Ripple Inc. Tells Court SEC Did Not Warn Market Actors about XRP’s Security Status

Ripple Inc. Tells Court SEC Did Not Warn Market Actors about XRP’s Security Status

Ripple Inc. accuses the SEC of not warning crypto market actors such as exchanges that they believed XRP is a security – as late as 2019. The defendants maintain the crypto asset is not a security and are looking to dismiss the case.

In the Ripple-SEC pretrial held on Monday, Matthew Solomon of Cleary Gottlieb advocates, defending CEO of Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse, against a lawsuit with the U.S Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), stated the plaintiff did not warn any major market actors, including exchanges that XRP constituted a security in talks held in 2019 and previous talks.

Having confirmed both parties are not planning for any settlements soon, the SEC vs. Ripple case swiftly moved to pretrial where the defendants’ lawyers made some discoveries to the court. According to Solomon, the SEC, despite dealing with ‘ultra-sophisticated market actors including exchanges’ as late as 2019, did not tell them that XRP is a security.

This provides a strong foundation for the defendants, Brad and former CEO Chris Larsen, who has been accused of selling close to $600 million worth of XRP. SEC’s charge on the case is diminishing by the day, and they won’t be able to prove XRP is a security, Solomon further said,

“And, again, as this case moves forward, these facts will come to light, and it will be clear that SEC cannot establish and will not establish that XRP is a security.”

Brad’s and Larsen’s legal team also moved a motion to dismiss the case claiming their clients had no idea that XRP was a security or investment contract. In a joint letter with the SEC last week, Solomon and Paul Weiss’s Martin Flumenbaum, representing Larsen, confirmed they had filed a motion to dismiss the case against their clients.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ripple is Moving to Crypto-Friendly Wyoming; Files to Be A Money Transmitter in Colorado Too

Ripple is Moving to Crypto-Friendly Wyoming; Files to Be A Money Transmitter in Colorado Too

Ripple attorney Mary Jo White meanwhile defended the company, saying SEC is “dead wrong legally and factually,” adding “there’s a crying need for clarity.”

San Francisco-based Ripple is finally making some changes, and although the company is not moving out of the US, it is certainly getting a change of scenery in Wyoming.

The fintech startup has registered a new company in the crypto-friendly state of Wyoming, first shared by Caitlin Long, the founder, and CEO of Avanti Bank & Trust, a bank for digital assets.

“More crypto cos are realizing Wyoming is a better domicile than Delaware due to our crypto-friendly laws,” shared Long.

Ripple actually filed in Wyoming back in November 2020 and has registered for a new company in Colorado as well. The company is registering as a money transmitter and dealer in FX -States of MSB activities.

The company is currently registered as a money transmitter in California and New York as well.

Since last year, Ripple has repeatedly been saying that they may move out of the US because of the regulations around the cryptocurrencies, and then later, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged them with allegedly selling unregistered securities.

Last week, former SEC chair Mary Jo White and Ripple’s attorney said the agency is “dead wrong legally and factually” for suing the company.

Meanwhile, the company and (SEC) said recently that there’s little chance of settlement ahead of Ripple’s expected trial.

Previously, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said he has been looking at Asia and the Middle East as potential places to move to only to backtrack later, saying they will wait and see if, under Joe Biden’s administration, they will get better regulatory clarity. He also donated to Biden for his presidential campaign.

“The crypto-landscape is a critical one, and there’s a crying need for clarity,” said White.

Garlinghouse, along with Chairman Chris Larsen, was also charged by the SEC for allegedly selling more than $1 billion in XRP to retail investors without registering the cryptocurrency as a security or seeking an exemption.

The digital currency, in the question meanwhile, has been suspended from exchanges and other platforms for US users, resulting in the value of the asset depreciating. The coin is now trading around $0.578, up about 8% in the past 24 hours, but down from yesterday’s high of $0.650 as the broad crypto market goes down.

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Author: AnTy

Ripple and SEC Confirm A Settlement is Not in the Cards ‘Any Time Soon’

Ripple and SEC Confirm A Settlement is Not in the Cards ‘Any Time Soon’

Former and current Ripple Inc. CEOs, Chris Larsen and Brad Garlinghouse, respectively, are planning a motion to dismiss cases against them. The case is expected to drag on – past the August 2021 prediction.

