Ultimate XRP Resource (#GotBitcoin?)
A new amended complaint against Ripple draws on the SEC’s framework for digital assets to outline how XRP might be a security – likely the first federal case to do so. Ultimate XRP Resource (#GotBitcoin?)
The filing also cites California advertising law, in addition to federal securities law, to argue that investors were misled by Ripple’s promotion of XRP.
While the case is a year old and has not yet received class-action status, the new complaint is the first that Ripple must respond to with a substantive answer.
Ripple Has Until Mid-September To File Its Response
Investors in the cryptocurrency XRP have filed a new complaint against Ripple that marshals the Securities and Exchange Commission’s own words to argue that the startup illegally sold unregistered securities.
The amended complaint, filed Aug. 5 in a year-old lawsuit against Ripple, includes several new arguments and may be the first federal case to cite the SEC’s guidance for applying existing law and regulation to crypto tokens.
It also marks the first filing to which Ripple must directly respond by addressing the facts of the case. Four previous complaints were filed in California state court, but the company successfully moved to have these cases consolidated and shifted to federal court. Ripple has until Sept. 19 to file a response.
“That filing will be the first time in the already-long history of this litigation that Ripple will substantively respond to the allegations around XRP,” said Jake Chervinsky, general counsel at crypto lending startup Compound Finance.
The company has been in the legal crosshairs since May 2018, when investor Ryan Coffey filed the first of several lawsuits seeking class-action status against Ripple Labs, subsidiary XRP II, CEO Brad Garlinghouse and other individuals. XRP, which Ripple periodically sells, has “all the traditional hallmarks of a security,” Coffey claimed.
Investors Vladi Zakinov, Avner Greenwald and David Oconer filed similar suits shortly thereafter. The lawsuits were combined and moved to federal court in November.
While the suit has not yet been certified as a class action, law firms Susman Godfrey and Tayler-Copeland Law were appointed as co-lead counsel at the end of June, with investor Bradley Sostack being appointed as lead plaintiff. (Zakinov, Oconer and Greenwald were denied their own motion to be appointed as lead plaintiff.)
The new amended complaint lays out “a strong case against Ripple,” said Chervinsky, noting that Susman Godfrey is “one of the best plaintiff’s law firms in the U.S.” In particular, he highlighted that the complaint claims XRP is a security under both federal and California state law.
“This is important because California uses the ‘risk capital test’ in addition to the [federal] Howey test to determine whether a transaction qualifies as a security,” he explained. “The risk capital test is broader than the Howey test, meaning the plaintiffs could lose their federal securities claims and still win their state securities claims.”
The plaintiffs’ complaint is trying to tie the XRP Ledger, the distributed network underlying XRP (and therefore the cryptocurrency’s price), back to Ripple, said Rebecca Rettig, a partner at the law firm of Fisher Broyles, which is not involved in the case.
Ripple And Susman Godfrey Declined To Comment
Perhaps the most important difference between the new complaint and its predecessors is the citation of the SEC’s framework for analyzing whether a digital asset qualifies as a security.
“The Complaint reads like a love letter to the SEC,” Chervinsky said. “Although the SEC’s Framework is technically only non-binding guidance, the Court will likely give it significant weight in deciding how to apply the Howey test to the facts of this case.”
Rettig agreed, telling CoinDesk that “this is the first time we have seen the SEC’s Framework applied in a case in federal court.” She added:
“Although the framework on its own doesn’t have precedential value – meaning the court is not required to follow it – it will be very interesting to see how the court handles the utility of the framework in moving forward in determining whether XRP is a security.”
The SEC published the guidance in April, providing for the first time a specific roadmap for how it might assess digital assets.
Over the course of 11 pages, the amended complaint details how the plaintiffs believe XRP is a security based on the framework, stating that “XRP purchasers made an investment of money in a common enterprise”; “XRP investors had a reasonable expectation of profits”; and “the success of XRP requires efforts of Ripple and others”.
“Lead Plaintiff and the Class invested fiat and other digital currencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, to purchase XRP. As explained in the SEC Framework, investment of both fiat and digital currency meets the first prong of Howey,” the filing says.
Ripple and its affiliated parties are the common enterprise, the complaint alleges, saying that any profit the potential class might see “are intertwined with the fortunes of Ripple.”
The price of XRP is dependent on Ripple’s efforts, the lawsuit alleges. Investors would have expected the value of their holdings to grow based upon the efforts of the company.
The Complaint Goes On To Say:
“Lead Plaintiff and the Class have entirely passive roles vis-à-vis the success of the XRP Ledger and XRP. Rather, as Defendants’ own marketing makes clear, the success of the XRP Ledger, and the profits the Class reasonably expected to derive from investing in XRP, are dependent on the essential technical, entrepreneurial, and managerial efforts of Defendants and their agents and employees.”
Rettig noted that “each of the [factors in the SEC Framework] are based on underlying federal case law, so the litigants will likely rely upon these underlying cases and not simply the framework [itself].”
Tweets As Evidence
Like past complaints, last week’s filing points to public statements made by Ripple executives such as CEO Brad Garlinghouse and CTO David Schwartz to bolster its argument.
For example, Garlinghouse said in a 2017 CNBC interview that “people are looking at the success Ripple has been having as a company, and I think that’s increased the value of XRP,” according to the complaint.
Elsewhere, the complaint says Garlinghouse “conceded” that Ripple’s own self-interest is tied up “with building and maintaining a healthy XRP market.”
“The Complaint emphasizes Ripple’s own statements to prove that XRP investors had a reasonable expectation of profits flowing from Ripple’s managerial efforts,” Chervinsky noted. “This is similar to how the SEC framed its own Complaint against Kik,” the messaging app company that the SEC alleges violated securities laws when it raised $100 million during a 2017 token sale.
Beyond interviews, the complaint cites tweets that the plaintiffs believe demonstrate that Ripple indicated XRP’s price would rise due to work the company was doing.
Roughly 40 tweets are referenced in the filing, including tweets from the company, executives and other employees discussing exchange listings, Ripple’s XRP reserves and other marketing efforts. The complaint also references a Garlinghouse quote-tweet of a Motley Fool tweet which said companies using Ripple’s tools “could be a big deal for Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency” as an example.
“I’ve never seen so many citations to Twitter in a complaint before,” Chervinsky said.
(The suit also notes that Digital Currency Group, which holds a stake in Ripple, is also the parent company of CoinDesk, and cites a 2017 article on this website reporting that XRP’s price had risen above $1 for the first time ever as “one of many instances in which Ripple would promote XRP price movements.”
For the record: CoinDesk operates independently from the parent company, working in separate offices and maintaining strict policies on editorial independence and transparency.)
Beyond simply promoting XRP, the complaint hints that Ripple may have gone as far as to mislead the general public about which of its various products were being adopted.
“On April 26, 2017, Ripple tweeted a link to an article on its own site, proclaiming: ‘#Ripple welcomes 10 additional customers to our #blockchain #payments network.’ Neither this tweet nor the article it linked to informed readers that the blockchain payments network did not refer to the XRP Ledger, but rather Ripple’s xCurrent enterprise solution,” the complaint said, adding in the next paragraph:
“Just days later, on May 3, 2017, with the price of XRP continuing to rise, Ripple tweeted: ‘#Ripple adoption is sparking interest in XRP ‘which has had an impressive rally in the last two months’ via @Nasdaq.’”
