Ripple Joins The Digital Pound Foundation to Help In The Development of A CBDC In the UK

Ripple Joins The Digital Pound Foundation to Help In The Development of A CBDC In the United Kingdom

This week, Ripple has joined the Digital Pound Foundation, which is a non-profit foundation to develop and implement a digital pound in the United Kingdom. Susan Friedman, the Head of Policy, represents Ripple as a Foundation on the board. Ripple will help the foundation by engaging central banks at a global level on the technicalities and policy issues related to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Ripple’s firm conviction that the United Kingdom has been in the vanguard when it comes to inspiring responsible innovation and growth in the crypto-asset space and developing a digital pound is the result of the effort put in. Friedman was keen to note Ripple’s excitement to support the design and implementation of a digital pound in their partnership with Digital Pound Foundation. She also brought out that The Foundation will be of great assistance in advancing the United Kingdom’s goal of building a more inclusive and sustainable financial system.

The Future Of Money Redefined

The evolution of digital money has been brought to the limelight for potentially faster, cheaper, sustainable, and more efficient payments with greater functionality. With over 80% of central banks actively exploring either one or another form of sovereign-backed cryptocurrency today, with the inclusion of CBDCs, The Bank of England is working round the clock to maneuver around the practical and technological barriers of designing and implementing, and operating a digital pound.

These digital pounds are set to play a vital role in extending access to central bank money by households and households.

Embracing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

Ripple is currently leading the global race to sensitize the use of CBDCs. In implementing this, Ripple announced their partnership with Bhutan’s central bank, the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA), to implement digital Ngultrum using its CBDC solution. In the same light, with Bhutan being the only carbon-negative country worldwide, Ripple is meeting their goal by introducing a carbon-neutral solution to its country. As such, they are spearheading the embracing of the CBDCs.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ripple And NelNet Join Forces to Fast-Track Crypto’s March to Renewable Energy

Ripple And NelNet Join Forces to Fast-Track Crypto’s March to Renewable Energy

Blockchain-based payment company Ripple Labs is furthering its carbon-neutral goal once more. This time with one of the solar energy funds of Nelnet Renewable Energy.

Ripple Pens New $44 Million Eco-Friendly Deal

The carbon emission of the crypto industry has been a major concern for many with critics pointing out the environmental impact of mining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. However, a blockchain firm that has taken up the challenge has been San Francisco-based Ripple Labs.

In a news release, the company announced a new environmental, societal, and governance-focused investment scheme with renewable energy company Nelnet. According to the terms of the agreement, Ripple is set to jointly invest over $44 million in one of the US firm’s solar energy investment funds across a period of 35 years.

The funds, which have Ripple as the majority shareholder, are meant to support renewable energy projects across the United States as the crypto industry pivots towards a more environmentally sustainable model of running the digital asset economic engine.

The finer details of the project’s goals state that the joint investment would offset over 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide over the period of three decades which is equivalent to 154 million gallons of gasoline.

Commenting on the company’s renewed efforts in fostering a close union between crypto advancement and global climate needs, Ripple’s Head of Social Impact Ken Weber said:

“Guaranteeing a clean energy future is a major priority across every industry, not only to drive future economic growth but also to ensure a more sustainable world. As the adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain continues to grow, it’s evident that the technology will underpin our future financial systems.”

“We’re excited to work with Nelnet as we pursue our commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of financial services globally and to deliver on the promise of a carbon-negative cryptocurrency industry.”

Not Ripple Labs’ First Rodeo

Ripple Labs has been at the forefront of several crypto-related endeavors and is currently in a heated legal confrontation with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The top regulatory body has accused the cross-border payments company of offering ‘unregistered securities’ to the investing public, a claim the company has vehemently denied.

CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Chairman Chris Larsen have since termed the legal bout as a fight for the future of crypto and blockchain tech as a whole.

Despite a poor reception of its services, Ripple has continued on its mission to cut down on the energy concerns of the crypto space. Aside from the NelNet deal, Ripple has previously partnered with the eco-focused foundation Crypto Climate Accord (CCA) which aims to make the crypto space 100% clean by 2030.