In a joint letter by Ripple Inc. and the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) sent to Federal judge, Analisa Torres, at Southern District Court of New York, no settlement on their court case is set to occur any time soon. The joint filing further states the SEC and Ripple do not consent to conduct all further proceedings in the “securities law violation charges” case before the assigned Magistrate Judge.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride in the past two or so months for Ripple Inc. since the SEC opened security violation charges against the blockchain firm in late December 2020. The SEC claims the defendants sold and offered investors over $1.38 billion worth of XRP, which they consider a “security,” and hence needed registration by the SEC.

Moreover, the SEC further claims former Ripple Inc. CEO Chris Larsen and current CEO Brad Garlinghouse also sold their XRP as “investment contracts” pertaining to security. The securities regulator also claims that the company falsely termed XRP as a currency. The SEC is looking for ‘permanent injunctions’ and civil penalties if the defendants are found guilty.

On its hand, Ripple has vehemently denied any reports of selling XRP as security – maintaining it is a “digital asset” controlled by market factors similar to Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptos.

To this end, the plaintiff and defendant have written to a federal judge confirming any settlement prospects are not in sight. The joint letter reads,

“Counsel for the parties have met and conferred and, having previously discussed settlement, do not believe there is a prospect for settlement at this time.”

“However, the parties will promptly notify the Court if any settlement in principle is reached as to any Defendant.”

The letter further notes that the previous settlement agreements were made “under a previous administration” and “with directors who have since left the SEC.”

Larsen and Garlinghouse, termed as individual defendants, also wrote to the SEC informing them of their plans to move a motion to dismiss their case. The two Execs state they never claimed XRP to be a security, and the “SEC cannot adequately allege a violation of securities’ law” against them.

With all the back and forth, the case is set to wait a little longer before a definite court decision is made – the end of August being the earliest possible time. Ripple and the SEC agreed that “all discovery shall be completed no later than August 16, 2021,” but Larsen and Garlinghouse will have an additional 120 days to complete their discovery.

Ripple is hoping the new Biden Administration will follow a more lenient path in the case against the company, given the recent ‘crypto-savvy’ appointees to the U.S. government. Ripple is not only fighting its legal battles in court but in Washington, too – having contributed a joint $1 million together with Coinbase over the past year.

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Author: Lujan Odera

UAE’s Lulu International Exchange Integrates RippleNet Cloud to Enhance Indian Remittances

UAE’s Lulu International Exchange Integrates RippleNet Cloud to Enhance Indian Remittances

Abu-Dhabi based international money transfer service, Lulu Money, announced a partnership with Federal Bank, an Indian international financial service, to enhance remittances to India. The partnership will integrate RippleNET Cloud to reduce the transfer fees and introduce instant remittance payments from the UAE.

The case against Ripple by the SEC is not slowing the demand for its products as UAE’s leading remittance firm, LuLu Money, and India’s Federal Bank integrates RippleNET Cloud, a global network that allows instant connectivity and transfers across financial institutions. As the home to the largest Indian migrants worldwide, the partnership targets to “enhance the cross-border payments experience” to over 3.5 million Indians.

Nilufer Mullanfiroze, Senior VP, Deposits, Cards & Unsecured Lending at Federal Bank said in a press release,

“We believe such innovations will benefit the larger Indian diaspora who can enjoy a modern, low cost, fast, easy, and more reliable way of transferring money to India.”

According to a Ripple blog post, Indians in the UAE can now send remittances from over 76 LuLu exchange branches or directly from their mobile app.

RippleNET is becoming a sensation across banks and institutions globally, with the network transacting a record-beating $2.4 billion in transactions across 2020. Ripple and LuLu exchange entered a partnership that has helped the latter form avenues of transfers and “solidifies their presence in existing and new corridors,” Adeeb Ahamed, LuLu Financial Group Managing Director, said in a statement.

“The partnership signals a major step towards strengthening our Indian corridor, all the while advancing our overall mission to design the world’s most reliable, seamless, and accessible financial journeys through collaborative partnerships and application of technology.”