Securities law aside, the lawsuit also adds new claims that have not appeared in previous filings in the case, Chervinsky noted.
“For the first time, the plaintiffs now claim that Ripple violated California’s false advertising and unfair competition laws by making fraudulent statements about the genesis, circulating supply, and adoption of XRP,” he said.
The fact that this complaint is in federal court may have helped the plaintiffs. Chervinsky explained:
“Interestingly, the plaintiffs probably couldn’t have alleged those claims on behalf of a global ‘class’ — all persons or entities who purchased XRP — if Ripple had left the case in California state court instead of removing it to federal court.”
According to the filing, Sostack and his fellow plaintiffs are looking for Ripple to reimburse them for their losses.
For the lead plaintiff, those losses total $118,100, according to the complaint, but the full size of the losses allegedly incurred by the class has not yet been calculated.
More significantly, the plaintiffs want the court to declare that XRP is a security, which could have an impact on Ripple’s ability to continue selling XRP from its reserves, as well as potentially limit who can acquire the token.
Other prayers for relief include the plaintiffs wanting Ripple to pay for all legal fees and have the court award any other damages that might be warranted.
Ripple now has 45 days from August 5 to answer the complaint, and could file a response (like Kik Interactive did to the SEC) or a motion to dismiss.
SEC Is Bringing ‘Thor’s Hammer’ Against Ripple, Warns Tone Vays
Ripple is coming under fire from a serial Bitcoin (BTC) proponent this week after news emerged a lawsuit against the company has intensified.
Ripple will feel U.S. regulators’ wrath, says Vays
Ripple, which notionally controls the token known as XRP, is currently being taken to court by an investor, Bradley Sostack, who claims the company engaged in selling unregistered securities.
As Cointelegraph reported, the stakes increased this week, after Sostack amended his original claim to include fresh guidance from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
According to reports, the SEC’s latest pronouncements lend weight to Sostack’s argument, and a filing now shows Ripple must respond to the accusations next month.
Commenting on the events meanwhile, Tone Vays, the veteran trader and host of the Bitcoin Law Review podcast, levelled harsh criticism at Ripple.
“The SEC is bringing Thor’s Hammer,” he wrote on Twitter Aug. 14, openly calling XRP a scam token. Vays promised to debate the lawsuit in the next episode of the podcast.
Controversy surrounding both Ripple and XRP has been almost constant in recent years. Conflicting statements about the company’s relationship to the token, along with the notorious behavior of their social media supporters, have earned the third-largest cryptocurrency an unenviable reputation.
In a separate development this week, cryptocurrency exchange Beaxy announced it had stopped trading after a coordinated attack on Ripple saw a huge sell-off on its order book, driving down XRP prices by 40% on the exchange.
XRP/BTC is currently trading at its lowest level since November 2017.
XRP Community Is Threatening A ‘Takeover’ If Ripple Execs Keep Dumping
Anger about the negative market consequences of Ripple selling XRP to its clients is prompting token holders to conceive of ever-more ingenious means to fight back.
In a tweet published on Aug. 26, Twitter user @CryptoBitlord quipped to his 102,000 followers about his latest scheme for a community effort, writing:
“I’m thinking about forking $XRP so we don’t have to deal with the founders dumping. — This will be a community effort. Retweet if you’re in.”
Crypto Bitlord’s anger has spilled over beyond witticisms; 3 weeks ago, he started a change.org petition entitled “Stop Ripple dumping,” which has secured almost 2,500 signatures by press time.
“We Will Stage A Community Takeover”
Earlier today, Crypto Bitlord tweeted to Ripple’s CEO and CTO:
“Brad Garlinghouse, Joel Katz, you now have 60 days to stop dumping XRP or we will stage a community takeover. If it’s a decentralized network like you say, we have the power to do it.”
As previously reported, Ripple’s quarterly reports have consistently revealed the high number of XRP tokens the company is selling to fund its investments in different firms that have the potential to grow the XRP ecosystem and to fund its operations.
The most recent, published late July, revealed a quarter-to-quarter increase of XRP sales of around 48%. Ripple, however, noted at the time that it had decided to temporarily pause programmatic sales and put limits on institutional sales. It also pledged to decrease future token sales substantially.
As XRP’s Value Continues To Sink, This Has Done Little To Calm Investors.
Garlinghouse was today prompted to respond to what he characterized as the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) surrounding the project, attributing it to questionable sources. He added:
“XRP sales are about helping expand XRP’s utility — building RippleNet & supporting other biz building w/XRP ie Dharma & Forte. Reality is we DECREASED our sales by volume Q/Q and since then the inflation rate of XRP circulating supply has been lower than that of BTC and ETH.”
The Security Classification Hangover
In addition to responding to allegations of purported dumping, Garlinghouse also alluded — but refrained to comment in detail on — recent amendments to an ongoing class action suit against Ripple, in which an investor has alleged that the firm sold XRP as an unregistered security in violation of federal law.
The new filing notably cited guidance issued by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to corroborate its claim that XRP counts as a security.
Garlinghouse briefly responded, stating that “SEC guidance isn’t issued by the Commission and isn’t law, rule or regulation,” and noting that the United Kingdom and others have come out clearly against a securities classification for the token.
Ripple Avoids XRP Question As It Moves To Dismiss Securities Lawsuit
Blockchain network Ripple has filed a controversial motion to dismiss a lawsuit accusing it of selling unregistered securities.
Ripple: Securities Ruling Beyond Scope Of The Court
In a court filing uploaded by Fortune on Sept. 20, lawyers representing the company against investor Bradley Sostack dismissed the claims.
Part of an ongoing legal battle, Sostack says Ripple’s sales of XRP in 2013 constituted an unlawful securities offering.
Ripple denies this, but the case has thrown up wider concerns over the legality of Ripple’s operations regarding XRP. As Cointelegraph reported, executives have refused to acknowledge the company’s relationship to the token, despite their huge personal holdings and continuing sell-offs.
“Court Need Not Resolve Whether XRP Is A Security”
Now, fresh suspicions are swirling after the lawyers’ motion to dismiss failed to address the securities aspect of XRP at all.
“Because of the multiple, independent grounds for dismissing this action, the Court need not resolve whether XRP is a security or currency for purposes of this Motion, which assumes Plaintiff’s allegation that XRP is a security,” a section reads.
The substance of the filing attracted attention from crypto-focused lawyer Jake Chervinsky.
“They make twelve separate arguments for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims. Not a single one squarely addresses whether XRP is an unregistered security,” he summarized on Twitter on Friday.
The latest developments appeared to have little impact on XRP markets — with the token continuing to trade flat over the past 24 hours at just under $0.30.
Blockchain Firm Ripple Fuses xRapid, xVia And xCurrent Into RippleNet
Ripple, the blockchain firm behind crypto asset XRP, fused three of its services into features of its RippleNet offering.
