The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has requested a judge, rather than a jury, to determine whether specific cryptocurrencies involved in the Terraform Labs case are classified as securities.
In a Dec. 4 filing, the SEC requested the presiding judge to determine whether certain crypto assets are securities, a role traditionally reserved for a jury.
The central part of the SEC’s argument rests on applying the Howey test, a longstanding benchmark for defining a security. The commission is firm in its belief that the cryptocurrencies involved in this case meet the criteria of an investment of money in a common enterprise, with profits expected predominantly from the efforts of others.
The SEC’s filing stated, “There is no genuine dispute of material fact that Defendants’ crypto asset offerings involved an investment of money, in a common enterprise, with an expectation of profit to be derived from Defendants’ efforts.” This statement underscores their confidence in the straightforwardness of the case, suggesting no need for a jury’s deliberation.
This intervention by the SEC is part of a larger pattern of the commission actively categorizing cryptocurrencies as securities, as evidenced in its actions against industry giants like Binance and Coinbase. In the notable case against Ripple, a federal judge’s decision on the XRP token indicated that it might not be classified as a security, potentially influencing the SEC’s future dealings with Ripple’s top executives.