Empower Oversight, the government watchdog, requested documents from the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission on cryptocurrency. The documents could show conflicts of interest for the commission that involved former senior officials. This will affect the lawsuit that Ripple Labs and its executive officers are facing by the commission.
SEC Conflicts in Interest – Bitcoin, Ether XRP, Ripple
Empower Oversight Whistleblowers & Research announced Wednesday that it submitted a detailed Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. This request sought communications between those responsible for SEC and their current and past employers.
Empower Oversight describes itself as “a non-profit educational organization that is non-partisan and dedicated to improving independent oversight government and corporate wrongdoing.” The organization “strives for insiders to document and report corruption to the relevant authorities while trying to hold authorities accountable for such reports.”
In his Let me knowEmpower Oversight founder Jason Foster, acting FOIA director Olivier Girod wrote: “We are writing today in order to obtain information regarding conflicts of interest by former high-ranking officials of the SEC Regarding cryptocurrencies.”
The government watchdog explained that between May 2017 and December 2020:
William Hinman, a senior SEC official is reported to have been involved in the regulation of cryptocurrency by the SEC while being paid millions of dollars by Simpson Thacher, his former employer.
The group explained that Simmons Thacher was a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, an organization whose goal it is to increase Enterprise Ethereum’s use.
Empower Oversight further claimed that “Hinman, while working at the SEC said the Ethereum cryptocurrency (the ether), was not a security which dramatically increased its value,” adding:
Noting that after Hinman left the SEC in December 2020, he returned to Simpson Thacher as a partner, Empower Oversight added that “The SEC division head who brought the XRPMarc Berger’s lawsuit was also withdrawn from the SEC to make way for Simpson Thacher.
Jay Clayton, former chairman of the SEC, was mentioned in the announcement. He discussed how he dealt with cryptocurrency issues while leading this securities regulator. It includes:
As with Mr Hinman, the Ether, Mr Clayton at the SEC stated that bitcoin is not a security. However, its value has risen.
The government watchdog pointed out the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple, its executives, and over the sale XRPIt was presented at the end Clayton’s term as a member of the commission.
Empower Oversight reported that Clayton also joined One River Asset Management, which is a cryptocurrency hedge firm focused on bitcoin and ether after leaving the SEC.
Do you believe there have been conflicts of interest in how the SEC has dealt with bitcoin, ether and other digital currencies? XRPAs well as his lawsuit against Ripple. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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