WHO IS WILLIAM HINMAN?
Now let’s look at the man that was Jay Clayton’s first appointment after his confirmation as SEC Chair – William Hinman. First, let’s review what we already know regarding his all too obvious wheeling and dealing from his time at the SEC.
As most people know by now, Hinman declared ether to not be a security in 2018 while receiving millions from his previous employer, law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Simpson Thacher is a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and thus has a vested interest in the token’s success.
Hinman rejoined Simpson Thacher in early 2021 after leaving the SEC.
More recently, Hinman was named an advisory partner at Andreessen Horowitz’s $2.2 billion cryptocurrency focused fund, setting him up for further profit from the things he said and did while at the SEC.
What you may have missed is that he also joined a venture capital company called &vest that has raised three SPACs, shell companies used by big name investors to avoid the normal IPO process, worth hundreds of millions of dollars each. Coincidentally, Hinman’s position as the Director of Corporation Finance gave him a direct hand in designing the SEC’s policy surrounding SPACs.
Nothing to see there, right? Just some guy that made a couple of statements that massively impacted the cryptocurrency industry who held senior positions at firms before and after his tenure at the SEC who has direct financial interests in what he said. We know now that is bogus.
Second, we’d like to bring up his Chinese connections that other members of the XRP Army have only just delved into. These are facts, not theories.
By now, you should know that while at Simpson Thacher, Hinman worked on Alibaba’s NYSE IPO alongside Jay Clayton. Through that offering, the pair helped bring $25 billion of investment into a Chinese mega-corporation, headed by Chinese Communist Party member Jack Ma.
Hinman’s relationship with Alibaba continued right up to when he was appointed to the SEC.
He did work for Ant Group, Alibaba’s subsidiary that controls Alipay, on the bid to buy U.S. based financial services company Moneygram, an organization that allows people to make cross border payments.
He was paid by Alibaba and Ant Financial Services Group until he was appointed by the SEC. He was not required to disclose any payments received after 2017.
The figure you may not have heard of yet is Leiming Chen. Chen was a partner at Simpson Thacher alongside Hinman and had already racked up plenty of experience bringing Chinese companies to foreign markets before the Alibaba IPO.
As you’ll see in the next chapter, Simpson Thacher’s connections to China are cause for concern and implicate Hinman in a scheme unlike any other we’ve seen in the cryptocurrency space.