The RippleNET Cloud will allow LuLu exchange to directly connect to Federal Bank and other global financial institutions in the network. Users will instantly, reliably, and cost-effectively send or receive payments on the platform in one easy integration process.

The RippleNET cloud recently acquired its System and Organization Controls 2 (SOC 2) certification from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), allowing it to function as an institutional-grade cloud-based payment system.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ripple Reports a ‘Strong’ End of 2020; Sold 112% More XRP in Q4

Ripple Reports a ‘Strong’ End of 2020; Sold 112% More XRP in Q4

Ripple has released its Q4 report that revealed the total XRP sales of $76.27 million, up from $35.84 million in the previous quarter.

While Ripple has been not selling any XRP programmatically for over a year now, they continue their over-the-counter (OTC) sales and leases to RippleNet ODL customers to increase XRP liquidity.

Total XRP sales represent 0.05% (5 bps) of global XRP volume, compared to 10bs in the previous quarter.

San Francisco-based fintech company also covered SEC’s enforcement action against Ripple, which it says is stifling American innovation and progress. The US regulatory action, the report said, “caused havoc” as it prompted platforms to halt XRP trading — impacting an estimated $200 million of XRP volumes per day last quarter.

But Ripple maintained that “close to 90% of XRP volumes remained intact,” as the majority of the volume and XRP-related business happens outside of the US.

“With the SEC’s enforcement action, the industry has gone from regulatory uncertainty to regulatory chaos at the expense of retail holders with no connection to Ripple and orderly markets.”

Despite the legal action against the company, Ripple says it ended 2020 “strong” with record customer numbers. The lawsuit was filed towards the end of December 2020.

While On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) signed on over 15 new customers, ODL volumes recorded 12x year-over-year growth.

In RippleNet’s “best year to date,” the company processed about 3 million transactions on the network, nearly 5x of 2019.

Additionally, XRPL and Interledger Protocol combined reached an estimated 12 million users, and RippleX partnered with over 40 companies for XRP utility.

Reportedly, Q4 delivered several milestones in terms of institutional infrastructure, with DSB announcing the launching of its digital exchange and Standard Chartered Ventures partnering with Northern Trust to launch a crypto custodian, both of which will list top assets, including XRP.

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Author: AnTy

Ripple’s RippleNet Cloud Service Receives SOC 2 Certification from American Institute of CPAs

Ripple’s RippleNet Cloud Service Receives SOC 2 Certification from American Institute of CPAs

RippelNet has received significant security and privacy compliance milestone for its RippleNet Cloud service. This comes amid the company’s battle with the SEC.

  • While Ripple Labs continues to face significant pressure from a legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company continues to mark wins in other areas.
  • The Silicon Valley firm announced that it had received a significant auditing compliance certification for one of its other tools.

RippleNet Cloud Works Well So Far

According to an announcement, Ripple Labs confirmed that it had gotten a System and Organization Controls 2 (SOC 2) certification from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for RippleNet Cloud, its cloud-based institutional payment network.

Ripple’s statement explained that the certification was in recognition of its work in facilitating payments for its ever-expanding network of clients.

As Ripple explained, the rise of the coronavirus brought a significant demand for effective cloud-based, digital payment services. RippleNet Cloud, which launched in June 2020, has so far been able to onboard 40 banking institutions worldwide, providing quick and reliable cross-border payment solutions to them.

As the blockchain company explained, financial institutions have been steadily demanding RippleNet Cloud. The service allows them to deploy modern payment infrastructures in less than five weeks, much faster than what it would take with in-person deployment. Ripple added:

“In fact, RippleNet Cloud transaction volumes doubled every eight weeks in 2020 and reached an annualized run-rate of 1.8 million transactions, per Q4 volumes. More than half of all RippleNet transactions today flow through Cloud and now, customers can put further trust in RippleNet’s security capabilities.”

Plans In Case the SEC Shuts XRP Down

The SOC2 certification confers a service with high standards in terms of data security and privacy. As Ripple explained, the certification means that institutions looking to deploy the service into their infrastructure can now feel more confident about doing so. The Gemini Trust Foundation, a crypto holding company owned by the Winklevoss twins, also has the certification.

