Bad news for Ripple? LBRY judge passes ruling on if secondary crypto sales are securities

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Ripple may be holding its breath a bit longer after a United States District Judge refused to rule on if the secondary sale of LBRY Credits (LBC) constitutes a security.

On July 11, New Hampshire District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro made the ruling in the case the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought against the decentralized content platform LBRY.

The ruling may have offered legal precedent to fellow District Court Judge Analisa Torres, who is set to make a decision on the SEC’s case against Ripple in the coming months.

In his ruling, Judge Barbadoro said:

“Accordingly, I take no position on whether the registration requirement applies to secondary market offerings of LBC.”

A secondary market is where traders buy and sell securities, while a primary market involves trading from the company issuing the security directly.

John Deaton, a U.S. lawyer representing thousands of XRP (XRP) token holders, tweeted on July 11 that he contacted Judge Barbadoro to seek clarity on if LBC constituted a security.

Judge Barabadoro ultimately decided to uphold his “judicial restraint,” Deaton said.

Judge Barbadoro’s latest opinion is an about-turn from what he concluded in a January appeal hearing where Deaton persuaded him that the secondary sale of LBC doesn’t constitute a securities offering.

The New Hampshire Judge clarified in the appeal hearing that LBC is only considered a security when the sale is made directly.

The SEC also admitted that secondary market LBC sales don’t constitute a security.

While the SEC won a summary judgment in November 2022, it elected to settle for $22 million at an appeal hearing on Jan. 30.

In May, the SEC revised the figure and instead asked the court to impose a fine of $111,000 citing LBRY’s “lack of funds and near-defunct status.”

Related: The aftermath of LBRY: Consequences of crypto’s ongoing regulatory process

Meanwhile, Jeremy Hogan, a U.S.-based Attorney and Ripple advocate, told Cointelegraph that District Court Judge Analisa Torres will likely lay out her ruling within the next couple of months.

“We’ll have the big picture sometime in the next two months and, unless Ripple completely wins, we’ll know the details before the end of the year. If the details are bad then we will see appeals that will drag on for a long time.”

“But [that] won’t really matter for a typical XRP holder,” he added.

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