Katie Haun says SEC is “unlikely” to appeal XRP decision

Home » Katie Haun says SEC is “unlikely” to appeal XRP decision


  • Katie Haun is the founder and CEO of Haun Ventures and also a former US Department of Justice prosecutor.
  • In a tweet on Sunday, Haun said the SEC is unlikely to appeal as the agency wouldn’t want to lose on appeal.
  • XRP price rose significantly after the judge’s summary ruling.

Katie Haun, the founder and CEO of Haun Ventures and former prosecutor at the US Department of Justice, believes the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is unlikely to seek an “immediate appeal” of the court ruling that effectively declared XRP not a security.

SEC immediate appeal “unlikely”

Haun, who sees the win for Ripple after its tussle with the agency as a great outcome for crypto, shared her opinion via tweeted remarks on Sunday. The comments follow last week’s summary court ruling that was largely welcome across the industry.

I’ve spoken with trusted legal colleagues (including @HaunVenturesv advisors Steve Engel and James Burnham) and the consensus is that the court drew a reasonable line—distinguishing between XRP itself (not an investment contract and thus not a security) and certain XRP transactions in which institutional investors paid money to Ripple directly and Ripple made contractual commitments in exchange, creating an investment contract under Howey,” Haun tweeted.

According to her, the distinction has offered the crypto industry an avenue to explore in cases the SEC has brought against some of the top exchanges. The argument here is that “tokens are never “investment contracts” on their own.”

Only binding contracts imposing post-sale obligations on the seller can constitute investment contracts and hence tokens traded on exchanges or secondary markets would almost never qualify.”

On whether the SEC will appeal the court’s decision, Haun notes that there’s a possibility it could. However, it’s unlikely to be an immediate appeal. On why this could be the case, the former a16z fund manager explained:

“… an immediate appeal seems unlikely both because the agency would have to ask the court to split this decision from the portion going to trial and because I’m skeptical the SEC actually wants legal clarity. The Commission benefits from the current confusion and losing these issues on appeal would jeopardize its entire enforcement agenda. So I’d be surprised if the SEC tried to appeal now.”

Congress needs to step in

XRP price skyrocketed more than 100% as a result, hitting highs of $0.94. However, the coin’s value is hovering near $0.75.  The partial win for Ripple could be key in pushing XRP above the $1 supply wall.

Some observers have opined that the court’s decision could be reversed on appeal, while some say Ripple faces a significant penalty in case of settlement. The overall sentiment though is that while the ruling delivered a blow to the SEC, what remains to be seen is what it does for the broader question of regulation. 

Can Congress step in? Haun says it’s imperative they do so.

Even if the outcome here was positive overall, the complexity of the court’s reasoning suggests that existing laws and jurisprudence may be ill-equipped to contend with all the important policy concerns at play. The major questions doctrine seems built for crypto at this moment: major decisions on policy like this are for Congress, not unelected agencies,” she noted.





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