In a surprising turn of events, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has disclosed 324 pages of new documents in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests made by Empower Oversight, a watchdog group. These documents shed light on the controversial speech by former SEC director William Hinman, who declared Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin as non-securities in an address on June 14, 2018.
The newly-released documents have sparked heated reactions among XRP enthusiasts. Empower Oversight’s FOIA requests were part of the ongoing lawsuit the group filed against the SEC in May. The documents have revealed that Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin played a significant role in Hinman’s speech about cryptocurrencies.
According to the disclosed emails, Lubin had a pivotal role in connecting Hinman with Vitalik Buterin, another co-founder of Ethereum. The emails indicate that Lubin contacted the SEC, reaching out to Barnett Gary, the then deputy director of the SEC’s Trading and Markets Division, and requesting a meeting with the regulatory agency. Gary later introduced Lubin to Hinman, who eagerly agreed to meet with the Ethereum co-founder.
SEC Document Reveals Lubin’s Role In Hinman’s Speech
The emails suggest that Lubin influenced Hinman’s thinking and even suggested naming the speech “The Ether Speech.” Notably, the documents showed that Hinman disregarded warnings from top SEC officials regarding the speech. This has raised questions about the relationship between Hinman and Buterin and whether it influenced Hinman’s decision to classify ETH as a non-security.
XRP enthusiasts have quickly responded to the revelations in the SEC’s latest batch of documents. Crypto-Law.US, in a tweet, pointed out how Lubin played a crucial role in shaping Hinman’s speech. Attorney John Deaton, founder of Crypto-Law.US, highlighted Hinman’s alleged false statements under oath during the Ripple lawsuit deposition. Hinman had previously claimed that he never communicated with anyone outside the SEC about the content of his speech. Still, the documents show he had met with Buterin before the speech was delivered.
Famous XRP influencer and YouTuber Digital Asset Investor also joined the conversation, recalling how Hinman denied the existence of a third-party promoter for Ethereum. Digital Asset Investor suggested that Lubin might be the third-party promoter who attempted to set up a meeting with the SEC.
These new SEC emails have sparked intense debate within the crypto community and raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest and transparency within the regulatory agency. As XRP enthusiasts continue to analyze the documents, the relationship between influential figures in the crypto space and regulatory decisions will likely be under scrutiny. The SEC’s handling of these matters may have implications for future regulations and its approach to cryptocurrencies and digital assets.