CFTC commissioner visits Ripple offices as decision in SEC case looms



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

In a Monday tweet, Pham said she visited Ripple Labs’ offices as part of a “learning tour” involving crypto and blockchain. Garlinghouse later tweeted that the commissioner’s visit was related to “public-private engagement” — likely referring to a privately funded company like Ripple engaging with U.S. regulators.

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

The outcome of the SEC case could influence which federal regulator might play a greater role in handling the XRP token as a commodity or security. Garlinghouse claimed on Saturday that the SEC wasn’t “interested in applying the law” and alleged the regulator sought to “expand their jurisdiction far beyond the authority granted to them by Congress.”

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

Under chair Gary Gensler, the SEC has pursued many enforcement actions against crypto projects and related areas. The regulatory body labeled nine tokens as “crypto asset securities” falling under its purview in July complaint against a former Coinbase product manager, prompting criticism from Pham at the time.

Cointelegraph reached out to the CFTC, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.