John Deaton, a prominent advocate for XRP, has responded to receiving the Defender of Freedom Award from the International Congress of Blockchain Legal Advisors (ICBLA).
ICBLA Recognizes Deaton with the Defender of Freedom Award
ICBLA revealed this news in a press release issued on September 25th. In their statement, ICBLA highlighted that the Defender of Freedom Award is bestowed upon individuals and organizations who have made exceptional contributions to preserving freedom within the cryptocurrency community.
ICBLA described Attorney Deaton as a “truly deserving recipient whose visionary strategy helped enable digital asset owners to intercede against SEC’s enforcement actions.”
An interesting point to note is that the organization recognized Deaton’s significant contribution in the SEC v. Ripple case, explicitly highlighting the impact of his intervention. The judge’s citation of his amicus brief in the summary judgment further solidified the importance of Deaton’s involvement.
Additionally, the Defender of Freedom Award comes with a cash prize of $5,000.
In his acceptance speech on the X platform, Attorney Deaton expressed his gratitude for receiving the award and emphasized that he accepted it on behalf of the 75,000 XRP holders.
He also acknowledged the support of tech journalist Naomi Brockwell, who granted him permission to “cite her name and case as an example in legal proceedings against the government” in the LBRY case.
The influential crypto advocate shared the story of how 12,600 XRP holders initially, which later grew to 75,000, joined him in submitting a motion to intervene in the Ripple case as legitimate defendants.
“[…] What we had asked for had never been done in an SEC enforcement action. NEVER had thousands of investors petition a Court to be sued,” he said.
While the judge rejected the motion to intervene, Deaton explained that she did grant amici curiae status to XRP holders.
Deaton highlighted how XRP holders made a difference in the case. The judge only cited a few dozen of the 3K exhibits submitted in the case, including the XRP holder affidavits.
Deaton Prevails in Argument Against the SEC
Moreover, Deaton pointed out that the SEC had emphasized the significance of the LBRY ruling. According to him, the SEC argued that the LBRY judge classified LBC as a security without distinguishing it from secondary market transactions independent of the company.
However, with Brockwell’s consent, Deaton contested and successfully refuted the SEC’s argument. On January 30, the LBRY judge clarified that his ruling exclusively pertained to LBRY’s direct sales of LBC and did not extend to secondary market transactions. This clarification played a role in Judge Analisa Torres referencing the LBRY verdict in her summary judgment decision in the Ripple lawsuit.
Deaton Says His Efforts Would’ve Been “a Fart in the Wind” Without XRP Holders
Attorney Deaton emphasized that without the proactive stance of XRP holders, their affidavits wouldn’t have been referenced in the Ripple case.
Furthermore, he stressed that without Naomi’s consent for him to represent her in the LBRY case, the ruling would not have been included in Judge Torres’ summary decision.
“Without all of them, my efforts would’ve been a fart in the wind. So when I accepted this great award, I accepted it on behalf of all of them,” he noted.