Ripple CLO Lashed Out At US SEC In the Stoner Cats NFTs Case

  • Stuart Alderoty, Ripple’s Chief Legal Officer, criticized the SEC’s approach to cryptocurrency regulation in light of the agency’s charges against the creator of the “Stoner Cats” NFT series.
  • Alderoty questioned the impact of settlements without admissions of wrongdoing and suggested that the SEC may face challenges in court when its actions are legally challenged.

Stuart Alderoty, Ripple’s chief Legal Officer (CLO), recently shared his opinion against the “Stoner Cats” animated series NFTs. In a recent announcement, the SEC disclosed that it had filed charges against SC2 for conducting an unregistered crypto-asset securities offering involving non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The SEC’s allegations assert that in July 2021, SC2 raised $8.2 million by selling 10,320 NFTs, each priced at approximately $800. Notably, SC2 has agreed to a settlement without admitting or denying the charges brought by the SEC. As part of the settlement, the company will comply with a cease-and-desist order and dispose of the remaining NFTs in its possession. Additionally, the company is obliged to pay a civil penalty amounting to $1 million.

In response to the SEC’s actions, Alderoty suggested that some might view this as a public relations maneuver. He also stated that although he lacks complete information on the SC2 case, he believes that settling charges without admitting or denying wrongdoing is not legally binding.

Furthermore, Alderoty maintained that the SEC would face challenges in court when “seriously challenged in court”. Alderoty has consistently voiced his disapproval of the SEC’s regulatory approach toward cryptocurrencies. Similar to numerous enthusiasts, Alderoty’s criticism centers on the quest for well-defined industry regulations.

Nonetheless, he, along with many others, believes that the commission tends to regulate the cryptocurrency sector through enforcement actions rather than adhering to established legal frameworks.

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Ripple CTO David Schwartz Responds

David Schwartz, the Chief Technology Officer at Ripple Labs in San Francisco, has used the X app to share his thoughts on the recent case involving the American regulator SEC fining the creator of the popular Stoner Cats NFT series for $1 million.

In response to the tweet discussing the case, the Ripple CTO referred to it as a “pyrrhic victory” that took three years to achieve. He expressed the view that settling “for single-digit millions” or paying “double-digit millions for a pyrrhic victory in three years” should not be considered a win for anyone.

Ripple has been fighting with the US SEC for a very long period of time. Ripple executives are slated to face trial in the second quarter of 2024 for alleged involvement in securities law violations related to the XRP token. However, even with this ongoing legal battle, Ripple Labs CEO Brad Garlinghouse believes that significant company activities will continue to take place outside the United States.

Garlinghouse has stated that 80 percent of the company’s recruitment efforts this year will be focused on locations outside the US, primarily due to the greater regulatory clarity found in these regions.

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