A consultation provided to Ripple by law firm Perkins Coie in 2012 argued the XRP token is not a security. However, the experts have noted a “small” risk that SEC investigators might not agree with this analysis.
Ripple General Counsel Stuart Alderoty has said:
“The conclusion from the 2012 public memos is clear: XRP is ‘not a security.’ The fact that Ripple had the foresight to seek legal advice from a well-known firm — in the absence of clear case law and five years before the SEC even talked about digital assets — is commendable.”
According to attorney James Filan, the leaked documents are “generally favorable” for Ripple. In the first February 2012 consultation, the lawyers stressed that if NewCoin [previously known as XRP] was distributed under an ICO-like process, the SEC would likely consider it a security.
In the same year, Ripple revised its business plan and again turned to Perkins Coie. In October, lawyers noted XRP tokens should not be considered securities, but there is a risk that the SEC will not agree with these conclusions.