Ripple v. SEC: New Facts Further Suggests William Hinman’s Links With Ethereum Before His “2018 ETH Free Pass Speech”

Hinman's ties to Ethereum went beyond being a managing partner at Simpson Thacher prior to his SEC appointment, according to new evidence.

Following his 2018 statements claiming that Ethereum (ETH) was not a security, many Ripple investors still blame William Hinman, the former director of the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance, for XRP's underperformance.

Hinman's statement opened the path for Ethereum to overtake Ripple (XRP) as the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, which was a key challenger at the time.

Ripple supporters believe Hinman gave the Ethereum free pass speech due of his association with Enterprise Ethereum Alliance member Simpson Thacher & Barllett LLP (EEA).

The EEA is in charge of marketing the Ethereum blockchain as an enterprise solution, and as a result, Hinman was accused of potential conflicts of interest during his time at the SEC.

More Evidence Connects Hinman to Ethereum

Many Ripple investors are unaware that Hinman's involvement with Ethereum extends beyond his role as a managing partner at Simpson Thacher.

Prior to joining Simpson Thacher in 2000, the former SEC corporation finance director was the managing partner of Shearman & Sterling's San Francisco and Menlo Park offices.

Shearman & Sterling joined the EEA and Legal Industry Working Group on August 14, 2017, less than three months after Hinman was named Director of the Division of Corporation Finance, according to an EEA report.

Hinman appointed Robert Evans III as Deputy Director of the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance during the first month of his tenure there. Prior to his appointment, Evans was a managing partner at Shearman & Sterling LLP.

While it's unclear whether Hinman and Evans conspired to favor Ethereum over Ripple, there's a chance there were conflicts of interest, as ETH became the indisputable second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

Shearman & Sterling LLP wrote on the regulatory scrutiny facing Ethereum and Ripple less than a month before Hinman delivered the speech labeling ETH a non-security.

Why hasn't Ripple sued Hinman yet?

Many Ripple supporters will be questioning why, with the quantity of information obtained thus far, Ripple has not filed a lawsuit against Hinman, implying possible conflicts of interest during his time at the SEC.

Attorney John Deaton, on the other hand, explained why Ripple's lawyers have yet to initiate a complaint against Hinman.