In the cryptocurrency regulatory landscape, Ladan Stewart, a key player in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) cryptocurrency division, announced his departure from the role. Stewart, who since September 2022 has led the SEC’s crypto and cyber litigation unit, will take on a new position at White & Case, a prestigious US-based law firm. This move marks a significant change in his career, moving away from regulatory clashes with the emerging cryptocurrency industry.

During his time at the SEC, Stewart played a crucial role in overseeing high-profile cases against industry giants such as Coinbase and Ripple. His involvement included prosecuting Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange by volume, for operating as an unregistered securities exchange, broker-dealer and clearing agency. Additionally, Stewart has been on the front lines of the legal conflict with Ripple, questioning whether its XRP token should be considered an unregistered security.

Stewart’s departure comes at a critical time for the SEC, especially following a court ruling in New York that contradicts the SEC’s position in ruling that Ripple’s XRP token does not constitute a security when sold to the general public. This scenario suggests a potential inflection point in the way digital assets are regulated in the United States.

By joining White & Case, Stewart aims to develop a practice specializing in crypto and cyber defense, highlighting the permanence and importance of cryptocurrency in the current financial landscape. “Cryptocurrency is here to stay,” said Stewart, pointing to the launch of several Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as a significant milestone for the industry. This commentary underscores the recognition of cryptocurrency as an integral part of the financial future, despite complexities and regulatory challenges.

White & Case, with its global presence and impressive portfolio of clients, including Microsoft, Abbvie Inc., and GoldenTree Asset Management, offers Stewart a broad platform to influence the field of crypto legal defense.


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or anyone mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptocurrencies carries a risk of financial loss.


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