With a new compliance certification in the bag, RippleNet Cloud can now become another cornerstone of Ripple’s business, akin to that of the company’s on-demand liquidity (ODL) tool, which helped it to reach unicorn status back in 2019.

It also provides another avenue for Ripple to focus on, especially now that the fate of the XRP is in the balance. In December, the SEC sued Ripple Labs over the firm’s XRP token, which the agency calls a security. The financial watchdog also slammed Ripple for engaging in an unregistered securities offering in the asset’s 2013 Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

While Ripple is committed to fighting this suit in court, the prevalent opinion is that the SEC will emerge victorious in the case. If that happens, Ripple might be forced to leave the country and move the use of its token elsewhere.

For now, Japan might be the frontrunner for the company’s new base. Ripple already has a significant presence in the country, thanks in large part to its partnership with local financial services giant SBI Holdings. Earlier this week, the latter announced that it would add support for XRP to its crypto lending platform, SBI VC Trade.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

SBI Group Rolls Out XRP on Its VC Trade Cryptocurrency Lending Service

SBI Group Rolls Out XRP on Its VC Trade Cryptocurrency Lending Service

Having launched its cryptocurrency lending service in late 2020, the Japan-based financial services company – SBI Group – has announced that it will be enabling access to XRP as part of its lending service – SBI VC Trade.

This news is according to an announcement made by the company on Feb. 4. SBI VC Trade Lending will enable users will be able to earn interest by depositing their XRP on the platform – so long as it was between 1,000 and 100,000 XRP. In order to obtain an interest dividend on whatever is staked, they would need to lend it for a period of up to 84 days.

Within the statement, SBI stated the following:

“VC Trade Lending is a service that allows customers to rent out their crypto assets to the company and receive interest rewards according to the quantity and duration of the crypto assets.”

The company has added that XRP annual interest would come to 0.1% (including taxes).

As readers may have noticed, the introductory interest rate (0.1%) is much lower than the going rate for lending Bitcoin BTC 1.63% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 37,416.45
Volume 68.15 b Change $609.89 Open $37,416.45 Circulating 18.62 m Market Cap 696.67 b
8 s SBI Group Rolls Out XRP on Its VC Trade Cryptocurrency Lending Service 3 h $72M New Crypto VC Fund Gets Backing from Billionaires like Paul Tudor Jones & LL Cool J 4 h Dutch Footballer Says “Don’t Wait to Buy Bitcoin” While Goldman Issues a Warning
on the platform. At present, there has not been a reason behind this, other than the potential risk associated with Ripple at present, but this is not validated.

While not facing domestic legal challenges in Japan, Ripple is facing a large-scale federal lawsuit within the United States – specifically for alleged violations of existing U.S. securities laws by selling unregistered securities. The decision by SBI comes from a difference in the legal definition of XRP; Japan, unlike the U.S., believes that XRP does not qualify as a security.

Since 2020, SBI has risen as one of Ripple’s large-scale partners, having brought out a few XRP-related products. In the wake of legal challenges in the United States, Yoshitaka Kitao – CEO of SBI – made it plain that Japan remains the most likely (or friendly) candidate for Ripple to move to.

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Author: James Fox

Wall Street Bets Have Locked In On Their New Target; Pumping XRP & Silver Now

Wall Street Bets Have Locked In On Their New Target; Pumping XRP & Silver Now

WallStreetBets, whose members on Reddit are growing fast, now over 7.7 million, has moved from DOGE to other assets.

WallStreetBets have found their next target, and it is none other than XRP and Silver, both of which are pumping hard. XRP started pumping over the weekend, and today the prices climbed as high as $0.688. Last week, the digital asset was trading as low as $0.246.

In just two days, XRP prices surged over 142% and is now retracing the gains as it is currently trading around $0.630.

Last week, fintech startup Ripple also filed a response to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has sued the company and its top two executives for allegedly selling an unregistered security. Ripple’s 93-page long response says,

“The functionality and liquidity of XRP are wholly incompatible with securities regulation. To require XRP’s registration as a security is to impair its main utility.”

