SEC Files a Letter Motion to Shield Hinman Speech-Related Documents

Bob Mason
Updated: May 4, 2022, 02:09 GMT+00:00

XRP falls to sub-$0.60 as news updates on the SEC v Ripple case test investors, with fears of an SEC victory leaving XRP on the ropes.


Key Insights:

  • On Friday, the SEC filed a letter motion to shield internal documents relating to William Himan’s 2018 speech.
  • Last month, the SEC notified Judge Sarah Netburn that it planned to oppose the court ruling that the SEC must produce Hinman-related documents.
  • Key technical indicators bearish. XRP sits well below the 50-day EMA.

The SEC’s case against Ripple continues to draw attention, with news updates weighing on XRP investor sentiment.

Last week, Judge Analisa Torres brought forward the SEC v Ripple calendar to expedite proceedings. The SEC has made several extensions to address one key issue that continues to weaken its case against Ripple.

Importantly, the case has been ongoing since December 2020, and, to date, the SEC has yet to have a watertight case against Ripple.

SEC Files Motion to Assert Attorney-Client Privilege re Hinman Speech

On Friday, the SEC filed a letter motion to renew

“its assertion that the attorney-client privilege protects internal documents related to a June 14, 2018 speech (“Speech”) delivered by Bill Hinman, the then Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance.”

The motion goes on to say,

“The privilege applies because these documents, in whole or in part, reflect communications between Director Hinman and SEC attorneys requesting and providing legal advice about a matter under the SEC’s purview – when an offer or sale of a particular digital asset constitutes an investment contract and thus a securities offering as defined in the federal securities laws – and, correspondingly, what Director Hinman could say about this matter in the Speech.”

Additionally, the SEC

“seeks leave to protect, under the deliberative process privilege, two additional comments in Speech drafts that satisfy the requirements of the April order.”

On April 11, Judge Netburn denied an SEC motion for the courts to reconsider a ruling relating to the Speech following a January 13, 2022 decision.

For the SEC and Ripple, the Hinman Speech could be decisive. In 2018, SEC Director Hinman said that Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are not securities.

While the SEC focuses on the 2018 speech and related documents, Hinman is also at the center of another storm relating to the SEC-Ripple case.

In April, Empower Oversight forced the SEC to release emails relating to the Ripple case. The emails in question insinuate that Hinman continued to meet with Simpson Thacher, despite warnings from the SEC ethics team. Simpson Thacher is part of a group that promotes Enterprise Ethereum.

In December, Empower Oversight filed a lawsuit against the SEC alleging that Hinman said Ethereum wasn’t a security, causing an Ethereum price spike. The comments preceded the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple Lab, which caused an XRP sell-off.

With Hinman a central figure in the case, the judge’s ruling on the letter motion could be a pivotal moment in the case.

XRP Price Action

At the time of writing, XRP was down 1.38% to $0.5772. A bearish start to the day saw XRP slide to an early morning low of $0.5772.

XRPUSD 010522 Daily
XRP faces the prospect of another daily loss.

Technical Indicators

XRP will need to move through the $0.5938 pivot to target the First Major Resistance Level at $0.6199. XRP would need broader crypto market support to return to $0.60.

In the event of an extended rally, XRP should test the Second Major Resistance Level at $0.6541. The Third Major Resistance Level sits at $0.7145.

Failure to move through the pivot would bring the First Major Support Level at $0.5593 into play.

Barring an extended sell-off throughout the day, XRP should avoid sub-$0.55. The Second Major Support Level sits at $0.5340.

XRPUSD 010522 Hourly
Failure to move through the pivot will leave support levels in play.

The EMAs and the 4-hourly candlestick chart (below) send a bearish signal. Following ten days in the red from eleven sessions, XRP sits below the 50-day EMA, currently at $0.6558. This morning, the 50-day EMA pulled back from the 100-day EMA. The 100-day EMA also pulled back from the 200-day EMA, XRP negative.

A move through the 50-day EMA would support a shift in sentiment and a return to $0.70.

XRPUSD 010522 4-Hourly
XRP will need to move through the 50-day EMA to avoid falling to sub-$0.50 near-term.

About the Author

Bob Masonauthor

With over 20 years of experience in the finance industry, Bob has been managing regional teams across Europe and Asia and focusing on analytics across both corporate and financial institutions. Currently he is covering developments relating to the financial markets, including currencies, commodities, alternative asset classes, and global equities.

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