SEC removes Hinman’s bio during Ripple vs SEC case.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has removed the biography of former commissioner William Hinman from its website. This happened eight days before the court demanded unedited copies of all of Hinman’s emails in the SEC’s case against Ripple Labs. Previously, the SEC’s website contained important information about Hinman’s employment history, roles, and advisory contributions to the Commission. However, the updated biography only displays his name, photograph, and former position as the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance unit from May 2017 to December 2020. A Twitter user called out Hinman’s revised biography and suggested that the SEC might be planning to throw him under the bus.

Hinman’s departure from the SEC in 2020 coincided with the Commission’s lawsuit against Ripple Labs. The former SEC director left the agency the same month it sued Ripple for violating federal security rules by selling an unregistered token XRP. Hinman gained attention for delivering a speech in 2018 stating that Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are non-securities and should not be classified as such. However, he failed to address the legal status of XRP, which is distributed similarly to Ether.

Due to the lack of legal classification of XRP, Ripple and other critics of the SEC have long sought internal transcripts and discussions regarding the speech to ascertain whether ETH received favorable treatment over XRP. Last year, the financial company succeeded in obtaining Hinman’s speech documents, although their contents remained confidential at the time. Recently, the court has mandated SEC to produce all of Hinman’s email communications and drafts of his 2018 speech. Crypto enthusiasts believe the email could be a smoking gun for the ongoing court battle between the regulator and Ripple.

Meanwhile, the Ripple vs SEC case has significantly impacted the US crypto industry, which seeks clarity and legal precedent regarding categorizing virtual assets as securities in the United States. The two parties filed for a summary judgment in December 2022, raising hopes that a conclusion might be near.

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