Ripple’s general counsel has left the company at an awkward time

Out of office.
Out of office.
Image: Reuters/Chris Helgren
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The general counsel of one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency companies has departed her post. Ripple confirmed to Quartz that Brynly Llyr is no longer with the payment and remittance network. Per Llyr’s LinkedIn profile, she had served as Ripple’s general counsel since November 2016, and before that held senior legal roles at PayPal and eBay. The news of departure was reported first in Quartz’s Private Key newsletter.

“We’re grateful for all that she did to help build an incredible team,” a Ripple spokesperson said. “We wish Brynly all the best in her next endeavor and the team here at Ripple looks forward to the next chapter, where we will continue to pave the way in this ever-evolving and unchartered industry.”

Llyr could not be reached for comment.

Ripple is gearing up for a class-action battle about whether its XRP cryptocurrency is a security or not, and has bolstered its legal team by retaining heavyweights like former US Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White and the regulator’s former director of enforcement, Andrew Ceresney. Although Llyr is an experienced attorney with impressive credentials, she doesn’t have the same sway as some of these other legal advisors. Still, the turnover on Ripple’s in-house legal team comes at an awkward time, given the impending case.

Ripple has argued that XRP, which was created before the company was officially formed, is not a security. If it is a security, defined as investment in a common enterprise with a value that can be influenced by a promoter, Ripple faces strict requirements for things like registration and disclosure. The company owns huge reserves of the crypto asset, and has touted plans to use XRP for payments. The case, which is being heard in federal court, could reverberate—or ripple, you could say—throughout the cryptocurrency industry, as other token issuers may also face increased scrutiny for dealing in unregistered securities.