Ripple’s chief technology officer, David Schwartz, has clashed with Cardano creator Charles Hoskinson over the definition of corruption in the context of the ETHGate controversy, which questions the U.S. SEC’s decision-making process regarding Ethereum’s non-security status.
Earlier this week, Cardano’s Charles Hoskinson — who is also one of the eight Ethereum co-founders alongside Vitalik Buterin — attempted to dispel the ETHGate corruption claims, asserting that there was no evidence of the Ethereum team bribing the United States regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for preferential treatment.
“It’s certainly a value getting these Hinman emails and these other things because they can perhaps expose the thought process the SEC has and you can definitely show that there was unequal application of law. That’s fine,” Hoskinson postulated. “But none of that activity presupposes corruption, just favoritism.”
For context, ETHGate is a conspiracy theory that presumes Ethereum received a free pass from the SEC, which has been maintaining its view that ETH doesn’t qualify as a security for years.
Although former SEC director William Hinman labelled Ethereum a non-security during a much-publicized speech in 2018, regulators in the U.S. have categorized Ripple’s XRP and other tokens as fair game for enforcement, which has subsequently hindered their mass adoption.
Hinman’s declaration in 2018 amplified narratives around his likely direct financial interests, especially considering his ties to Simpson Thacher, a law firm that promotes Ethereum via the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Multiple reports have claimed that Hinman raked in millions of dollars from Simpson Thacher in the course of his time at the SEC.
The Cardano founder’s latest ETHGate-related comments have undoubtedly triggered a response from XRP advocates. XRP Ledger architect David Schwartz particularly clashed with Hoskinson over the definition of corruption.
“I would argue that a government actor showing favoritism aligned with the personal interests of themselves and their friends is corruption,” Schwartz said on the X platform today.
This marks the first time a senior Ripple exec has called the “ETH Gate” situation outright corruption. Ripple’s legal head, Stuart Alderoty, for instance, previously took a more nuanced approach. Stuart called for an investigation into William Hinman, noting that “there could potentially be serious conflicts of interest by a gov official. An investigation will either put it to rest or hold folks accountable.”
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