Apart from this, Ripple is also a principal founding member of Energy Web which also seeks to decarbonize the crypto industry. The initiative features the use of an open-source mobile app called EW Zero that enables individuals, businesses and blockchain ecosystems to use the energy attribute certificates (EACs) from renewable energy sources.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Ripple Development Studio, XRP Labs, Promotes Offline Payments for XRPL Assets

Ripple Development Studio, XRP Labs, Promotes Offline Payments for XRPL Assets via Proof of Payments (xPoP)

The XRP Ledger appears to be working on a new update to bring offline payments to its platform, marking another development for Ripple Labs and the XRP platform.

This week, XRP Labs announced the new update at a presentation from one of its developers at the Apex Dev Summit in Estonia. The development studio confirmed that the developers’ presentation included a new feature that would bring offline payments to its xProof of Payments (xPOP) solution.

No Internet, No Problem

Thanks to the Proof of Payments solution, XRP developers could integrate offline payments into the XRP Ledger. This means that payments will be possible without an internet connection – a new milestone for convenience on the XRP Ledger.

The new development implies that any device integrated with the xPOP feature can now issue a barcode to allow holders of XRPL-based assets to make payments instantly without being online. The XRP Labs developers believe that this will help add more users to the XRP Ledger while also making XRPL-based assets more available to public members.

XRP would be the primary benefit of this new development. The asset remains the crypto industry’s standards for making cross-border payments, and the ability to make transactions offline will mark another reason to use the asset.

The company explained that the xPOP prototype is an intellectual property of the XRP Ledger Foundation – a nonprofit that coordinates community-driven initiatives from XRP users worldwide. Thus, the product’s source code will only be shared when its public beta version is available on the net.

More Growth for the XRP Ledger and Ripple

Besides xPOP, XRP Labs also announced a new initiative to facilitate mass retail adoption for its blockchain. The initiative will see the introduction of “Lite Accounts” – essentially, special XRP Ledger accounts with lower reserve requirements. These accounts will use less space on the Ledger and improve its scalability.

The addition of Lite Accounts and the xPOP are just the latest developments to the XRP Ledger. Recently, Ripple Labs introduced an initiative to make the blockchain more compatible with non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

In September, Ripple announced a $250 million fund for NFT brands, creators, and marketplaces. The platform said the fund would focus on increasing the adoption of the XRP Ledger by NFT enthusiasts and industry players. Ripple intends to prioritize platforms that are making NFTs more accessible, especially from a user interface and experience perspective.

“We believe NFTs embody the promise of tokenization and represent a tipping point for its embrace by the mainstream. Through the Creator Fund and the XRPL, we’re excited to unleash new utility for NFTs and accelerate the broader shift to tokenization.”

Ripple added that NFT marketplaces and creative agencies would be among the first to access the fund. As expected, all proposed tokens and their use cases would need to be built on the XRP Ledger. Ripple Labs has also been touting the compatibility of its blockchain with these tokens, especially with its ability to enable low-cost, high-speed transactions.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Ripple Partners with Major Financial Institution to Grow Its Remittance Business

Ripple Partners with Major Financial Institution to Grow Its Remittance Business

Ripple Labs has launched several partnerships with a view to to grow its standing in the crypto industry. In its recent move, Ripple partnered with one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East.

Slow Rollouts Before the Main Thing

In a press release published earlier this week, the Qatar National Bank (QNB ) confirmed that it had teamed up with Ripple Labs on a cross-border remittance initiative. The release confirmed that both partners would research new strategies to optimize international payments and develop a new platform based on Ripple’s technology.

As part of the terms of the deal, QNB agreed that it would test RippleNet with QNB Finansbank – its Turkish subsidiary. From there, a group rollout will take place, with the goal of offering near-instant remittances and payments for all QNB clients across the world. QNB also intends to integrate Ripple into several of its other remittance corridors.

The company is a leader in digital payments and remittances, with a young, tech-savvy population that continues to move money. In 2020 alone, remittances to the country crossed $1 billion. Both companies will be looking to tap into that market – and, by extension, grow their market share.

Heba Al Tamini, the head of Group Retail Banking at QNB, confirmed that the bank is looking to offer the best in innovative technology to its customers. The deal with Ripple is part of its mission to bring that to fruition.

Navin Gupta, Ripple’s Managing Director for Asia and MENA, pointed out that this is a further expansion move for the company.

A Big Quarter for Ripple

Ripple Labs has been doing impressive work of late. The company was held back significantly by its securities fraud lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but it has made giant strides in the past month.

