Former SEC Director of the Division of Enforcement will now be joining an Enterprise Ethereum Alliance’s Simpson Thacher law firm later this year as we can see more in our latest Ethereum news.
This led some to ask whether a conflict of interest happened in the SEC granting ETH’s non-securities status. According to Bloomberg, Marc Berger stepped down from his role at the US SEC and will now be joining New York-based Simpson Thacher in June who was instrumental in bringing legal action against Ripple on allegations of selling XRP as an unregistered token.
One key point through the hearing process was the SEC’s approval towards both BTC and ETH which are not securities. Questions are now being asked after Berger’s appointment as a member of the ETH-based law firm. The initial community reactions to the SEC lawsuit against Ripple were disbelief with the fallout seeing partners quitting, exchanges delisting the token, and the XRP price dropping heavily. Given the SEC’s track record of successful prosecutions, things looked quite bleak.
Over time, Ripple’s defense team went about its business and the case against it seems to be unraveling. A few “mini victories” went to Ripple’s way including Judge Torres’ granting motion for the holders of the token to intervene. The important nuance of this case is the equivalency of XRP to BTC and ETH as back in 2018 we saw former SEC director William Hinman ruling that Bitcoin and Ethereum aren’t securities. However, the Ripple legal team wishes to probe on what basis XRP is getting singled out.
With Berger’s appointment at Simpson Thacher, the questions on the validity of the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple are being asked. CrytoLaw pointed out that Hinman receives a $1.6 mn per year in pensions from Simpson Thacher:
“Simpson Thacher sits on the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, took the biggest Chinese mining equipment company public, and paid William Hinman $1.6M/yr while he was SEC Dir of Corp Finance announcing that #ETH was not a security. (3/4)https://t.co/5dun4ZJLzZ
— CryptoLaw (@CryptoLawUS) April 15, 2021”
Erik Vorhees, the founder of ShapeShift spoke about when the SEC came after him on the charges of selling unregistered securities. This goes all the way back to 2012 when Voorhees sold shares in the SatoshiDICE website and said if the SEC does its job right, it will focus on bringing retribution to the victims of the financial fraud.
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