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Top SEC anti-crypto lawyer jumps ship, defects to a crypto law firm

Top SEC anti-crypto lawyer jumps ship, defects to a crypto law firm

In a surprising twist of events, one of the top anti-cryptocurrency attorneys at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who played a major role in multiple anti-crypto actions, Ladan Stewart, has left the regulatory agency and defected to a pro-crypto law firm, White & Case.

As it happens, Stewart, who was the leader of the enforcement division and the crypto and cyber litigation unit at the SEC and familiar to the crypto community for her anti-crypto efforts, has recently changed her tune and joined the crypto law firm as a partner, Bloomberg Law reported on February 21.

Indeed, she highlighted that her plan was to devote attention to developing a crypto and cyber defense practice at White & Case, considering the industry’s growing presence in the mainstream, heightened by the SEC’s recent approval of the first spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF).

“Crypto is here to stay—that’s become very clear with the launch of a slew of Bitcoin ETFs (…) Given the complexity and the turbulent enforcement arena, legal questions surrounding crypto are going to be at the forefront for some time.”

From anti-crypto to pro-crypto

As a reminder, Stewart was part of the SEC’s anti-crypto crusade that saw multiple legal standoffs against major players in the crypto arena, including last June’s lawsuit against one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, Coinbase, over allegedly operating as an unregistered securities broker.

Furthermore, she also participated in the securities watchdog’s court battle against blockchain company Ripple, where she “played a role in many of the Commission’s disastrous motions and hearings,” as observed in an X post by the crypto legal and regulatory news portal CryptoLaw on February 22.

Commenting on the news, pseudonymous crypto and blockchain analyst MartyParty wondered whether White & Case could “be the firm to take on Gary Gensler and end this charade once and for all?” referring to the SEC chairman and the crypto market’s nemesis in an X post on February 21.

Overall, Stewart’s transition from an anti-crypto to a pro-crypto position indeed illustrates the growing positive attitude toward digital assets not just among the mainstream crowd but from the opposite side of the court as well, fuelling the hope for the establishment of a clear crypto regulatory framework in the US.

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