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SEC enforcer behind Ripple lawsuit resigns – new chairman called XRP a ‘bridge currency’ in 2018

  • The Acting Enforcement Director, Marc P. Berger, who was also responsible for the lawsuit against Ripple Labs, will leave the SEC.
  • Gary Gensler is expected to become the SEC’s new chairman under Joe Biden.
  • A new YouTube video shows Gensler calling XRP a “bridge currency” in 2018.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced yesterday that Marc P. Berger, the Acting Director of the Division of Enforcement, will end his tenure at the agency this month. For Ripple and the XRP community, this could be positive news, just like the departure of Jay Clayton as SEC Chairman.

Berger played a major role in the SEC’s action against Ripple Labs after he was named deputy director in August 2020 and acting director of the Division of Enforcement at the SEC in December. Although Berger’s time at the helm of the division was rather short, he used it to lead the enforcement of the securities lawsuit against Ripple Labs and its co-founders.

Under Berger’s leadership, the Enforcement Division prosecuted significant cases across the spectrum of the securities industry, including a focus on enforcement actions related to unregistered Initial Coin Offerings. In addition to the action against Ripple, this included that against Telegram Group Inc. which, in the course of the proceedings, halted the sale of its GRAM token and agreed to return more than $1.2 billion to investors.

Berger was considered a hardliner in insider circles, as the SEC’s current chairman, Elad L. Roisman, also emphasized in a statement on Berger’s departure:

Throughout his tenure, Marc maintained an impressive focus on aggressively pursuing bad actors and finding the best outcome for harmed investors and for the greater investing public.

In addition to the ICO-related enforcement actions, Berger also played an important role in the lawsuit against Robinhood Financial LLC for misstatements involving the receipt of payment for order flow and violations of the duty to seek best execution, as well as lawsuits against Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and against the New York Stock Exchange and two affiliated exchanges for regulatory failures.

As mentioned earlier, Berger’s departure was well-received by the XRP community. The top comment on Reddit sums up the sentiment very well:

So after the SEC filed suit against Ripple, the Chairman Jay Clayton ducked out and now the guy who was responsible for prosecuting the case quits his job.

They (SEC) knows what they have done and now the rats are leaving a sinking shit.

Gary Gensler takes over as SEC chair under Biden

Another piece of news that could have a not insignificant impact on the outcome of the SEC lawsuit against Ripple Labs could be the possible appointment of Gary Gensler as the new SEC chairman. According to a Reuters report, President-elect Joe Biden will appoint Gary Gensler to head the SEC.

As CNF reported, Gensler is considered to have an affinity for crypto, which is reflected in his tenure at MIT as a professor of blockchain, digital currencies, financial technology and public policy. What a Gensler tenure could mean for Ripple, however, seems unclear.

While Gensler has expressed in the past that there is a “strong argument” that XRP is a security, he also said the same thing about Ethereum, which was subsequently classified as a non-security. Interestingly, a video surfaced yesterday of Gensler giving a talk as an MIT professor in which he refers to XRP as a “bridge currency.”

About Author

Jake Simmons

Jake Simmons has been a crypto enthusiast since 2016, and since hearing about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he's been involved with the subject every day. Beyond cryptocurrencies, Jake studied computer science and worked for 2 years for a startup in the blockchain sector. At CNF he is responsible for technical issues. His goal is to make the world aware of cryptocurrencies in a simple and understandable way.

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