CFTC Commissioner Visits Ripple Offices As SEC Case Decision Emerges


Caroline Pham, one of five commissioners at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, met Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse ahead of a court decision that could affect how regulators handle XRP tokens.

In a Monday tweet, Pham said she visited the Ripple Labs offices as part of a crypto and blockchain “learning tour”. Garlinghouse later tweeted that the commissioner’s visit was linked to “public-private involvement” — likely referring to a privately funded company like Ripple coming into contact with US regulators.

The timing of Pham’s visit caused many on social media to comment on the CFTC’s approach to interacting with crypto firms and token projects compared to that of the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC. On Saturday, the SEC and Ripple both filed for summary judgment in a case alleging the company’s XRP sales violate securities laws. The case has been ongoing since December 2020.

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The outcome of the SEC case could influence which federal regulator could play a greater role in dealing with the XRP token as a commodity or security. Garlinghouse claimed on Saturday that the SEC was “not interested in applying the law” and claimed the regulator “wanted to extend their jurisdiction well beyond the authority bestowed on them by Congress.”

Related: The SEC vs. Ripple lawsuit: everything you need to know

Under chairman Gary Gensler, the SEC has taken many enforcement actions against crypto projects and related areas. The regulatory body labeled nine tokens as “crypto-asset securities” under its jurisdiction in a July complaint against a former Coinbase product manager, incentive criticism of Pham at the time.

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TNZT contacted the CFTC but received no response at the time of publication.