Caroline D. Pham, an American attorney serving as one of the five commissioners at the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), met with Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. The meeting cheered XRP fans and raised questions about the prospect of the token being treated as a commodity and falling under the supervision of the CFTC.
CFTC Commissioner’s Meeting With Brad Garlinghouse
According to a Sept. 19 tweet by CFTC Commissioner Caroline Pham, visiting Ripple Labs offices in San Francisco was part of her “learning tour” involving the crypto space.
Brad Garlinghouse later noted that the meeting with the commissioner was about “public-private engagement”, possibly referring to a private company like Ripple Labs engaging with regulators in the U.S.
Pham’s meeting with the Ripple chief had many observers comparing the CFTC’s approach to engaging with crypto projects with that of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It’s worth pointing out that the SEC has been heavily criticized for its ambiguous approach. CFTC commissioner Pham has also previously slammed the agency for indulging in “regulation by enforcement.”
Could XRP Be Classified As A Non-Security Commodity?
Others on social media suggested the timing of the commissioner’s visit is no coincidence. They even speculated that XRP could come under the CFTC’s purview, which means the agency would become the token’s sole regulator.
SEC chair Gary Gensler has continually restated his belief that most crypto tokens have the hallmarks of securities. In July, the SEC announced that it was lodging suits against nine ICO-era crypto projects for selling noncompliant securities; the regulator is also reportedly probing leading U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges, including Coinbase and Binance, for listing these tokens.
The SEC and Ripple recently filed motions for summary judgment in the ongoing lawsuit over whether XRP sales broke securities laws. The two parties want District Judge Analisa Torres to give an immediate verdict without pushing the case forward to a trial.
Ripple’s Garlinghouse remarked after the filings that the SEC “isn’t interested in applying the law”. He believes the agency is hell-bent on remaking it to “expand their jurisdiction far beyond the authority granted to them by Congress.”
Ripple has been locked in a court case with the SEC since December 2020, trying to establish the status of XRP. Whether XRP is soon recognized as a commodity by the U.S. courts remains to be seen.