Ripple has also filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents on how the SEC determined that BTC and ETH are not securities.

Silver Sent to Multi-Year Highs

Before pumping XRP, WallStreetBets sent DOGE above $0.80, and already the momentum has ebbed as the cryptocurrency now trades around $0.0389. DOGE -16.77% Dogecoin / USD DOGEUSD $ 0.04
Volume 7.07 b Change -$0.01 Open $0.04 Circulating 128.19 b Market Cap 4.72 b
8 h Wall Street Bets Have Locked In On Their New Target; Pumping XRP & Silver Now 8 h Elon Musk says He’s ‘Late’ to the ‘Bitcoin’ Party; Should Have Bought 8 Years Ago 2 d Dogecoin Beats Bitcoin by Becoming the Most Tweeted Cryptocurrency Ever as Mia Khalifa Buys the Top

Besides XRP, retail traders seem to be onto silver as well, which today went past multi-year highs of $30, a level that was last seen in February 2013. During the post-pandemic pump, silver went to just under $30 level while its all-time high sits at about $50 hit in April 2011.

Unlike silver, gold is trading around $1,860 per ounce, still over 10% from its ATH of $2,075 recorded in August 2020. Greenback, meanwhile, is flat around 90.7.

Given that WallStreetBets’s subreddit has 7.7 million members, it makes sense that they can coordinate to push up an asset’s prices. Trader and economist Alex Kruger said,

“Going to be interesting if WSB ever gets large enough to command a squeeze against major currencies. Based on the silver price action, it seems they could already squeeze an EM currency if so desired.”

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Author: AnTy

Ripple Co-Founder, Jed McCaleb, Resumes Selling Spree; Dumps 28 Million XRP in 24 Hours

Ripple Co-Founder, Jed McCaleb, Resumes Selling Spree; Dumps 28 Million XRP in 24 Hours

Ripple’s co-founder Jed McCaleb is back selling a boatload of XRP. The last time he cashed out of his XRP stash was 25 days ago. Could this be related to the SEC suit?

Jed McCaleb, one of Ripple Labs’ founders, has been dumping millions of his XRP holdings of late. The former Ripple executive appears to be cutting ties with XRP, as Ripple gears up for a legal battle with financial regulators in the U.S.

Jed’s Selling Spree

Earlier this week, crypto researcher Leonidas Hadjiloizou shared on Twitter that Jed McCaleb, one of Ripple Labs’ c-founders, had sold $28.9 million worth of the asset in a single day.

McCaleb had paused on his XRP sales for 25 days and many assume it’s related to the SEC’s suit. However, the co-founder is forging ahead.

To be fair, this isn’t the first time McCaleb will put a pause on a mass XRP selloff. As Hadjiloizou pointed out, the Ripple co-founder has sold many of his assets in the past, although most of his pauses happened due to charity purposes.

The researcher added that McCaleb was in the process of selling another $2.9 million in XRP.

The co-founder has so far been on a significant selling spree. According to a report from Whale Alert, McCaleb sold off 1.2 billion XRP throughout 2020 at an average price of $0.34 per coin. That amounts to $408 million. The sum reportedly represents 27 percent of McCaleb’s XRP holding, which he keeps in a settlement account with Ripple Labs.

McCaleb ramped up his XRP sales in 2020, offloading as many tokens as he did between 2014 and 2019.

A Landmark Case

McCaleb co-founded Ripple Labs with Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen in 2012, a year before the company launched XRP in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). He served as Ripple Labs’ technology chief until 2014 when he left to help found the Stellar Development Foundation.

The SEC’s suit against Ripple alleges that the ICO constituted an unregistered securities offering and that XRP itself should be classified a security.

The SEC also accused Garlinghouse and Larsen of having sold over $600 million in XRP tokens without reporting their haul. While the suit didn’t mention McCaleb, these sales could put him on the agency’s radar.

For now, it’s unclear how the SEC and Ripple Labs legal battle will play out. Many expect the SEC to emerge victoriously and have been carefully cutting ties with XRP to protect themselves. As for Ripple Labs, the company is hoping that the Biden administration will help its cause.

