Ripple’s XRP token.

Before the SEC filed for the lawsuit, Ripple threatened to leave the U.S. due to regulatory uncertainties.

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