Industry news outlet CryptoNews reported the change in Ripple’s product offering on Oct. 9.
Little More Than The Names Changed
Per the report, a company’s spokesperson explained that now, “instead of buying xCurrent or xVia, customers will connect to RippleNet — on-premises or through the cloud — and instead of buying xRapid, clients will use On-Demand Liquidity.” The Ripple representative also said:
“Other than the names of the product, very few things have changed and will not affect our customers.”
More Than A Software Suite
The company reportedly believes that moving from a suite of services to offer a network to its customers is a natural evolution of its strategy due to the growth of its user base and development of its standard. He concluded:
“RippleNet Is More Than Just A Suite Of Software.”
As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, alluding to the spate of controversies that have beset the project, Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, argued that Ripple’s “transparency has opened us up to attack.” He said that there is a “bunch of misinformation” out there, but claimed that this is in part because Ripple is “ten or a hundred times more transparent than anyone in the crypto community.”
Ripple Files Last Bid To Dismiss XRP Securities Lawsuit Before Court Meeting
Even if XRP were a security, the investors suing Ripple brought their case far too late for it to proceed, the company said in a new filing.
Further, subsequent arguments made by the plaintiffs contradict their original claims, Ripple said in the Dec. 4 filing with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
It’s the latest document filed in the back-and-forth since a federal court appointed Bradley Sostack the lead plaintiff in the ongoing case. Sostack filed his initial amended complaint in August 2019. The plaintiffs claim the company sold XRP as an unregistered security to retail investors.
The filing largely reiterated arguments Ripple made in an earlier motion to dismiss the case: that the amended complaint filed in August missed a legal deadline to pursue claims after an event; that the lead plaintiff still hasn’t been able to show that he bought XRP from any of the defendants (or during an initial offering); and that the claims that XRP is a security conflict with the plaintiff’s claims under California’s state consumer protection law.
As such, Ripple once again has sidestepped the most important question the case poses for the digital asset industry: whether XRP, the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, is a security under U.S. law.
“XRP is not a security, but that is irrelevant for purposes of this motion. Even if XRP were a security, Plaintiff’s claims still fail as a matter of law,” the filing said (emphasis from the original document).
The filing is the last before the parties meet in court next month to argue over the motion to dismiss.
Ship Has Sailed?
Despite the plaintiff’s claims that Ripple’s engaged in an ongoing offering of securities, the filing said, Ripple first began selling XRP in 2013, meaning any case brought after the three-year statute of repose should be dismissed.
“The Court’s passing reference to the statute of repose running ‘from the defendant’s last culpable act (the offering of the securities),’ … does not upend the ‘first-offered’ rule,” the filing said, referencing a number of other court cases which supported this argument.
The statute of repose argument was successfully used by defendants in a number of mortgage-backed securities cases several years ago, Rebecca Rettig, a partner at FisherBroyles, previously told CoinDesk.
Ripple reply also took aim at a line in the plaintiff’s response, filed Nov. 4, which said “Ripple issues new XRP from escrow for the first time each month for sale to the public.”
According to the Dec. 4 filing, this argument contradicts the plaintiff’s original amended complaint, which said “all 100 billion XRP were created out of thin air by Ripple in 2013, prior to its distribution to investors.”
(A bullet point in the new filing further claims that the modifications plaintiff alleged changed XRP were actually made to “Rippled,” the software underpinning the XRP ledger.)
The filing also takes aim once again at claims that Ripple sold the XRP to the plaintiff, claiming that there was a “one-in-ten-thousand chance” that this could have occurred.
According to the filing, “Ripple’s alleged exchange sales of XRP accounted for .095 percent—less than one-tenth of one percent—of the total volume of XRP sold on exchanges” during the time period Sostack said he bought XRP.
The parties will meet in court on Jan. 15, 2020.
Messenger Giant Line’s Crypto Exchange To Delist XRP This Month
BitBox, the Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange operated by internet messaging giant Line, announced that it will delist XRP on Jan. 16.
Cointelegraph Japan reported BitBox’s decision earlier today. The announcement published on the exchange’s website on Jan. 6 read:
“We keep a constant watch on all coins that are being traded on BITBOX. If a coin does not meet our standards based on its performance, reliability, liquidity, or law and regulatory requirements, it will be delisted from our exchange. To protect your assets and interests, we provide sufficient notice before delisting.”
The crypto asset in question will be delisted at midnight on Jan. 16 together with XRP trading pairs with Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Tether (USDT).
BitBox recommended that its users cancel all their trades before the delisting takes place. After XRP is delisted, BitBox’s customers will have until midnight Feb. 16 to withdraw the coin.
Reasons Behind Delisting Unclear
As of press time, BitBox has not answered Cointelegraph’s request for clarification regarding its decision to delist XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization at $9.4 billion.
Looking at CoinMarketCap’s BitBox volume data, only 0.02% of the exchange’s volume came from XRP trading.
BitBox was launched in June 2018 by Line, the firm behind a major Japanese social messaging app. The firm started facilitating crypto trading globally with the exclusion of the United States and Japan at first, but obtained a crypto exchange operating license from Japan’s financial regulator in September last year and expanded its operations as BitMax.
Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of the blockchain firm behind XRP, recently answered concerns that the company could control the crypto asset’s price due to the significance of its holdings. He claimed that the firm does not want to “dump” its associated XRP cryptocurrency despite selling huge amounts of it and strongly denied the company could influence the XRP price.
What Impact Would A Ripple IPO Have On XRP Price?
Blockchain payment network Ripple launching an initial public offering (IPO) could, in fact, devalue the cryptocurrency in which it holds a majority stake.
According to several market participants interviewed by Cointelegraph over the weekend, Ripple going public has potential implications for the fate of altcoin XRP.
Ripple IPO: Boom Or Bust For XRP?
The company’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, last week hinted an IPO may occur within the next year.
In the face of flagging XRP prices, the impetus behind a major fundraising event is clear for commentators, but whether it would reverse the token’s fortunes is not at all clear.
“Though Ripple is making inroads, it is yet to disrupt the global money transfer system in a major way,” regular Cointelegraph contributor and analyst Rakesh Upadhyay said. “Initially, after the IPO, the market participants might be patient but they will soon seek results. When the results don’t come through, it will hurt prices.”
For Upadhyay, Ripple’s lack of progress despite its various deals with major banks and other businesses means harder times are still to come.
A telltale sign that liquidity remains problematic is Ripple’s mass selloffs of XRP. As Cointelegraph reported, these were bigger in 2019 than ever before. Even the IPO announcement failed to move XRP/USD significantly higher.
“A sharp fall in price will make it difficult for Ripple to raise money. It has been selling tokens, which shows that it is not making enough money to fund its operations. But unlike before, after the IPO, Ripple will also not be able to sell tokens without announcing beforehand. When announced, this will again hurt prices.”
A Different Kind Of Selloff
The idea of an IPO becoming a straightjacket for Ripple was echoed by the head of Cointelegraph Markets Allen Scott.
For him, the IPO would be a litmus test for buyer appetites already under scrutiny after the XRP selloffs.
“Many see Ripple selling XRP regularly as a recurring ‘IPO’ already sans shareholder rights,” he said.