Last month, Ripple announced that it was helping the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan to pilot a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the kingdom. As part of the partnership, the central bank will use Ripple’s private ledger to issue and manage its digital Ngultrum.

The deal was necessitated by the need to improve cross-border payments. Ripple claimed that the CBDC could boost financial inclusion for Bhutan’s 800,000 citizens while also ensuring that increased transaction volumes don’t affect the country’s carbon footprint. Ripple’s announcement read,

“Beyond privacy, the CBDC solution is also custom-designed to handle payments at the volume of transactions required by a successful retail CBDC. This provides central banks like the RMA with the security, control, and flexibility they need to deploy a CBDC without compromising financial stability or monetary policy objectives.”

Bhutan’s government is looking to grow financial inclusion to 85% by 2023, and it believes that a CBDC will be a proper way to achieve this goal.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Ripple vs SEC: Judge Grants XRP Holders Amici Status

Ripple vs SEC: Judge Grants XRP Holders Amici Status

A Manhattan federal judge ruled this week that a group of individuals owning XRP can offer their “meaningful perspective” in the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s case against Ripple and its two top executives for violating securities law by selling unregistered securities.

Six holders of XRP can offer their opinions on certain legal questions in the lawsuit, wrote US District Judge Analisa Torres.

Back in March, XRP token holders sought to intervene, saying they were de facto defendants in the case and wanted to protect their interests.

“We were all granted amicus status today!” John Deaton of the Deaton Law Firm, who represents the XRP holders, wrote on Twitter.

“Today was another good day,” tweeted Ripple chief executive Brad Garlinghouse, who is one of the top executives sued by the SEC for conducting a $1.3 billion unregistered securities offering.

“XRP holders have always said that the SEC’s lawsuit is a direct attack on them. Now it’s official. The Court’s ruling permits John Deaton to share his “meaningful perspective” to help the Court “reach a proper decision.” Yet another important (and positive) development,” said Stuart Alderoty, General Counsel at Ripple.

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Author: AnTy

Ripple Joins the NFT Trend, Launches a $250 Million Fund to Attract Creators to XRP Ledger

Ripple Joins the NFT Trend, Launches a $250 Million Fund to Attract Creators to XRP Ledger

No one can resist the movement of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which is expected to be the center point of the metaverse.

The latest crypto company to jump is none other than Ripple, which along with its top two executives, is currently fighting a legal battle with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the sale of unregistered securities.

On Wednesday, Ripple announced a Creator Fund of $250 million for creators, agencies, and marketplaces that it sees “igniting the global creator economy and blockchain developer communities.”

The fund is to help creators and their partners participate in the NFT market on its own blockchain XRP Ledger. The Fund will provide technical support to integrate with the XRPL, access XRPL marketplace partners, and help with the marketing and promotion of the NFTs.

To begin with, Ripple has partnered with Mintable, mintNFT, and VSA Partners.

“A tokenized future that will transform the way people buy, sell and manage all kinds of assets is quickly becoming a reality today.”

In response to the news, the price of XRP momentarily jumped 6.85% to $0.983, only to slowly lose the gains. Up about 290% YTD, the digital token is still down more than 71% from its all-time high of $3.40 hit during the last bull market in early January of 2018.

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Author: AnTy

Ripple to Launch Bhutan’s Central Bank Digital Currency Pilot on Its Private XRPL Ledger

Ripple to Launch Bhutan’s Central Bank Digital Currency Pilot on Its Private XRPL Ledger

Bhutan is the latest country to announce its plans for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) via a partnership with San Francisco-based Ripple Labs. Announced on Wednesday, the partnership will see the country’s central bank carry out trials on Ripple Labs CBDC platform. The test trials aim to “enhance digital and cross-border payments, expand financial inclusion efforts, and extend its commitment to sustainability as the only carbon-negative country” across Asia and the world, the statement reads.

The South-Central Asian state central bank, the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA), will take advantage of the Ripple Labs private ledger to conduct trials on its proposed digital Ngultrum. The CBDC aims to reduce frictions and costs of sending cross-border payments and enhance the overall payment systems across the country.

This will be made possible by Ripple’s CBDC solution, which leverages on a private version of its open-source XRPL Ledger, already in use in over 100 banks. By building its CBDC atop the private XRPL Ledger, RMA aims to increase its control over the issuance, management privacy, and validation of the Ngultrum.

