In recent days, Stuart Alderoty, the chief legal officer of Ripple, has called for an investigation into the motives behind Bill Hinman’s famous speech in 2018. This demand for a probe has garnered support from numerous well-known individuals.
The speech in question, given by Hinman during his tenure as a former official at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), claimed that Ether (ETH) is not a security due to its decentralization. However, the criteria for determining this decentralization were never clearly outlined.
The release of the Hinman documents on June 13 shed light on the fact that other SEC divisions had warned Hinman about the questionable nature of his speech. According to Alderoty, these documents reveal that Hinman ignored the advice of his colleagues and delivered a speech that lacked legal basis, causing confusion within the cryptocurrency industry regarding the classification of tokens as securities.
Alderoty argues that unelected bureaucrats should not be allowed to create new laws, and he firmly states that Hinman’s speech should no longer be invoked in any serious discussion about token securities.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse also expressed his criticism of the SEC, joining Alderoty in condemning the decision to proceed with the speech despite significant pushback. Garlinghouse described this action as “unconscionable.”
John Deaton, a pro-XRP attorney and creator of CryptoLaw, agrees with Alderoty’s demand for an investigation. Deaton points out that Hinman’s use of the term “Ether Speech” raises concerns about the underlying motivations behind the speech. Furthermore, both Deaton and Alderoty highlight Hinman’s connections to the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, a group that promotes Ethereum blockchain technology.
Hinman had ties to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLC, a law firm that was associated with the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, both prior to and after his tenure at the SEC.
The call for a thorough investigation into Bill Hinman’s infamous speech has gained momentum within the cryptocurrency community. Concerns about the lack of legal basis and potential conflicts of interest have led many to question the true intentions behind his statements.
As this saga continues to unfold, it remains to be seen whether regulatory authorities will heed these calls for an investigation and address the concerns raised by Alderoty, Garlinghouse, Deaton, and others.