Surprise Twist: Ex-SEC Leader Enters Crypto Fray, Targets Ripple & Coinbase

Ladan Stewart, a prominent figure at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) renowned for her involvement in major legal battles with the cryptocurrency industry, has made a transition to a new role in the private sector. After dedicating eight years to the SEC’s enforcement division, Stewart has recently assumed a position at White & Case, a leading law firm.

This move signifies a significant change in Stewart’s career, as she previously headed the SEC’s crypto and cyber litigation unit from September 2022. During her tenure at the SEC, Stewart played a key role in overseeing crucial actions against major players in the cryptocurrency space, including a lawsuit against Coinbase Global Inc.

While serving at the SEC, Stewart played a pivotal role in spearheading the agency’s initiatives to oversee the crypto industry. She actively engaged in significant cases, including the legal clash with Ripple regarding the classification of its XRP token. Notably, the Ripple case garnered extensive public scrutiny, especially after a New York federal judge ruled in favor of Ripple—an outcome that the SEC is currently appealing.

SEC Leader To White & Case: Crypto Strategy

Stewart’s transition to White & Case, where she assumes a partnership role in the firm’s white-collar defense group, marks a deliberate strategic change. Her intention is to establish a specialized practice concentrated on crypto and cyber defense.

However, Ladan Stewart’s leadership of the cryptocurrency and cyber-litigation division at the SEC brought her into prominence, particularly in the case against Coinbase Global Inc. for operating without proper registration. Her non-involvement in these affairs underscores the SEC’s under the Biden administration to classify most digital tokens as securities, thereby subjecting them to regulation. The Ripple case involving its XPR token serves as a prime example of the challenges in regulating the rapidly evolving digital currency sector.

Regarding Ripple, the judge’s decision has ignited extensive discussions within the cryptocurrency industry about regulatory matters. Ripple’s stance has garnered considerable support. The SEC’s choice to pursue an appeal underscores the ongoing dispute surrounding the categorization and regulation of digital tokens. Despite this, the SEC has expressed its commitment to continuing the debate. Stewart’s involvement in these pivotal cases is poised to reshape her role at the White and Case Law Firm, where she will address intricate legal issues related to cryptocurrencies.

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The author’s views are for reference only and shall not constitute any investment advice. Please ensure you fully understand and assess the products and associated risks before purchasing.

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