“So this might actually hurt Ripple — it would put into question not only its operational costs and business model of dumping on the market but more importantly, the existence of XRP.”
By contrast, for fellow contributor and ex-eToro analyst Mati Greenspan, an IPO could allow Ripple to strengthen its position vis-a-vis XRP.
“My feeling is that it would be positive. Additional funding for Ripple would mean less reason to sell off tokens,” he summarized.
Perhaps predictably, prominent XRP investors share even less of the sense of foreboding. Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch and hedge fund Arrington XRP Capital, told followers to “disregard FUD” around the IPO.
“It’s healthy, and awesome if/when it happens,” he tweeted on Jan. 24 in the wake of Garlinghouse’s announcement.
Financial Firm SBI Holdings To Offer XRP Cryptocurrency As Shareholders’ Benefit
Japan’s crypto-friendly financial services company SBI Holdings will give shareholders the option to receive the XRP cryptocurrency as a benefit.
SBI announced on Friday shareholders could either take the benefit in XRP or another product offered by health food and cosmetics subsidiary SBI Alapromo.
Under the scheme, new shareholders on the company’s registry as of the starting date of March 31 can accept XRP to the value of 2,000 yen (around $18), while those who’ve been shareholders for over a year will receive 8,000 yen ($73.50) in the cryptocurrency.
The Alapromo alternatives include cosmetics, health supplements and brown rice powder. All shareholders are being given a 50-percent discount on supplements and cosmetics sold by the subsidiary.
There is caveat for those who would take the XRP benefit: they must be resident in Japan and have an account at SBI’s cryptocurrency exchange VC Trade, which launched in 2018 as the first crypto trading platform backed by a bank.
SBI has been one of the most active corporations in crypto and blockchain. As well as the exchange, it has a crypto mining division that recently was reported to be involved in potentially the world’s biggest bitcoin mine under development in Texas.
The firm has also formed a joint venture with Ripple, which is involved in the development of XRP, to offer a cash transfer app called Money Tap. That project has seen participation from a number of Japanese banks.
It has further teamed with blockchain consortium startup R3 to market R3’s Corda platform in Japan and the region. Also announced by SBI on Friday, Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui agreed to join that venture with a view to potentially using Corda technology.
Ripple Co-founder Jed McCaleb Sold a Billion XRP and Has 4.7B Left
Analysis by blockchain monitor Whale Alert suggests that Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb sold off more than one billion XRP between 2014 and 2019.
In a Medium post published on Feb. 6, Whale Alert estimated that McCaleb has another 4.7 billion XRP left to sell, equating to around 5% of the total supply. At today’s prices, the hoard is worth more than one billion U.S. dollars, dwarfing the $135 million Whale Alert estimates he has made via XRP sales to date.
McCaleb sold another 19 million, or $4.13 million worth last month — and Whale Alert believes the rate may increase this year as the agreements limiting his XRP sales expire. Specifically:
“At the current rate it would take him around 20 years to sell all of it, however, his activities have been limited by the settlement agreement with Ripple, which is likely to expire sometime in 2020.”
The news alarmed some XRP holders on Twitter.
“We didn’t want to alarm people, but I hope they now have a better view of what’s going on,” Whale Alert told Cointelegraph.
Whale Alert monitors blockchains and issues notifications on Twitter and Telegram about large movements of cryptocurrency.
90,000 transactions analyzed
Whale Alert posted the addresses it had identified as belonging to McCaleb, which it traced via the information on his blog, forum posts and the public ledger.
“By analyzing over 90,000 transactions we were able to track around 8 billion XRP to Ripple, a settlement account and his personal accounts from which he actively sells.”
It said he sold off the 1.05 billion XRP almost exclusively through Bitstamp.
Whale Alert was unable to determine if McCaleb’s sales had affected the price of XRP but said: “because he is exclusively selling XRP, he is adding to the net amount available.”
MoneyGram Reveals Real-Time Remittance Tech, Based On Visa Not Ripple
Remittances giant MoneyGram announced a new service allowing real-time money sending, but the solutions of its blockchain partner Ripple are not involved.
MoneyGram recently announced FastSend, a new service that allows its customers to send money in real-time to a phone number via a dedicated website or mobile application. Still, the firm’s answers to Cointelegraph’s inquiries revealed that surprisingly MoneyGram’s latest product does not make use of Ripple’s technology.
You Don’t Need Blockchain For Real-Time Settlements
Kamila Chytil, MoneyGram Chief Operating Officer explained to Cointelegraph that FastSend uses Visa’s Direct Original Credit Transaction to deliver funds to bank accounts through Debit card deposit.
While DLT is not involved, the dedicated website and app make use of an open source cloud-based micro services. Chytil also pointed out that while Ripple is not involved in this service, the firm uses blockchain-based extensively in other areas:
“Today, MoneyGram is utilizing Ripple’s On Demand Liquidity product which allows MoneyGram to trade FX at a corporate level using XRP. It’s a back-end treasury function that’s not consumer facing. The technology is helping to solve the most expensive and time consuming aspect of the current process by reducing the amount of money the company needs to park around the world, which will eventually reduce working capital needs.”
Furthermore, Chytil said that MoneyGram is also evaluating other use cases “where blockchain could help solve data privacy and regulatory obligations through distributed ledger technology.” Overall, she spoke highly of DLT and cryptocurrencies, noting that the firm believes blockchain to be the future of global cross-border payments and money transfers.
Chytil also praised the cryptocurrency market for being always active — unlike traditional markets — and the ability of crypto assets to shorten the delivery times of the currency. Lastly, she said that MoneyGram is looking at multiple use cases to maximize the use of Ripple’s tools and is integrating with the latest version of Ripple’s service suite to offer cash-out service to all network members.
Ripple is seeing increasing adoption among financial institutions as a provider of DLT services. This month, Bangladesh-based Bank Asia — which holds over $3.4 billion of assets — has joined Ripple’s RippleNet blockchain-based financial services network.
Ripple’s crypto asset XRP, also recently hit a 7-month high of $0.33 as Cointelegraph reported yesterday. Still, over the last 25 hours to press time the cryptocurrency later lost about 7.82% of its value.
Lawsuit Alleging Ripple’s XRP Is Unregistered Security Moves Forward
A United States federal district court has decided to allow a lawsuit alleging that Ripple’s XRP crypto asset is an unregistered security.
Court documents filed on Feb. 26 reveal that Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the Court of the Northern District of California ruled to only partially grant Ripple’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit against it.
The lawsuit in question was initiated in August 2019 by XRP investor Bradley Sostack, who alleges that the firm misled investors and sold XRP as an unregistered security in violation of federal law.
The lawsuit is looking for the recognition of XRP as a security and the awarding of damages to all investors as well as the cost of the legal actions.
The judge dismissed claims of personal liability against Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and claims of false advertising by the firm. A claim that the company violated California state law was also dismissed.
Still, the court did not grant Ripple’s motion claiming that even if XRP was a security, a lawsuit would have to be dismissed since it was sold over three years ago. The reason this motion was not granted is that Ripple is still selling XRP.
