- Govt. Watchdog Empower Oversight is now investigating the SEC vs. Ripple case.
- The agency suspects some conflicts of interest between the two, citing former employees.
- Notably, XRP has performed really well amid the market bull run even as BTC and ETH stagger.
Government Watchdog Empower Oversight is now investigating Conflicts of Interest between SEC Officials, Crypto, XRP, and the Ripple Lawsuit. Recently it requested internal documents regarding the case.
It aims to track any potential conflict of interest at the commission, especially involving former high-level officials. This is highly relevant to the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple Labs and its employees.
The agency announced on Wednesday that it has submitted a detailed request to the SEC “seeking communications between SEC officials and their current and former employers.” The request was filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
As per its official website, Empower Oversight Whistleblowers & Research (Empower Oversight) is “a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to enhancing independent oversight of government and corporate wrongdoing”. It works to help document and report corruption to the proper authorities. Along with that, it also holds them accountable to act on those reports.
Empower Oversight founder Jason Foster wrote in his letter to the Chief FOIA officer Olivier Girod, “We write today seeking information regarding the appearance of conflicts of interest by former high-level officials at the SEC relating to cryptocurrencies.”
The firm explained that in a suspicious move “Senior SEC official William Hinman reportedly participated in the SEC’s regulation of cryptocurrencies while receiving millions of dollars from his former employer, the law firm Simpson Thacher.”
And then, further connecting the dots, they elaborated that Simpson Thacher works with Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. This is an industry organization that works to drive the use of Enterprise Ethereum.
Moreover, Empower Oversight made the point that Hinman was the one who declared originally that ETH was not a security. This actually made the crypto’s value rise by a large amount. Later, the SEC sued Ripple, which is a major Ethereum competitor, and declared its cryptocurrency, XRP, a security. As a result, XRP fell by 25%.
What Happened Next
After SEC filed the lawsuit, Hinman left the agency in December 2020 and returned to Simpson Thacher as a partner. Likewise, Empower Oversight also reported that the leader of the SEC division that brought the XRP lawsuit also left to join Simpson Thacher later.
As if this wasn’t enough, they also mentioned the former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. It focused on how he handled cryptocurrency issues while heading the securities regulator. In detail, “As with Mr. Hinman and ether, while at the SEC, Mr. Clayton declared that bitcoin wasn’t a security, and its value rose.”
Empower Oversight stressed on the fact that the SEC filed its lawsuit against Ripple over the sale of XRP at the end of Clayton’s tenure. Further, after he left the SEC, Clayton joined One River Asset Management. The company is a crypto hedge fund exclusively focusing on bitcoin and ether.
These new revelations are extremely important in determining what will become of the currency this year. Notably, XRP has performed very well amid the recent crypto market bull run. This week, even as both BTC and ETH stagger a bit with 1.41% and 4.32% drops, XRP has risen by a strong 11.47%.