The last 24 hours have seen multiple pieces of good news for Ripple. In its legal battle with the SEC, the judge denied the SEC’s request to make an early appeal against a recent ruling partially in Ripple’s favor. And Ripple landed a payment license in Singapore.
SEC request for appeal denied
In a surprise ruling in July, the judge ruled that Ripple’s sales of XRP via digital exchanges and other distributions did not qualify as a sale of securities. The surprise was how the judge separated the mode of sale, so that XRP is sometimes a security and sometimes not. She found that sales of XRP directly to institutions qualified as sales of securities, whereas others did not.
Because the case is ongoing, any appeal is a special type – an interlocutory appeal. That’s to avoid lots of piecemeal appeals. Hence, the granting of this type of appeal is pretty rare. We previously analyzed the likelihood of an interlocutory appeal. It rests on three factors.
- There’s a controlling question of law
- There’s substantial ground for a difference of opinion
- An immediate Appeal will advance the termination of this Litigation.
In denying the appeal, Judge Analisa Torres stated that the SEC’s argument is not a controlling question of law. The SEC is just disputing how the Judge applied the Howey securities test.
She notes that the SEC asserts Howey depends “on the facts and circumstances, including the economic realities of the transaction” and that was precisely how she applied the Howey Test. Many of her arguments highlight the specific facts of the Ripple case.
The Judge also argued that it doesn’t necessarily serve as precedent because the circumstances of every case are different. She made her decision on the facts of this particular case, not that every sale of crypto via an exchange would not be a security.
Substantial difference of opinion
The SEC also argued that comments made by the Judge in the separate Terraform Labs case amount to grounds for a substantial difference of opinion. Judge Torres rejected this argument.
In the Terraform Labs case, Judge Rakoff disputed whether the mode of acquiring the tokens impacts a securities decision. He wrote, “That a purchaser bought the coins directly from the defendants or, instead, in a secondary resale transaction has no impact on whether a reasonable individual would objectively view the defendants’ actions and statements as evincing a promise of profits based on their efforts.”
Judge Torres also concluded that granting an interlocutory appeal would likely make the litigation more complex rather than expediting it.
Ripple’s Singapore license
Today Ripple announced its Singapore subsidiary Ripple Markets APAC was granted a Major Payments Institution license by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The licenses allow the holder to engage in cryptocurrency exchange and related activities.
Singapore refers to cryptocurrencies as digital payment tokens (DPTs), and Ripple said this allows it to ‘continue’ to provide these services in Singapore.
“Since establishing Singapore as our Asia Pacific headquarters in 2017, the country has been pivotal to Ripple’s global business. We have hired exceptional talent and local leadership, doubling headcount over the past year and plan to continue growing our presence in a progressive jurisdiction like Singapore,” said Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple. “Under MAS’ leadership, Singapore has developed into one of the leading fintech and digital asset hubs striking the balance between innovation, consumer protection and responsible growth.”
With Ripple’s ongoing regulatory battles, this reinforces Ripple’s desire to reduce dependence on the United States. It has also been diversifying, increasing its CBDC activities and acquiring the institutional custodian Metaco.