Home Altcoins News Ripple Faces Securities Suit Over 2017 Statements: California Court Sets Stage for Jury Trial

Ripple Faces Securities Suit Over 2017 Statements: California Court Sets Stage for Jury Trial

Ripple vs SEC Lawsuit

Ripple Labs, a major player in the cryptocurrency world, is once again under legal scrutiny. A U.S. federal judge has allowed a civil securities lawsuit against Ripple to move forward, focusing on claims that the company and its CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, made misleading statements about XRP in 2017. This decision comes amid a backdrop of legal battles and regulatory uncertainty surrounding the classification of cryptocurrencies.

The Lawsuit: Key Details

The lawsuit revolves around statements made by Brad Garlinghouse in 2017, where he claimed to be “very, very long” on XRP. Plaintiffs allege that these statements were misleading, as Garlinghouse was simultaneously selling millions of XRP tokens. California District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton’s denial of Ripple’s bid for summary judgment on June 20 means that these allegations will be scrutinized in a jury trial.

Judge Hamilton’s order diverges from a previous ruling by Judge Analisa Torres in an SEC lawsuit, which found that Ripple’s programmatic sales of XRP on secondary trading platforms did not constitute securities transactions. However, Judge Hamilton found that XRP could be considered a security when sold to retail investors, as they might have expected profits based on Ripple’s efforts—a key element of the Howey Test used to determine securities.

Contrasting Rulings: Ripple’s Legal Battles

In July 2023, Judge Torres ruled that Ripple’s sales of XRP on secondary markets were not securities transactions, providing a significant win for Ripple in its fight against the SEC. However, she did call for trials to address claims against Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen, which the SEC later voluntarily dismissed.

Judge Hamilton’s recent decision, however, introduces a new layer of complexity. She declined to rule that a reasonable investor would have expected profits solely from general cryptocurrency market trends, as opposed to Ripple’s efforts. This interpretation aligns with Judge Jed Rakoff’s stance in the Terraform Labs case, where he rejected the Ripple ruling, leading to a $4.5 billion settlement with the SEC.

Implications for Ripple and the Crypto Industry

The progression of this lawsuit underscores the ongoing legal uncertainties surrounding the classification of cryptocurrencies and the responsibilities of their executives. The case against Ripple and Garlinghouse specifically challenges the notion that favorable rulings in similar cases would create a clear precedent for the industry.

Ripple’s legal challenges are significant for the broader crypto market, as they highlight the regulatory and legal hurdles that crypto companies face. The outcome of this case could have far-reaching implications, potentially influencing how cryptocurrencies are regulated and how companies communicate with investors.

Ripple’s Defense and Market Reaction

Ripple has maintained that XRP is not a security, arguing that its sales do not meet the criteria established by the Howey Test. The company has also pointed to previous favorable rulings as evidence of their compliance with existing regulations. However, the differing judicial opinions highlight the fragmented and evolving nature of crypto regulation in the United States.

In response to these legal developments, the market reaction has been mixed. While some investors remain optimistic about Ripple’s prospects, others are cautious, awaiting the trial’s outcome. The uncertainty has contributed to fluctuations in XRP’s price, reflecting the broader volatility in the cryptocurrency market.

Looking Ahead: The Trial and Beyond

As the lawsuit heads to trial, all eyes will be on the courtroom proceedings and the potential ramifications for Ripple and the crypto industry. The trial will not only address the specific allegations against Garlinghouse but will also serve as a critical test case for the regulatory treatment of digital assets.

Should Ripple prevail, it could bolster the company’s position and provide some regulatory clarity for similar crypto enterprises. However, a ruling against Ripple could lead to stricter regulations and enforcement actions, potentially stifling innovation in the burgeoning crypto sector.


The upcoming trial in California represents a pivotal moment for Ripple and the broader cryptocurrency industry. As legal battles continue to shape the regulatory landscape, the need for clear and consistent guidelines becomes increasingly apparent. Ripple’s fight against the SEC and other legal challenges will undoubtedly influence the future of digital asset regulation, investor protection, and market dynamics.

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Pankaj K

Pankaj is a skilled engineer with a passion for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. With over five years of experience in digital marketing, Pankaj is also an avid investor and trader in the crypto sphere. As a devoted fan of the Klever ecosystem, he strongly advocates for its innovative solutions and user-friendly wallet, while continuing to appreciate the Cardano project. Like my work? Send a tip to: 0x4C6D67705aF449f0C0102D4C7C693ad4A64926e9

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