The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has removed former commissioner William Hinman’s biography from its website. This comes just eight days before the SEC is required to provide unredacted copies of Hinman’s emails, which are seen as essential to the agency’s lawsuit against cryptocurrency giant Ripple.
Hinman’s biography on the SEC’s site now only includes his name, photo, and his previous role as the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance from May 2017 to December 2020. Previously, it stated that he provided “interpretive assistance to companies with respect to SEC rules, and makes recommendations to the Commission regarding new and existing rules.”
Hinman left his role in December 2020, the same month that the SEC filed its lawsuit against Ripple Labs for its unregistered sale of the cryptocurrency XRP. Since then, XRP has plummeted in value and has fallen far from its former position as a top-three cryptocurrency by market cap.
In 2018, Hinman delivered a speech stating that he did not view current transactions and sales of Ether as securities transactions. Given that XRP was distributed in a similar way to ETH, Ripple and other SEC critics have long sought internal transcripts and discussions on the speech to determine if ETH was receiving preferential treatment over XRP.
The Ripple v. SEC case has been a significant topic in the US cryptocurrency industry, which seeks clarity and legal precedent on which cryptocurrencies will be classified as securities in the country. Both the SEC and Ripple filed for summary judgment in December 2022, bringing hope that the case’s conclusion might be near.
Ripple secured a major victory in October 2022 when it obtained Hinman’s speech documents. However, these documents remained confidential at the time.
Many prominent voices in the cryptocurrency industry, including Charles Hoskinson, believe that the SEC lawsuit will likely conclude this month. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse stated early last month that he expects a summary judgment on the case to be submitted within “three to six weeks.”
Ripple has already spent $200 million in court to defend its case that XRP is not a security as it does not satisfy all the requirements of the SEC’s oft-cited Howey Test.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has removed William Hinman’s biography from its website ahead of the agency’s lawsuit with cryptocurrency giant Ripple. The SEC is required to provide unredacted copies of Hinman’s emails, which are seen as critical to the lawsuit. The Ripple v. SEC case is significant in the US cryptocurrency industry, seeking clarity on which cryptocurrencies will be classified as securities in the country. Both the SEC and Ripple filed for summary judgment in December 2022, raising hopes that the case’s conclusion might be near.