Is XRP’s Future Uncertain?
Ripple’s September motion to dismiss the lawsuit completely failed to address the securities aspect of XRP. Crypto-focused lawyer Jake Chervinsky pointed out at the time:
“They make twelve separate arguments for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims. Not a single one squarely addresses whether XRP is an unregistered security.”
The consequences of Ripple’s XRP being classified as a security could be catastrophic for the altcoin in question. The motion to dismiss reads:
“Were Plaintiff allowed to belatedly challenge the classification of XRP, it would not only threaten to eliminate XRP’s utility as a currency, but it would upend and threaten to destroy the established XRP market more broadly […] potentially wiping out the value held by the alleged thousands of individual XRP holders around the world.”
XRP Army Exposer Sues Twitter For Account Suspension
Data scientist Geoff Golberg has sued Twitter for banning his account after he used insulting language toward a bot.
Golberg, the co-founder of blockchain analytics company Elementus and an academic at the University of Colorado, was banned from Twitter on July 29, 2019, for engaging in “abusive behavior.”
In the lawsuit, Golberg emphasizes that the very existence of the inauthentic account violated Twitter’s terms of service. He states he was banned for using the words “idiot” and “moron” specifically.
The case was prepared by crypto legal veterans Stephen Palley and Preston Byrne of Anderson Kill. The plaintiff is seeking damages of between $25,000 and $50,000 and the reactivation of his account — which commanded a following of more than 12,000.
Claims Of A Contractual Relationship With Twitter
According to the suit, Golberg is suing Twitter for a breach of their contractual agreement.
The researcher asserts that Twitter accounts are not free, arguing: “User data is the currency that all users provide to Twitter for access, and it becomes a valuable asset that Twitter then sells to platform advertisers.”
Golberg also spent $38,000 to promote various posts on the social media platform over a decade, characterizing his affiliation with Twitter as a business relationship.
While the claim acknowledges that Twitter “enjoys broad discretion to grant, deny, modify, or revoke permission to moderate content on or use its platform at any time,” Golber argues that said discretion cannot be exercised arbitrarily:
“That discretion is not unlimited, and under New York law cannot be exercised arbitrarily and in bad faith any more than a ticket seller could sell a baseball fan a ticket to a baseball game, keep the fan’s money, and then deny the fan entry to the ball park simply because the fan happens to root for the visiting team.”
Golberg Exposes Bot Networks On Twitter
Golberg has spent many years analyzing and exposing inauthentic and bot accounts on Twitter. Through his research, he has exposed networks of fake accounts promoting the XRP token, accounts associated with an Iranian political organization, and the Billboard Music Awards, among others.
In the lawsuit, Golberg states he was “frequently mass reported by nefarious actors seeking to silence his voice,” and received several death threats sent over the platform.
A malicious actor has also leaked confidential information relating to his identity on Twitter — known as “doxxing.” Golberg asserts the account that doxed him remains active on Twitter to this day.
Ripple CTO Sees YouTube Channel Suspended Amid Lawsuit
Ripple’s CTO recently saw his YouTube channel suspended as antics persist on the platform.
Ripple CTO, David Schwartz, reported that his YouTube channel was suspended on April 29. This news comes several days after his company filed a lawsuit against the social media platform, although the two events may not be related.
“Weirdly, YouTube just decided to suspend my channel (SJoelKatz) for impersonation,” Schwartz said in a Tweet. “I wonder who they think I was impersonating.”
The Suspension Comes After Ripple’s Lawsuit Against Youtube
The CTO’s YouTube suspension occurred roughly eight days after his company, Ripple Labs, and company CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, filed a legal claim against the social video platform.
The lawsuit stated that YouTube did not remove impersonators and nefarious parties advertising false giveaways of XRP, the crypto asset associated with the company.
Such scams have plagued the crypto industry for years, in one form or another. The scams often include urging the public to send some amount of cryptocurrency, with the promise of receiving a larger amount in return.
Schwartz’s Suspension Comes During Youtube’s Crypto Channel Banning Spree
Over the past several months, YouTube has banned a number of high-profile crypto YouTubers and videos, seemingly in waves. The platform subsequently restored many of the channels, sometimes after only one day of downtime. The problem, however, still reportedly persists.
It is unclear whether the ban has anything to do with Ripple’s recent lawsuit. Cointelegraph reached out to Schwartz and YouTube for comment, but received no response as of press time.
In light of the recent bans, Cointelegraph recently reported on a number of decentralized social video platform alternatives.
MoneyGram Reports ‘Quiet Quarter’ For Ripple Partnership
Major cross-border payments company MoneyGram has reported a “quiet quarter” with regards to its partnership with Ripple.
During an earnings call for Q1 2020, MoneyGram chairman and chief executive, Alexander Holmes, revealed that it was a “quiet quarter” regarding the firm’s partnership with blockchain payments company Ripple (XRP).
Ripple first announced its “strategic partnership” with the Nasdaq-listed money transfer company during June 2019. The partnership’s initial term was set at two years, with Ripple providing a capital commitment of up to $50 million over 24 months in exchange equity.
The announcement was also slated to see Ripple act as MoneyGram’s “key partner for cross-border payment and foreign exchange settlement using digital assets.”
Ripple Partnership ‘Quiet’ During Q1 For MoneyGram
Despite Ripple drumming up high expectations for the partnership, MoneyGram’s CEO stated that Q1 2020 was “quiet” in terms of Ripple’s services.
“I would say it was a little bit of a relatively quiet quarter, in the sense of really pushing anything particularly new into the market or expanding the service.”
“We did a lot of that in the back half of last year, and really got going on a number of new corridors for that service,” Holmes noted.
MoneyGram To Use Ripple In New Markets And Services
Despite expressing happiness with the deal thus far, Holmes’ comments indicate that Ripple is still yet to solidify its services or target market:
“We continue to flex with them as they continue to expand the service and move some things around, and really figure out what they want, the product to look and feel like, and how they want to take that to various markets. So I think it’ll change over time. I think the results of what we’re doing will vary by quarter and by month.”
“But, yes, it’s been a good partnership, and definitely pleased with what we’ve been doing,” he added.
Ripple Used For Testing New Services And Markets
Looking forward, Holmes expects that the partnership will generate revenues from experiments into “new services and new corridors.“
Holmes’ comments come shortly after Robert Lisv, the CEO of major U.S.-Latin American remittance provider and Ripple partner, Intermex, revealed that the firms’ partnership will not see Ripple’s technology utilized in its core markets.
“So, you won’t really see us leveraging Ripple in our core markets. I think it will bring us more growth in newer markets in places where we’re exploring going into ancillary products,” he stated during Intermex’s March earnings call.
Lisv’s remarks directly contradicted Ripple’s Feb. 5 press release announcing the partnership, which claimed that the deal would “enabl[e] faster cross-border payments between the U.S. and Mexico.”
Ripple Hit With Another Lawsuit Alleging XRP Security Laws Violations
Bitcoin Manipulation Abatement LLC accuses Ripple and CEO Brad Garlinghouse of violating security laws while selling and marketing XRP.
