‘End the War on XRP’ Pleas Petition to Gary Gensler

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In Brief
  • Thomas Hodge, founder of Crypto & Policy, has petitioned SEC Chairman-Designate Gary Gensler to “end the war on XRP.”

  • In his petition, Hodge beseeches Gensler to end the lawsuit against Ripple Labs and stop legislating crypto through lawsuits.

  • The petition also asks Gensler to investigate alleged conflicts of interest by former SEC executives.

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Thomas Hodge, the founder of Crypto & Policy, has started a petition on Change.org, asking SEC Chairman-Designate Gary Gensler to “end the war on XRP.”

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First and foremost, the petition asks Gensler to end the ongoing lawsuit against Ripple Labs and its executives. It further requests that the SEC no longer legislates cryptocurrencies through lawsuits.

Instead, it asks Gensler to collaborate with the crypto community in crafting legislation. “Join together with U.S. crypto and blockchain developers and digital asset holders to develop a clear regulatory framework for everyone,” the petition states. 

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Ripple and XRP alleged conflicts of interest

The petition then goes into further detail about alleged impropriety on the part of former SEC executives that brought the securities lawsuit against Ripple. Specifically, it targets former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and former SEC Director of Corporate Finance William Hinman. It asserts that the pair had financial interests in bitcoin, ether, as well as ties with China.

Before their appointments in 2017, both men worked with the Chinese firm Alibaba on its IPO. The commerce giant happens to operate a mobile payments platform called Alipay. The petition notes that their tenure began when China launched its campaign to gain control of the hash rate of bitcoin. 

It claims that Hinman received payments from the law firm of Simpson Thacher, which sits on the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance. Besides this, he also earned fees from supporting the IPO of Chinese crypto-mining firm Canaan.

During their tenure, both regulators were asked if bitcoin and/or ether were securities. Both stated on record that they were not, so investors should keep trading them.

Meanwhile, over the course of his four years as SEC chief, Clayton never gave a definitive answer about XRP. At one point, a crypto exchange asked the SEC directly if XRP was a security. It then proceeded to list it after receiving no response.

Last-minute lawsuit

The petition asserts that on Clayton’s last day, the SEC filed its suit against Ripple after four years of ambiguity. XRP tokens had even been trading hands for seven years up to that point. Yet, the lawsuit claims that every sale of XRP on the secondary market had been an unregistered securities sale. 

In regard to the alleged conflicts of interest and the suspicious timing of the suit, the petition additionally asks Gensler to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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