XRP Lawyer Bill Morgan Tells Why Ripple v SEC Settlement “improbable at the moment”

In the ongoing legal battle between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Ripple Labs, renowned XRP lawyer Bill Morgan has expressed his concerns on the social media platform X regarding the SEC’s motivations and the potential implications for a settlement agreement on Ripple. 

Morgan’s Assessment

Bill Morgan’s analysis centres around Kraken referencing Ripple’s case, particularly citing Judge Torres’ decision on programmatic sales of XRP. Morgan believes that Kraken’s strategic use of these findings “shows why the SEC will be strongly motivated to appeal Judge Torres’ decision.” 

Much to the disappointment of the XRP community, this in turn, makes a settlement in the SEC vs Ripple case appear “improbable at the moment.” 

Morgan highlights the potential hurdles for the Commission in agreeing to a settlement because of Kraken’s extended arguments which question the SEC’s ability to show a reasonable expectation of profits. Should Judge Torres’ summary judgment decision stand without a successful appeal, it could pose a significant obstacle for the SEC in achieving a settlement in the broader Ripple case.

Let’s now analyse Kraken’s defence strategy – 

Kraken’s legal defence strategy involves challenging the SEC’s classification of certain tokens, such as ALGO, ADA, and MATIC, as securities. Kraken’s main argument is that the SEC has failed to establish clear, distinct guidelines for a direct relationship between issuers of these tokens (which the SEC deems as ‘crypto asset securities’) and Kraken’s customers. 

Kraken refers to Ripple’s case as – the blind bid/ask trading mechanism employed by Kraken is similar to Ripple’s programmatic sales, which Judge Torres in the Ripple case has held to be operating beyond the scope of investment contracts. 

Kraken’s legal defence further emphasises the lack of a tangible connection between token issuers and buyers. The exchange argues that securities entail a specific relationship between an issuer and buyer, a relationship that the SEC allegedly fails to demonstrate in the case of tokens traded on Kraken. Again, this assertion is in parallel with the SEC vs Ripple case, particularly focusing on the expectation of profits.

How can this impact the SEC’s settlement arguments?

Kraken CEO Jesse Powell is worried that the SEC is retaliating against the exchange after its congressional testimony where Kraken testified before House committees, advocating for a more precise legal framework on digital assets. There, Kraken had suggested restrictions on the SEC’s undefined jurisdiction on calling crypto ‘securities’. 

Powell, thereby believes that the SEC’s main intention is “simply retaliation, intimidation and harassment” on Kraken. 

In short … 

As the SEC vs Ripple case continues, the influence of Judge Torres’ rulings extends to the whole of the crypto and finance industry. Kraken has strategically used judgment precedents from Ripple’s case that have added complexity, as per Bill Morgan, for the SEC to implement settlement actions. 

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