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XRP News: Bill Hinman, Simpson Thacher, and the SEC Ethics Team

By:
Bob Mason
Published: Dec 5, 2023, 01:59 GMT+00:00

XRP continues to trail the broader crypto market. Lingering uncertainty about SEC plans to appeal the Programmatic Sales ruling remains a headwind.

XRP News

Key Insights:

  • XRP rose by 0.22% on Monday, ending the session at $0.6242.
  • The ongoing SEC v Ripple case and the threat of an SEC appeal left XRP trailing the broader market.
  • US regulatory activity and SEC v Ripple news are focal points on Tuesday.

The Monday Overview

On Monday, XRP rose by 0.22%. Following a 0.26% gain on Sunday, XRP ended the session at $0.6242.

Simpson Thacher Made the News as the SEC v Ripple Case Rolls On

There were no SEC v Ripple case-related updates to influence XRP trends on Monday. The lack of court activity left XRP in the hands of the broader crypto market. However, XRP trailed the crypto market. Uncertainty about SEC plans to appeal the Programmatic Sales ruling remained a concern.

On Monday, amicus curiae attorney John E. Deaton shared a post about Simpson Thacher. The post from Brian Costello said,

“Bill Hinman’s law firm, Simpson Thacher, is poised to earn big fees from a new Weibo US offering. While at the SEC, Clayton/Hinman were malfeasant and ignored substantial financial misconduct allegations involving Weibo and its Chairman Charles Chao. Neil Shen from Sequoia, closely linked to Chao, was also involved in these suspected fraudulent activities.”

Costello added,

“Simpson’s Weibo role is buried on page S-62 of new offering. Looks like it pays well to protect China. Doesn’t it Bill and Jay?”

This topic will be another one that SEC Chair Gary Gensler may need to address. In February, John E. Deaton discussed the possibility of a congressional investigation into Gensler and the decision not to investigate Sequoia.

Simpson Thacher’s association with Weibo is likely to draw further attention. The law firm had close ties with the SEC via Bill Hinman, former SEC Director of the Division of Corporation Finance.

Bill Hinman was a focal point in the SEC v Ripple case and the classification of XRP as securities.

In an infamous speech in 2018, William Hinman said that Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are not securities. The contentious issue was Hinman’s connection with Simpson Thacher. Simpson Thacher is a law firm and part of a group that promotes Enterprise Ethereum. After leaving the SEC, Hinman returned to Simpson Thacher.

SEC Fails to Shield Speech-Related Docs from Public Scrutiny

Since filing charges against Ripple, the SEC made at least six attempts to shield the Hinman speech-related documents under client-attorney privilege. However, the court ruled against the SEC on each occasion and eventually ordered the SEC to share the documents with the Ripple defense team.

The documents, the SEC ties with Simpson Thacher, and Bill Hinman could face more scrutiny. If the SEC appeals the Programmatic Sales ruling, the Hinman documents could reveal more unethical behavior by the SEC.

The speech-related documents reveal Hinman continued meeting with Simpson Thacher despite the SEC ethics team warning against any meetings. It is uncertain whether the SEC is willing to return to court and risk any adverse exposure from the Hinman docs.

And Yet, US Lawmakers Fail to Deliver a Crypto Framework

Despite the recent adverse press relating to the SEC, the Hinman documents, and the collapse of FTX, the SEC remains firmly in the regulatory driving seat.

A US regulatory framework could remove the influence of the SEC on the digital asset space. Clarity on cryptos classifications as securities or commodities would also end the reign of regulation by enforcement.

However, the SEC v Ripple court briefing schedule and the timing of an appeal could leave XRP at the mercy of the SEC.

Senators Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand filed a bipartisan bill in June 2022. The slow cogs of Congress are unlikely to pass a crypto bill soon. It gives the SEC time to appeal and attempt to reverse the Programmatic Sales ruling.

The Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act would deliver a regulatory framework that drives financial innovation while curbing the powers of the SEC.

XRP Price Action

Weekly Chart sends bullish price signals.
XRPUSD 051223 Weekly Chart

Daily Chart

XRP held above the 50-day and 200-day EMAs, affirming bullish price signals.

An XRP break above the $0.6354 resistance level would support a move to the $0.65 handle.

SEC v Ripple case-related news remains the focal point on Tuesday.

However, a fall through the 50-day EMA would give the bears a run at the $0.5835 support level.

The 14-day RSI reading of 52.88 suggests an XRP move to $0.65 before entering overbought territory.

XRP Daily Chart reaffirms bullish price signals.
XRPUSD 051223 Daily Chart

4-Hourly Chart

On the 4-hourly, XRP held above the 50-day and 200-day EMAs, reaffirming bullish price signals.

An XRP move through the $0.6354 resistance level would bring the $0.65 handle into play.

However, an XRP break below the EMAs would support a fall toward the $0.5835 support level.

The 4-hourly RSI, with a reading of 54.11, suggests an XRP break above the $0.6374 resistance level before entering overbought territory.

XRP 4-Hourly Chart reaffirms bullish price signals.
XRPUSD 051223 4-Hourly Chart

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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