XRP Ruling a ‘Landmark’ Judgment, Weakens SEC's Stance Against Crypto: Bernstein

The court’s decision weakens the SEC’s stance that the securities law is clear and no separate clarity is required for digital assets, the report said.

AccessTimeIconJul 14, 2023 at 6:55 a.m. UTC
Updated Jul 14, 2023 at 2:54 p.m. UTC
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The U.S. district court ruling that Ripple’s XRP token should not be considered a security if sold via an exchange or through programmatic sales, is a landmark judgment for crypto, broker Bernstein said in a research report Thursday.

Bernstein notes that the court did rule that institutional sales of XRP violated securities law. Still, this was a major verdict, which removes the overhang on XRP and the holders of the token who bought it through exchanges, the report said.

The ruling reduces the “securities overhang on tokens sold on exchanges,” and is a “major relief for all tokens sold on secondary platforms,” analysts led by Gautam Chhugani wrote.

The court’s decision emphasizes the need for a separate digital assets framework, and given its interpretation it is clear that the “Howey test cannot be straight applied to tokens on exchange platforms, and thus the context of the transaction matters,” the note said.

“This weakens the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) stance that the securities law is clear and no separate clarity is required for digital assets, given the contextual interpretation required in every case,” the analysts wrote.

Bernstein says this is a landmark judgement and significantly shifts the “regulatory cloud over the crypto industry”, and it expects institutional investors who have steered clear of digital assets due to regulatory challenges to reconsider the asset class.


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Will Canny is CoinDesk's finance reporter.

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