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Key Insights:

  • Legal expert John Deaton offers a bleak outlook on the potential for a swift resolution in the ongoing Ripple vs SEC lawsuit.
  • According to John Deaton, ripple faces a precarious legal battle, with potential fines ranging from $10 million to $100 million.
  • Despite hopes for a settlement in April, the complexity of the case and the SEC’s stance may prolong the legal proceedings.

John Deaton, a prominent lawyer in the crypto community, recently expressed his views on the ongoing legal tussle between Ripple and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Speaking on the CryptoLaw YouTube channel, Deaton described the current state of affairs as “scorched Earth litigation.” This term signals a hard-fought and protracted battle, dimming hopes for a quick resolution in the high-profile XRP lawsuit.

Settlement Prospects Dim

Deaton expressed doubts about a quick settlement in the case. He believes the parties might await a formal decision from the judge to conclude this prolonged legal fight. However, he didn’t rule out a change in dynamics. Such a shift could occur if a ruling appears imminent, potentially driving the SEC to negotiate.

Deaton quoted, “I don’t think there are any talks of settlement, and I’ve said that for a long time now [but] that doesn’t mean it won’t happen… the SEC thinks that they can get more from Ripple in a settlement than [the judge] might rule. Maybe that’ll make them come to the table because they can spin it versus getting another ruling that embarrasses them as an organization.”

Ripple’s Potential Fines and Regulatory Clarity

Deaton highlighted the potential fines Ripple might incur, ranging from $10 million to $100 million. He emphasized the SEC’s concern over securing a minor penalty after extensive litigation. Additionally, he pointed out the judge’s awareness of the SEC’s ambiguous stance on crypto regulations.

Appellate Process and Legal Clarity

Industry experts had eyed a settlement by April, especially after a November court order. This order required the parties to submit briefs related to remedies by April 12, 2024. Despite these developments, the outcome remains uncertain. 

Deaton also discussed his plans to file an amicus brief in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals if an appeal occurs. He clarified that his intended class-action lawsuit against the SEC aims to achieve regulatory clarity rather than seek damages. This stands true even after a court ruling last July, which granted XRP holders the clarity they sought by determining that XRP is not a security.

In conclusion, the Ripple vs. SEC lawsuit once anticipated to reach a swift settlement, now appears poised for a longer duration. John Deaton’s analysis paints a picture of an intricate legal struggle that continues to shape the landscape of cryptocurrency regulation and compliance.

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