Attorneys for a company called Bitcoin Manipulation Abatement LLC have filed a lawsuit in a U.S. federal district court alleging Ripple misled investors and sold XRP as an unregistered security in violation of federal law.
According to court documents filed May 1, the mysterious entity with little online presence accused Ripple and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brad Garlinghouse of raising more than a billion dollars through the sale and marketing of XRP as an unregistered security.
“…in order to drive demand for and thereby increase profits from the sale of XRP, Defendants have made a litany of false and misleading statements regarding XRP in violation of California’s securities laws, and false advertising and unfair competition laws.”
Bitcoin Manipulation Abatement LLC seeks to “recover damages” and “obtain other relief” related to the alleged violations.
The same firm also filed a $150 million lawsuit against crypto derivatives exchange FTX in November 2019 which was subsequently dismissed one month later. High profile members of the crypto community like Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao expressed his thoughts on the lawsuit claims, calling them “very far fetched”.
Ripple Facing Long-Running Lawsuit
The firm has faced its fair share of legal action, whether short lived or not, over its XRP token, currently the third most valuable by market cap. A class-action lawsuit brought in May 2018 — and currently moving forward — by attorneys for XRP investor Bradley Sostack has similar allegations of deceiving investors and violating securities laws.
While Sostack does seek damages and compensation for legal costs, one of his stated goals was the recognition of XRP as a security. However, an amendment filed on March 25 suggested he was hedging his bets on the possibility the court may not acknowledge it as such. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) has not yet taken a position on the matter.
Ripple’s XRP Ushers In Wallet Termination Capability
The XRP ledger network now has the ability to delete wallets, thanks to a community vote.
XRP users can now delete their wallets on the XRP network if they so desire — an update put in place after the community majority voted in favor of the change.
“After maintaining an 80% consensus during the mandatory 15-day voting period, the XRPL Deletable Accounts Amendment became enabled on May 8, 2020 at 4:29:30 UTC, through the ledger 55,313,921,” former XRP Center manager, Arturo Portilla, said in a May 8 tweet.
Users Can Delete Accounts On The Ledger
Ripple’s XRP runs on a distributed ledger. “An account in the XRP Ledger represents a holder of XRP and a sender of transactions,” XRPL.org notes.
The XRPL blog announced the upcoming feature in a post on May 6. “Only the owner of an account can delete it, though, since you have to send a transaction from the account to be deleted,” the post explained.
Terminating a wallet means that the account no longer exists on XRP’s present ledger, although the ledger’s unchangeable history will still show the wallet’s past activity, the post said. Sending 20 XRP or more to an old wallet, however, revives the dead account. Anyone can do this, but the wallet’s private keys are still necessary to manage the wallet.
The Update Is Live
The update is now in play, yielding the first account termination, as evident in Portilla’s tweets. Deleting an account also allows owners to gain back XRP stuck in old accounts as each wallet requires a minimum balance of 20 XRP, the XRP post detailed.
“For the first time in history, an XRPL account has been deleted,” he said tweet. Portilla added, “20 reserved XRP were released, 15 XRP were recovered and 5 XRP were burned as the transaction fee (as expected).”
XRP users now have two wallet options, “deletable accounts” and “non-deletable accounts,” as of the update, Portilla said. He also specified that accounts engulfed in certain functions, such as escrows for example, fall under the non-deletable wallet category.
The update from XRP also included other details, such as XRP Ledger number alterations.
Although Ripple and XRP continue waging forward, the coin is not yet out of the woods in terms of securities law violations. Ripple faced another lawsuit this week, alleging that XRP is an unregistered security.
US Consumer Protection Agency Recognizes XRP’s Potential In Remittance
A U.S. consumer protection agency shout outs Ripple and XRP cross-border settlements in a recent regulatory update.
The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has recognized the role of Ripple and XRP in cross-border transfers, a recent rule on remittance transfers shows.
According to the May 11 paper, the CFPB — a bureau tasked with protecting U.S. consumers in the financial sector — has been researching new trends on the remittance market. Among one of those developments is “the continued growth and expanding partnerships” of digital asset companies like Ripple, the agency noted.
The CFPB also highlighted that XRP can be used to effect settlement of cross-border money transfers, adding that the company’s suite of products could “allow banks and credit unions to know the exact final amount that recipients of remittance transfers will receive before they are sent.”
SWIFT’s Interpolable GPI Platform Was Also Mentioned
SWIFT’s global payments innovation (GPI) platform, which aims to accelerate remittance using existing infrastructure favored by hundreds of banks worldwide, was also mentioned in the report. SWIFT was considering putting its GPI solution on blockchain rails last year, but there’s been no update on that since.
Ripple Continues To Push For Adoption
Despite tipping its hat to Ripple, the U.S. bureau seems bearish about XRP seeing widespread adoption in the near future. The agency concluded that it is unlikely that reliance on the correspondent banking network will be eliminated “in the short-to-medium term” by any of the newer solutions, based on its estimations and feedback from market players.
Nonetheless, Ripple continues to aim for the financial mainstream. Last month, the crypto company’s partner and investor, Japanese financial juggernaut SBI Holdings, announced plans to integrate Ripple-powered settlements across ATMs in Japan.
According to data published by market research firm Fundstrat earlier in May, XRP has ranked among the weakest performing crypto assets in 2020.
Tether Unseats XRP As Third-Largest Crypto, Dwarfing Its Volume 25:1
The race for third place is still far from over.
Tether (USDT) has overtaken XRP to become the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, as Ripple fails to gain adoption amongst retail investors.
As for Ripple (XRP), it’s been a race to the bottom, its market cap has collapsed from a high around $130 billion in January 2018 to the current one under $9 billion. At one point XRP was jockeying for the number two position with Ether (ETH), however, currently, the combined market cap of XRP and USDT is still $5 billion behind Ether.
USDT Trading Volume Dwarfs XRP’s
Perhaps part of the problem for XRP is a lack of traction with retail investors. In terms of daily trading volume, USDT dwarfs XRP. USDT’s average daily volume in May has outpaced XRP’s by a factor of 25.
But this doesn’t mean that the race for third place is over. With a decent bull run, XRP could blow past its stablecoin rival, which cannot move up or down by more than a few percentage points.
Ripple Likely Sold XRP In An Unregistered Securities Offering
The former CFTC chair’s analysis stating that Ripple’s XRP is not a security might be wrong.
In recent months, a number of class-action lawsuits have been filed against Ripple for selling its XRP token in an unregistered securities offering. So far, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission has not published any official statement on this, which has kept everyone guessing.
To help put an end to the uncertainty, Chris Giancarlo, former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, published a paper last week arguing that Ripple’s XRP is not a security. Giancarlo is famous for helping establish the CFTC’s stance that Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) are not securities. So, it would seem that he is the right person to be making this case.
The only trouble is that Giancarlo is no longer working for the CFTC — he is now in private practice. Not only that, but he is also currently working for a law firm that is on Ripple’s payroll. Given the clear conflict of interest here, before reading the paper I prepared myself to expect some bias.
However, I never could have imagined how bad it would be.