In a recent blog post, Stu Alderoty Ripple Labs’ general counsel, explained that he believed the Biden administration would prioritize crypto regulation over its first term.

“Intelligent, well-thought-out regulations communicated effectively and uniformly applied can help level the playing field and unleash innovation and further mainstream adoption here in the U.S.,” the attorney said.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Kraken Halts XRP Trading; DOT Replaces the Digital Asset as 4th Largest Crypto Asset

Kraken Halts XRP Trading; DOT Replaces the Digital Asset as 4th Largest Crypto Asset

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has become the latest platform to halt XRP trading for US residents from January 30, 2021, at 1:00 UTC due to SEC filing against Ripple Labs. For those users residing in other countries, XRP markets will continue to operate uninterrupted.

US residents with open XRP spot positions on the margin on Kraken are also required to satisfy their margin obligation by January 28, 2021, at 11:59 pm PT, or their positions will be liquidated.

While US residents won’t be able to trade XRP, these users will still be able to deposit, hold, and withdraw XRP on the exchange. Also, this will not affect Spark token airdrop.

As the list of crypto outlets suspending XRP trading for US users continues to get bigger, the digital asset continues to lose its value.

Among the top 100 crypto assets, XRP is not only the one with over 50% losses in the last 30 days but is also among a handful of cryptocurrencies that are experiencing a downtrend.

Since Bitcoin took to ranging this week after the pullback, altcoins are using this opportunity to rally and DeFi tokens have simply exploded so much that Polkadot (DOT) has replaced XRP as the fourth largest cryptocurrency by a market cap of $14.48 billion XRP 0.78% XRP / USD XRPUSD $ 0.28
Volume 4.09 b Change $0.00 Open $0.28 Circulating 45.4 b Market Cap 12.72 b
8 h Kraken Halts XRP Trading; DOT Replaces the Digital Asset as 4th Largest Crypto Asset 1 d Ripple to Hire Managing Director For RippleNet Payment Network in Europe 2 d Grayscale Investments Buys 2,170 BTC, No ETH Yet While Dissolving XRP Trust Altogether
. Polkadot has been enjoying an uptrend lately, hitting an all-time high at $18.30 in the process DOT 38.25% Polkadot / USD DOTUSD $ 18.16
Volume 8.76 b Change $6.95 Open $18.16 Circulating 900.81 m Market Cap 16.36 b
8 h Kraken Halts XRP Trading; DOT Replaces the Digital Asset as 4th Largest Crypto Asset 1 d Fireblocks Introduces Crypto Staking for Institutional Investors; Ethereum, Tezos and Polkadot 1 d 150-Year Old Insurance Company, Metlife, Talks About The New Kids On The Block; The ‘Altcoin Revolution’

XRP is currently trading at $0.289 with a market capitalization of $13 billion.

On data provider Messari, even Cardano ADA 14.96% Cardano / USD ADAUSD $ 0.35
Volume 4.39 b Change $0.05 Open $0.35 Circulating 31.11 b Market Cap 10.75 b
8 h Kraken Halts XRP Trading; DOT Replaces the Digital Asset as 4th Largest Crypto Asset 1 d 150-Year Old Insurance Company, Metlife, Talks About The New Kids On The Block; The ‘Altcoin Revolution’ 5 d Cardano (ADA) Passes Polkadot (DOT) As Largest Cryptocurrency Staking Network
has jumped above XRP at the 5th spot with Liteocin LTC 2.35% Litecoin / USD LTCUSD $ 143.53
Volume 7.13 b Change $3.37 Open $143.53 Circulating 66.29 m Market Cap 9.52 b
8 h Kraken Halts XRP Trading; DOT Replaces the Digital Asset as 4th Largest Crypto Asset 1 d 150-Year Old Insurance Company, Metlife, Talks About The New Kids On The Block; The ‘Altcoin Revolution’ 4 d Grayscale Reopens Deposits for New Investors In Its Crypto Trusts; Excludes Ethereum & XRP
ready to take even the 6th spot from XRP.

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Author: AnTy