Ripple’s CLO, Stuart Alderoty, recently expressed his response on X (formerly Twitter) regarding a post about VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (also known as a16z) endorsing the appointment of former SEC official Bill Hinman.
Hinman’s Remarkable Accomplishment Rewarded With Promotion
Significantly, the tweet came from the well-known XRP influencer Mr. Huber, who disclosed that Hinman had been elevated to the position of Advisory Partner within a16z’s cryptocurrency division.
According to the screenshots accompanying the tweet, a16z emphasized Hinman’s notable accomplishments during his tenure as the Director of the SEC’s Corporation Finance division.
“Bill spearheaded the SEC’s early work with digital assets, and made critical contributions that provided clarity to companies operating in the space,” an excerpt from the screenshot stated.
Related article: XRP’s Future Remains Uncertain: Are the Bears in Control?
Ripple CLO Reacts
In an intriguing turn of events, Alderoty joined fellow members of the XRP community in responding to the post. Alderoty humorously questioned whether it might be April Fools’ Day.
He suggested a caption that a16z could have used to describe Hinman’s role during his time at the SEC.
According to his tweet, he said:
“Shouldn’t this read ‘While a public servant at the SEC, he collected $15 million from his old firm, ignored the law, and created even ‘greater confusion’ for the crypto industry…,”
The Hinman Controversy and His Role in the SEC v. Ripple Legal Battle
Significantly, Hinman has been a central figure in the ongoing lawsuit between the SEC and Ripple. It’s important to remember that Hinman had, in a prominent speech on June 14, 2018, categorized BTC and ETH as non-securities.
Soon after Ripple was sued by the SEC in December 2020, the premier blockchain firm sought the draft versions of Hinman’s contentious speech to fortify its stance that XRP isn’t a security.
The SEC, however, declined to provide the said documents. This refusal resulted in an intense legal face-off that spanned 18 months. Remarkably, after the court intervened six times, the SEC finally handed over the documents to Ripple.
These documents revealed that Hinman had ignored cautions from senior SEC personnel about his speech. The advisories had forewarned that his remarks could potentially muddle the clarity in the crypto domain.
Furthermore, the documents unveiled prior interactions with Ethereum’s key figures, including Vitalik Buterin. Notably, Hinman had a meeting with Buterin just a week before delivering his controversial speech.
These revelations fueled suspicions that Hinman’s declaration of ETH as a non-security might have been under external influence.
Hinman Breached SEC Regulations
In another revelation, Empower Oversight publicized documents indicating that Hinman breached SEC regulations. During his tenure at the SEC, Hinman continued his interactions with his previous employer, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Notably, Simpson Thacher is affiliated with the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), a group committed to promoting the adoption of Enterprise Ethereum.
Intriguingly, the papers also exposed that, even while serving as the director of the SEC’s Corporation Finance, Hinman received a substantial $9 million in profit-sharing from Simpson Thacher.
XRP Community Calls for Hinman’s Investigation
Amidst the ongoing controversy surrounding Hinman’s actions during his time at the SEC, both Empower Oversight and members of the XRP community have been urging the relevant authorities to launch an investigation into Hinman’s potential conflicts of interest.
Regrettably, as of the latest update, these appeals have not resulted in any favorable outcomes.