The platform also enhances the payment processes associated with huge transactions, catering to the retail side of its planned CBDC. This allows central banks the freedom to control the monetary policy objectives and maintain financial responsibility across retail without compromising on the security needed to deploy a CBDC.

Notwithstanding, Ripple Labs aims to preserve the carbon-neutral stance that Bhutan pledges. The CBDC solution will remain carbon-neutral and energy-efficient since it is based on the XRP Ledger, which minimizes the energy consumption to a minimum, unlike resorting to a proof-of-work blockchain.

“In addition to the technology, Ripple’s commitment to sustainability was important for Bhutan.” “For a country that has pledged to remain carbon neutral, this combination of innovative finance with sustainability is a natural fit.”

The plans to launch a Bhutan CBDC on Ripple could have been in progress since April. During Ripple’s Swell conference webinar for the Asian-Pacific region in April, Tashi Yezer, senior payments system officer at the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan, was present to discuss possible plans to launch a CBDC.

In March this year, Ripple announced its CBDC solution to assist central banks in creating their own digital currencies. The platform is a private version of the public, open-source XRP Ledger that provides Central Banks a secure, controlled, and flexible solution for the issuance and management of digital currencies, the report stated then.

So far, the CBDC solution has been piloted by UAE and Egypt via Dubai’s Lulu Exchange and the National Bank of Egypt who integrated Ripple’s RippleNET to enhance cross-border payments from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Egypt.

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Author: Lujan Odera

SEC Scores Minor Victory Against Ripple As Court Rejects Employee Trading History Motion

SEC Scores Minor Victory Against Ripple As Court Rejects Employee Trading History Motion

The ongoing legal bouts between blockchain company Ripple Labs and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have seen both parties scoring decisive points.

The latest winner is the federal regulator which has dodged a bullet as the cross-border payment company’s request for its employees’ data has been denied.

Ripple Motion Denied

In a federal transcript, the presiding federal judge of the SEC vs. Ripple and Defendants case Sarah Netburn denied a motion filed by the software company. The motion which was filed on August 27 requested that the court ask the SEC to present its employees’ crypto trading activities to see if they held or sold Ripple’s XRP during the highlighted period.

As pointed out in the transcript, the defendants made this attempt in a bid to highlight the SEC’s regulatory fogginess concerning XRP and to show that the government agency only considered XRP a “security” following its Dec. 2020 lawsuit. This would damage the SEC’s case against the digital payments firm and affirm their resolve that XRP is not a security.

However, Judge Netburn noted that the motion was denied on a number of counts.

According to her, the preclearance decision process does not show that the SEC Ethics Counsel had determined that a particular trade complies with the stipulated securities laws. This means that the Ethics Counsel did not expressly make any provision during the said period that was relevant to XRP’s legality.

Another key argument she raised was that the court was not legally authorized to grant Ripple’s request. This is due to the federal rule that protects the privacy rights of the agency’s employees from public scrutiny. The document clarified,

“As to the annual certifications that Defendants seek, Congress has presumptively prohibited disclosure of such financial information through federal privacy statutes and regulations in order to maintain government employees’ privacy.”

SEC Still Obligated To Meet Defendant’s Demands

The SEC’s legal tussle has been ongoing for months now with Ripple and co-defendants Brad Garlinghouse (CEO) and Chris Larsen (Chairman) refusing to back down. With the prospects of a settlement becoming thinner by every court appearance, both contending parties are out to get a positive ruling on their position.

Ripple has denied the SEC’s accusations noting that it has not bridged any known securities through XRP trading. The SEC thinks otherwise.

Meanwhile, the recent victory for the SEC is not without a catch. In closing remarks, Judge Netburn pointed out that the federal regulator has not been cooperative with the defendants in the discovery phase.

In the transcript, the SEC noted that it placed XRP on a “watch list” in 2018, with SEC employees barred from trading the asset the following year. Ripple noted that the government agency has refused to produce documents reflecting this.

Judge Netburn asked the agency to produce the needed documents that its employees could no longer trade the asset.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

XRP Litigation: Court Orders Ripple to Hand Over Slack Messages

XRP Litigation: Court Orders Ripple to Hand Over Slack Messages

In a new twist in the lawsuit between the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ripple Labs, the regulator appears to have scored a point. The court has granted the SEC’s request to access more Slack messages between Ripple’s employees.

