In what might be referred to as an unrelenting pursuit for granular openness concerning the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) previous actions vis-à-vis cryptocurrencies and Ripple, Empower Oversight Whistleblowers & Research—a strenuous guard dog entity—has actually led another incisive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) venture. This stratagem is fixated clarifying the inter-communications of Jay Clayton, erstwhile SEC Chairman, with a pantheon of stakeholders considered important to the SEC’s often-controversial cryptocurrency enforcement paradigms.
Chronicle Of Ripple And Crypto Controversies
Spanning May 4, 2017, to December 23, 2020, Clayton’s incumbency in the SEC’s most popular chair attested to a series of watershed minutes. At its leading edge was Clayton’s pronouncement of Bitcoin’s non-security status—a belief reciprocated by other senior stars vis-à-vis Ether.
Bill Hinman provided his notorious speech in which he stated that ETH is decentralized and for that reason does not make up a security. As has actually because been exposed in the lawsuit in between Ripple and the SEC, Hinman defied the suggestions of other authorities with the speech.
These assertions had a non-trivial amplification result on the assessment kinetics of these digital properties. This upward trajectory, nevertheless, experienced turbulence with the SEC’s unexpected legal offensive versus Ripple, postulating the XRP token’s identity as a security. This lawsuits, when juxtaposed versus Clayton’s subsequent alliance with One River Asset Management (a hedge fund with an unique portfolio concentration on Bitcoin and Ether), fanned the flames of opinion.
Amidst these oscillations, Empower Oversight’s news release unconditionally proclaimed: “Empower Oversight has submitted a new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking communications between Jay Clayton… regarding the agency’s ostensible misalignment in cryptocurrency enforcement stratagems.”
In the labyrinthine construct of this newly minted FOIA petition, directed at Raymond McInerney (the SEC’s chief FOIA custodian), Empower Oversight looks for to greatly expand the nexus of people possibly ingrained within Clayton’s interaction environment. The lineup, with names varying from Jasmine Burgess to John D’Agostino et al., undertakings to take shape any hidden “conflicts of interest entwined within Mr. Clayton’s SEC stewardship.”
The whole legend has actually not gone undetected by stakeholders in the crypto area. Renowned pro-XRP lawyer John E Deaton, airing his views through X (previously Twitter), reflected, “When I first raised the HUGE conflicts of interests… I was called a conspiracy theorist by many in the industry […] Empower Oversight obtained emails proving Hinman, with Clayton’s full knowledge and tacit approval, violated, multiple times, 18 USC 208. Is Empower Oversight conspiracy theorists, as well?”.
Deaton even more stressed, “Let’s not forget, Clayton was the ONLY Commissioner to see and read the draft speech before it was given. Hinman did NOT send a copy to Hester Peirce. That’s right, Crypto-Mom didn’t get a heads up regarding the biggest speech in crypto history.”
At press time, XRP traded at $0.5027.
Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com