I know this kills the suspense, but there’s no way to mince words here: The case made in Giancarlo’s paper for Ripple’s sale of XRP to not be considered a securities offering is nonsensical and absurd, so much so that it boggles my mind that Giancarlo was willing to publicly put his name on it.
Read on in today’s article as I go through Giancarlo’s analysis of whether or not the sale of XRP is a securities offering along with a real analysis of whether or not it is.
How To Know If A Token Offering Is A Securities Offering
The Howey Test is the SEC’s principal method of determining whether or not an investment is a securities offering. If it is, the issuer must either register the offering with the SEC or ensure that the offering fits within a recognized registration exemption.
As A Quick Refresher, The Howey Test Comprises Four Prongs That Were Established In A 1946 Supreme Court Case. The Ruling Was That An Investment Contract Exists Where There Is:
“A contract, transaction, or scheme whereby a person invests his money [prong one] in a common enterprise [prong two] and is led to expect profits [prong three] solely from the efforts of the promoter or a third party [prong four].”
In order for the sale of XRP to be considered a securities offering, it must meet every one of these prongs. If the offering fails even one of them, then it is not considered a securities offering.
Read on to see the case for how XRP stacks up against the Howey Test.
Investment Of Money
The first prong of the Howey Test is pretty straightforward: Was there an investment of money in the transaction?
In his analysis, Giancarlo claims that XRP doesn’t meet this prong of the Howey Test because “the common understanding of the term ’investment’ is the transfer of something of value in exchange for a future return rather than a present one.”
At first glance, this sounds reasonable. However, the idea of “investment” as an expectation of future return is handled by the Howey Test’s “expectation of profit” prong. There is no reason to confuse it here with the “investment of money” prong.
Essentially, Giancarlo is presenting a circular argument to avoid admitting the obvious: There is no way to say that there was not an investment of money here. People clearly paid money in exchange for XRP tokens. There’s no other way to see this. I think nearly all courts analyzing this would agree that there was an investment of money.
Remember, just because the XRP offering passes this prong of the Howey Test does not mean that Ripple held an unregistered securities offering. The offering still must pass all of the other prongs of the Howey Test. So, Giancarlo did not have to go to such creative lengths to try to argue against this prong. Of all the prongs that could be met, none are stronger than this one.
Yes — there was without a doubt an investment of money when people purchased XRP. Ripple owned XRP and sold it for U.S. dollars. End of story.
The next prong of the Howey Test primarily refers to whether or not the returns are shared by those that have invested based on the efforts of a common enterprise.
This prong is likely met as well because all holders of XRP share in the gains and losses when the value of their tokens goes up and down based on the managerial efforts of Ripple.
In Giancarlo’s paper, he asserts that there is no common enterprise in this case because “a holder of XRP is not entitled to share in the profits and losses of Ripple.”
This is a terrible argument. There are countless investments that are classified as securities that don’t allow you to share in the profits or losses of the company.
Take a bond, for example. You do not share in the profits or losses of the company or government that issued it, yet a bond is undoubtedly a security.
Next, Giancarlo compares Ripple to Bitcoin to help support his argument. He claims that holders of XRP are no different than holders of BTC, and if BTC isn’t a security, then neither is XRP.
Sadly, there is a big, gaping flaw in this argument: Bitcoin’s development is truly decentralized, whereas XRP is dominated by Ripple. So, the holders of XRP are obviously in a common enterprise, as their fate is pooled equally and depends almost entirely on the development efforts of Ripple.
The XRP network requires constant work, and much of the token’s use depends on its future development. So, to argue that there’s no common enterprise is plainly denying reality.
Giancarlo argues against this reality by claiming that the XRP ledger would function without Ripple’s involvement. And while it is true that if Ripple were to shut down today, XRP would continue to exist, it’s also true that XRP’s price would plummet and use of the platform would disintegrate.
Yes — XRP holders have invested in a common enterprise. All funds are pooled by Ripple to build out the system, and users all benefit or lose from the corresponding fluctuations in the token’s price.
Expectation of Profits
In his paper, Giancarlo argues that there was no expectation of profits because Ripple never officially promised any sort of profit or return to investors and has instead stressed that the main purpose of XRP is for liquidity.
This was a wise move for Ripple, as any marketing of potential earnings, or price increases in XRP, would have automatically gotten its sales of XRP flagged by the SEC. But just because Ripple doesn’t promise future profits in its marketing does not mean that people don’t purchase XRP with the expectation of profit.
Anyone who has been following crypto at all over the past few years knows that people buy XRP with the hopes that its price will go up.
XRP was one of the most successful tokens at one point. To argue that there is no expectation of profit is absurd, not to mention futile. Both Kik and Telegram tried to make this argument with the SEC and were shot down.
Then Giancarlo goes on and makes a ridiculous comparison between XRP and Bitcoin, arguing that because Bitcoin is not a security, XRP fails to meet this prong.
But again, this comparison is grossly flawed. Bitcoin is not a security because it fails to meet all the prongs of the Howey Test. So, even though people do buy BTC with an expectation of profits, it is not a security because the other prongs of the Howey Test are not met.
Although Giancarlo does his best, his arguments in this prong are circular and nonsensical.
Yes — users bought XRP with the hopes that its price would go up.
From The Efforts Of Others
The final prong refers to whether or not profits come from a person’s individual efforts or wholly the efforts of the third party they’ve invested in. Though Giancarlo does not take the time to thoroughly explain his case on this prong, he asserts that profits from holding XRP are not derived wholly from the efforts of the Ripple team.
His argument is that “the XRP architecture is fully autonomous and exists entirely independently of Ripple.” To support this, he points to the fact that most of Ripple’s XRP is held in escrow and that the amount that is released is controlled by Ripple’s program. Control over the supply of the token is just one minor way of influencing the token’s price.
Just have a look at the Ripple website and you’ll see the comprehensive team behind Ripple that is pushing forward the token’s development and its adoption with institutional investors.
As mentioned above, it is possible that the XRP ledger could continue to function without the Ripple team. But that would undoubtedly bring down the price of the token dramatically. As such, it is clear that XRP’s growth and the corresponding profits for token holders depend heavily on the efforts of the Ripple team.
Yes — purchasers of XRP are simply passive investors that are counting on the work of the Ripple core team to come up with new products, promote adoption and boost the value of the token overall.
The Sale Of XRP Is Clearly A Securities Offering
In my opinion, XRP clearly meets all of the prongs of the Howey Test and would be considered a security. Through his paper, Giancarlo relies heavily on the assumption that Bitcoin and Ether failed every prong of the Howey Test, which simply isn’t true.
His entire argument was amateurish and intentionally misleading. Very distinct prongs were lumped together and supported with nonsensical legalese to confuse and distract.
Ripple Teams Up With Santander On International Payments
Massive retail bank Santander has teamed up with crypto and blockchain company Ripple.
Mainstream banking giant Santander has teamed up with blockchain and crypto payments outfit Ripple after customer requests for improved speed.
“Customers told us that the international payments process could be better so we partnered with Ripple to explore how blockchain could make transactions faster, cheaper and more transparent,” Ed Metzger, CTO of One Pay FX said in a statement posted by Ripple on July 9.
