U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler is showing no signs of backing away from the regulator’s high-stakes lawsuit against Ripple Labs Inc.
In a Wednesday court filing, the first the SEC has submitted in the case since Gensler took over last week, the agency asked a federal judge to block Ripple’s demands that the regulator turn over internal emails and communications on officials’ personal devices. The move signals that the SEC is pushing ahead with its December suit alleging Ripple sold the XRP digital token without properly registering it as a security.
In its latest filing, the SEC accused Ripple of trying to “harass” the agency and “gamesmanship with respect to discovery.” The case, which prompted XRP to plunge after the SEC sued, is being closely watched by the crypto industry because it has implications for dozens of other coins. While U.S. regulators have stated that Bitcoin and Ether aren’t securities, officials haven’t said the same about other tokens, meaning they could also face SEC lawsuits.
Some digital-coin enthusiasts have been hopeful that Gensler, who has taught courses on cryptocurrencies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will embrace the asset class and clear up regulatory uncertainties that have cast a cloud over the industry.