As Ripple squares up for battle against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), former SEC Chair Mary Jo White is coming to Ripple’s defense.

In an interview with Fortune Magazine, White, who served as the 31st SEC chair from 2013-2017, reveals that she is not convinced that the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple, which accuses the firm of selling unregistered securities in the form of XRP, has merit.


“There’s no way to sugarcoat it. They’re dead wrong legally and factually.”

The timing of the lawsuit reads as suspicious to White, who notes that the case was filed as many senior SEC officials, including former chair Jay Clayton, were on their way out, though the allegations within the suit date back all the way to 2012.

“As a former U.S. attorney and SEC chair, you know that when it takes that long to figure out a case you probably shouldn’t be bringing it. It’s not something I would do walking out the door.”

The former SEC chair, notes that a lack of regulatory clarity surrounding the crypto sector further detracts from the legitimacy of the SEC’s case against Ripple. White tells Fortune that she believes the lawsuit is arbitrary, especially considering the agency recently declared that Ethereum (ETH), a crypto asset that was created in 2015, is not a security.

Ultimately, White is convinced that the main victims of the lawsuit thus far have been investors – the very individuals that the SEC seeks to protect – as “$15 billion in market cap was lost” for XRP holders, according to White.

White concedes that as far as its capacity to regulate the financial system, the SEC’s resources are stretched thin. However, the crypto sector is in dire need of regulatory clarity and should be one of the agency’s top priorities.

“You have scarce resources [as chair], and you have to pick your spots. The crypto-landscape is a critical one, and there’s a crying need for clarity.”

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