April 24, 2024

In a recent Ask Me Anything (AMA) session, Cardano Founder Charles Hoskinson significantly shifted from previous statements about ETHGate. The Cardano founder believed that ETHGate, the longstanding controversy surrounding Ethereum’s alleged influence on SEC officials.

He said, “I never once said that ETHGate didn’t happen.”

After negating his previous statements, Hoskinson suggested the possibility that individuals associated with Ethereum may have engaged in bribery. The intention was likely to influence officials at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for favorable treatment towards Ethereum. 

He says establishing connections with regulators to gain regulatory advantages is a usual practice in the broader business landscape, extending beyond the digital asset industry.

Despite acknowledging the potential reality of ETHGate, Hoskinson emphasized its lack of relevance to the ongoing legal battle between Ripple and the SEC. 

Notably, the ETHGate theory has been a topic of discussion for an extended period. It has been chiefly about claims that members of the Ethereum core team established connections with SEC figures to position Ethereum favorably regarding regulatory treatment.

Supporters of these theories argue that this alleged relationship played a role in the SEC’s declaration of Ethereum as a non-security. Notably, William Hinman, the former Director of SEC’s Corporation of Finance, made this declaration in a crucial speech in June 2018.

But while Hoskinson had previously raised the possibility of Ethereum influencing the SEC, he clarified that he left Ethereum early on and does not possess direct knowledge of the purported incident.

ETHGate Was Not Against Ripple

Hoskinson recent comments on ETHGate have ignited controversy and strained relations between him and the XRP community. Some XRP holders had interpreted ETHGate as involving Ethereum officials bribing the SEC to take legal action against Ripple. 

However, during the recent session, Hoskinson hinted that ETHGate may have happened but not against Ripple, as its supporters believe. 

According to him,

It’s a completely separate subject from Ethereum taking care of its own interest and trying to find relationships to help steer along a regulatory interpretation in their favor as most entities do,

It’s a different conversation that somebody from the Ethereum side or otherwise gave money or did something for a regulator to go after you, the XRP people. It didn’t happen.

He added. 

Did Ethereum bribe the SEC?

The SEC is said to be wrapping up its inquiry into accusations of internal conflicts of interest, mainly related to the regulation of Ethereum (ETH). A significant point of contention revolved around William Hinman, the former SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance Director. 

His 2018 statement declaring that Ether was not a security raised concerns due to his undisclosed financial interest in Ether.

Due to the controversy, the SEC commenced an investigation triggered by Empower Oversight’s referral to the OIG in May 2022, pointing out potential financial conflicts of interest among SEC officials in decisions related to cryptocurrencies.

According to Tristan Leavitt, the President of the government watchdog group Empower Oversight, recent updates on X (formerly Twitter), the SEC’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) is in the “final stages” of its examination. 


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