Pro-XRP attorney John Deaton has been honored with the inaugural Defender of Freedom Award by the International Congress of Blockchain Legal Advisors (ICBLA). This award recognizes individuals and entities that have displayed exemplary dedication to upholding freedom in the crypto community, and Deaton’s selection for this honor comes with a $5,000 prize.
The Achievements Of Deaton
Deaton’s work in the crypto space, particularly concerning the digital asset XRP, has been pivotal. He empowered digital asset owners to counteract SEC enforcement actions, creating a strategy that many view as a defense against the SEC’s broad attempts at regulation, an official press release by ICBLA states.
His dedication to the cause was evident as he represented tens of thousands of XRP holders in the notable case of SEC v. Ripple Labs et al. without charging a fee. Highlighting the importance of Deaton’s contributions, the summary judgment by Judge Torres in the SEC vs. Ripple Labs case referenced Deaton’s amicus brief.
Daniel Payne, an ICBLA senior fellow, commented on the award’s relevance, saying, “The Defender of Freedom award is unique in the crypto world. It represents a commitment to safeguarding the very essence of the crypto world– the freedom to innovate, grow, and transform the global business landscape. We applaud John’s creation of a new paradigm: federal judges now grapple with non-party token holders early and often.”
James Murphy, a leading securities lawyer and a respected voice in crypto legal commentary, weighed in on Deaton’s recognition. He said, “I can’t think of a better choice for the Defender of Freedom award. John represents something in short supply in our society—a real, authentic hero. John’s selfless service is in the finest traditions of the Marine Corps where he retired as a Major. He lives by the motto—Semper Fi—always faithful.”
XRP Community Propelled His Efforts
In a detailed post on X (formerly Twitter), Deaton delved deeper into his journey, emphasizing the collaborative fight against the perceived injustice by the SEC. Deaton started by underscoring the award’s collective nature: “I accepted this generous award on behalf of 75K people who were willing to fight back.”
He expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support, with over 12,600 individuals initially joining his motion to intervene in the case, a move that marked a departure from traditional SEC enforcement actions. “When I filed a Motion to Intervene, 12,600 people joined, asking the judge to become actual defendants in the case… NEVER had thousands of investors petitioned a Court to be sued.”
Deaton also elaborated on the SEC’s tactics, criticizing their attempt to provide testimony without firsthand accounts from XRP holders. The attorney credited the collective voice of the XRP community for preventing such tactics, stating, “We didn’t let the SEC gaslight the Judge… That nonsense was excluded by the Judge b/c we offered 3,600 Affidavits.”
Deaton highlighted key moments when collective action swayed judicial opinion, citing specific instances where community members like Naomi Brockwell in the LBRY case played a pivotal role. “Judge Torres in a footnote cites the January 30, 2023 hearing where I asked the Judge to clarify his ruling… If Naomi doesn’t grant me permission to represent her, and go against the SEC, that footnote by Judge Torres never occurs.”
He concluded by reiterating that the award he received was a testament to the collective spirit of the entire XRP community and their refusal to be silenced. “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.”
At press time, XRP traded at $0.50719.
Featured image from PR Newswire, chart from TradingView.com