A forward-thinking entity, Santander constructed One Pay FX as a borderless blockchain-based payment channel, in the form of an app. The statement noted Santander built the app alongside Ripple.
Metzger described feedback from app customers noting difficulties with transaction exchange rate clarity and timing confusion.
“Ripple helps us directly address the issues raised by our customers […] Whether they are putting down a deposit on a holiday rental or paying a foreign supplier, they see exactly how much will arrive when they’re making the payment and have certainty about when it will get there.”
Why Santander Doesn’t Want To Use Ripple For International Payments Yet
There may be trouble in paradise with one of Ripple’s major partners.
Santander, the large scale Spanish bank and one of Ripple’s major partners, is still hesitant to adopt XRP as part of its international payment network, One Pay FX. The company reasoned that the token “was not actively traded in enough markets” to support the company’s banking needs.
During an interview with the Financial Times, Cedric Menager, chief executive officer of One Pay FX, explained that Santander wants to provide the “best [user experience] as quickly as possible.” He also said that the bank hopes to “operate in as many currencies and corridors as possible from the beginning.”
Ripple clarified that Santander is still using some of the company’s software for its cross-border payment solution, and noted that they consider the Spanish bank to be “one of our largest and most important customers”.
In February, Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse hinted that banks would soon be less wary of working with digital assets. He stated that once regulators – referring to U.S. watch dogs – understand “you’re not circumventing regulatory frameworks, they get very comfortable very quickly.”
Garlinghouse also claimed that Ripple was used for $54 million in cash flows to Mexico in January. This figure represents 7.5% of the total flow of U.S. dollars to Mexican pesos.
Cointelegraph recently reported that Sygnum Bank, the first crypto bank licensed by FINMA, will allow its users to invest in Ripple’s XRP token via their e-banking portal.
‘Crushing’ Regulations Could Drive Ripple Out Of US
Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen said the firm is considering moving to the U.K., Switzerland, Singapore, or Japan.
Ripple is considering relocating to Europe or Asia amid growing frustration at the lack of regulatory clarity in the United States.
Speaking to Fortune Magazine’s Jeff John Roberts at the Oct. 6 LA Blockchain Summit, Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen said the United States was “woefully behind” in preparing for the cryptocurrency-based next generation of a global financial system. Coupled with U.S. authorities’ policy on “regulation through enforcement” and Ripple may consider leaving the country behind entirely.
“The message is blockchain and digital currencies are not welcome in the U.S.,” Larsen said. “You want to be in this business, you probably should be going somewhere else. To be honest with you, we’re even looking at relocating our headquarters to a much more friendly jurisdiction.”
Larsen stated the firm was considering moving to countries like the U.K., Switzerland, Singapore, or Japan, because in the U.S., “all things blockchain and digital currency start and end” with regulatory bodies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“I don’t think that the posture at the SEC today can possibly get worse for [the crypto and blockchain] industry. It’s just ‘crush it and push it away.’”
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse explained further in a Tweet. “Responsible players like Ripple aren’t looking to avoid rules, we just want to operate in a jurisdiction where the rules are clear,” he said.
Ripple faces a number of class-action lawsuits alleging the firm sold its XRP token in an unregistered securities offering. The SEC has not released any official statement on the matter following its 2019 publication on a regulatory framework for digital assets.
As a result, the crypto firm continues to be called to court partly over an apparent lack of regulatory clarity from the government agency. A federal judge recently denied a motion by Ripple to dismiss a lawsuit filed by investor Vladi Zakinov in 2018 alleging the XRP token is a security under California law.
Ripple Eyes Japan, Singapore If Blockchain Firm Leaves U.S.
Ripple Labs Inc. has shortlisted Japan and Singapore as countries the blockchain payment services company could move to if it leaves the U.S. due to a lack of regulatory clarity, its top executive said.
Switzerland, the U.K. and the United Arab Emirates are also potential destinations, Chief Executive Officer Brad Garlinghouse said in an interview. “The common denominator between all of them is that their governments have created a clarity about how they would regulate different digital assets, different cryptocurrencies,” he said.
Speaking in a separate interview with Bloomberg Television, Garlinghouse said U.S. authorities are unclear on the status of cryptocurrencies, with different opinions over whether they are a commodity, a currency, a property or a security.
“Regulation shouldn’t be a guessing game,” he said. “Ripple is definitely a proud U.S. company and we’d like to stay in the U.S. if that was possible, but we also need regulatory clarity in order for us to invest and grow the business.”
Japan has been a “contrast” to the U.S., creating an “environment for a very healthy market to develop,” he said. The country introduced a registration system for cryptocurrency exchange operators in 2017 — a move widely seen as an official acknowledgment of digital coins as a financial asset.
Garlinghouse highlighted Ripple’s ties with Japanese financial conglomerate SBI Holdings Inc., including their Tokyo-based joint venture offering global payment services driven by blockchain technology. SBI CEO Yoshitaka Kitao, known for his push to create a hub for international financial business in western Japan, joined Ripple’s board last year.
“Japan is one of our fastest-growing markets, in part because we have key partners like SBI,” Garlinghouse said. “I have spoken to the SBI team about the fact we are looking at” the country as a potential destination, he said.
Garlinghouse said the coronavirus pandemic has given a “tailwind” to cryptocurrency markets because central banks have been printing fiat currency, which is “inflationary on some level.” A move away from cash is also helping, he said.
San Francisco-based Ripple offers payments and settlement services through the virtual currency known as XRP and other platforms.
Cryptocurrencies rallied Wednesday after PayPal Holdings Inc. said it will allow customers to use them to shop on its worldwide network. The initial selection includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, according to a statement.
Japan Is The ‘Leading Candidate’ For Ripple’s New Headquarters: SBI Holdings CEO
Japan is firming up at the most likely new headquarters for Ripple if it leaves its San Francisco offices.
Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings CEO Yoshitaka Kitao said that Japan is the most likely country Ripple will relocate to, should it leave the United States.
At an Oct. 28 press briefing, Kitao stated that the blockchain-based payments firm “has made Japan the most promising candidate” for its new headquarters if Ripple makes good on its threats to move its San Francisco offices. SBI Holdings is a Ripple investor, while Kitao sits on the firm’s board of directors.
Both Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen and CEO Brad Garlinghouse have expressed frustration at the lack of regulatory clarity in the United States. Earlier this month, Larsen stated the firm was considering moving to countries like the U.K., Switzerland, Singapore, or Japan, because authorities in the U.S. had a “regulation through enforcement” policy and were “woefully behind” in preparing for the cryptocurrency-based next generation of a global financial system.
According to a Bloomberg report on Oct. 22, Ripple shortlisted Japan and Singapore. Garlinghouse said at the time that he had spoken to SBI about using the country as a potential location for its headquarters.
“Japan is one of our fastest-growing markets, in part because we have key partners like SBI,” stated Garlinghouse.
SBI Holdings also announced today that Ripple had completed an investment in Japanese payments company MoneyTap, seemingly as part of its plans to integrate Ripple-powered settlements across ATMs in Japan. The integration is reportedly intended to provide consumers with easier access to funds at Japanese ATMs regardless of their banking affiliation.
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