(Bloomberg) -- The federal judge who ruled that Ripple Labs Inc.’s cryptocurrency doesn’t constitute a security when sold to the general public denied the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s request to appeal the determination before trial.
US District Judge Analisa Torres on Tuesday ruled against the regulator in a case it filed against Ripple in Manhattan federal court. A trial is scheduled for April.
The SEC needed Torres’s permission to appeal her ruling because it wasn’t a final judgment. The regulator was also seeking to put on hold its suit against Ripple for allegedly offering unregistered securities while the appeal is pending.
Ripple’s XRP token climbed as much as 6.3% after the decision to deny the SEC’s request to appeal, before paring some of the gain to trade near 54 cents as of 7:20 p.m. in New York on Tuesday. The token has rallied 58% this year, compared with a 33% advance in a gauge of the top 100 digital assets.
Torres’s ruling was widely hailed as a victory for the crypto industry, which has resisted attempts to categorize digital assets as securities subject to regulation. In her July 13 decision, Torres drew a distinction between sales of XRP to institutional investors, which she said met the test for an investment contract under federal securities law, and sales to the public on exchanges.
Ripple had opposed the SEC’s request. The company said last month that the agency was “rushing to appeal” what it claims is a legal question that applies to every case involving digital assets while “the factual and legal procedural postures of other SEC enforcement actions are different.”
The SEC had noted that another Manhattan federal judge, Jed Rakoff, explicitly rejected Torres’s approach in the SEC’s case against Terraform Labs and its founder Do Kwon, finding that the Terra USD token may indeed be a security when sold to retail investors.
The case is SEC v. Ripple Labs Inc., 20-cv-10832, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
--With assistance from Sunil Jagtiani.
(Updates with XRP move)
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