Judge Rejects SEC’s Appeal in Ripple Case, Trial Proceeds

In a recent development in the ongoing legal showdown between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the blockchain-based payment company Ripple Labs, District Judge Analisa Torres has denied the SEC’s motion for certification of an interlocutory appeal. This decision marks another significant chapter in the crypto industry’s closely watched legal battle, as the case heads towards a trial set for April 23, 2024.

Judge Torres, presiding over the case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ruled that the SEC failed to demonstrate that an interlocutory appeal would “materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation.” This decision came as a setback for the SEC, which sought to have certain aspects of the case reviewed in an interlocutory appeal, a request that has now been denied.

In her order issued on Tuesday, Judge Torres stated, “For the reasons stated above, the SEC’s motion for certification of interlocutory appeal is DENIED, and the SEC’s request for a stay is DENIED as moot.” This decision signifies a continued legal battle between the regulatory body and Ripple Labs over the classification of XRP, Ripple’s native cryptocurrency.

The trial date for this high-stakes legal dispute has been set for April 23, 2024. In preparation for the trial, both Ripple and the SEC are expected to submit their pretrial filings by the end of the year, according to Judge Torres.

Furthermore, Judge Torres has taken a proactive approach toward encouraging settlement discussions between the parties involved. She has ordered that “prior to the final pretrial conference, counsel for both parties, along with the parties themselves, shall meet in person for at least one hour to discuss settlement of this matter.”

This legal battle initially gained significant attention in December 2020 when the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple Labs, alleging that the sale of XRP tokens by Ripple constituted an unregistered securities offering. The SEC’s lawsuit has major implications for the cryptocurrency industry, as it seeks to clarify the regulatory status of digital assets.

Of particular interest to the SEC is the aspect of the case related to “programmatic sales” and “other distributions,” which encompass offers and sales of XRP in exchange for goods and services. The SEC’s concerns go beyond Ripple, as they believe the outcome of this case could have a “substantial impact” on other ongoing or future litigations involving the regulatory agency and major cryptocurrency trading platforms such as Binance and Coinbase.

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