Ripple’s Motion Gets Denied

In a recent ruling, Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn ordered Ripple to produce the missing Slack messages from a wider group of custodians. Judge Netburn described the messages as critical and unique evidence for the SEC’s ongoing case.

According to the SEC’s estimates, over a million messages are to be assessed. Ripple would be required to produce Slack messages from 22 custodians listed out by the regulator.

The SEC first filed a motion for the court to order Ripple to disclose its employees’ Slack history last month. However, Ripple did not deliver all the Slack messages when the documents were first reviewed in the case.

Although Ripple initially denied the claim that its previous supply of the Slack data was incomplete, the firm later said it was a data processing mistake. This mistake resulted in the company only producing a small fraction of the messages.

The SEC has continued to argue that the Slack messages are relevant to the case because they show Ripple’s employees discussing pertinent issues of the case. This includes Ripple’s desire to create speculative trading in XRP. The regulator also said it touched on Ripple’s concerns on the price of XRP, XRP sales, and the regulatory status of XRP.

The new ruling by Judge Netburn is coming a few days after Ripple opposed SEC’s request for the slack data. The blockchain firm argued that producing such messages would be extensive and costly and take months to actualize. According to the firm, recovering all slack messages would cost up to $1 million.

Despite Ripple’s protestations, Netburn said that the importance of the messages to the case outweighed Ripple’s cost in producing them.

Since December 2020, the SEC and Ripple case had continued to drag on as the regulator maintains that Ripple and executives Chris Larsen and Bradley Garlinghouse allegedly sold the XRP tokens as unregistered securities.

Rakuten Resumes XRP Trading Back

While Ripple continues to face scrutiny in the US, countries like Japan favor the XRP token. One of Japan’s leading e-commerce portals, Rakuten Wallet, recently announced the resumption of XRP trading on its platform.

Rakuten had suspended XRP trading in December due to the SEC lawsuit and allegations leveled against Ripple. This news has given the XRP community hope that other US-based entities will follow suit soon.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Ripple Labs Requests Information About Possible SEC Employees’ XRP Holdings

Ripple Labs Requests Information About Possible SEC Employees’ XRP Holdings

Ripple Labs and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have been in the midst of a lengthy securities fraud battle since last year, with each party drawing points in the case.

In the latest twist to the legal tussle, Ripple Labs has now requested information from the securities regulator’s own employees.

Trading an Unregistered Security

Earlier this week, James Filian, an attorney who currently follows the legal battle between Ripple Labs and the SEC, announced that the blockchain giant had requested information into the agency’s employees and their XRP holdings.

In a tweet, Filian shared a copy of Ripple’s motion, which seeks to establish whether the SEC cleared its employees to trade XRP.

The motion itself was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of Ripple Labs and two of its top executives and co-defendants Bradley Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen.

The document points out that the SEC had previously not taken a regulatory position on securities transactions and only did this on Jan. 19, 2018. During the five-year hiatus, SEC employees were able to buy, sell, and store XRP without any restriction from the regulator.

As the motion document showed, it seeks to get anonymized documents reflecting “trading preclearance decisions” for XRP – as well as Bitcoin and Ether. BTC 0.30% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 47,166.69
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Considering that the SEC has deemed XRP unregistered security, records of employees having holdings in the asset could put the agency in a compromising position. The defendants added that all their efforts to get these records have proved futile, and a court order seems like the only way.

Filian added that the SEC has until September 3 to respond to the order. He pointed out that with the order being “text-only,” it was the only one filed by the defendants.

Continuing the Months-Long Tit-for-Tat

The Ripple Labs motion comes on the back of a request from the SEC to receive terabytes of internal communication records between Ripple employees. In a motion with the Southern District Court of New York earlier this month, the SEC requested Slack communication records between Ripple employees and executives.

Specifically, the SEC explained that Ripple’s previous Slack communication records were incomplete. Ripple itself admitted that this was due to a “data processing mistake,” although the securities watchdog believes that the company is hiding communications records on purpose. The SEC added that these incomplete records had affected its depositions, which already spanned 11 employees.

The SEC also pointed out that the previous messages submitted had yielded “critically important information” that wasn’t in emails or other communication channels. The remaining records will help its investigations and contribute to its case.

Jeremy Hogan, a popular attorney within the XRP community, has pointed out that the SEC is looking to establish XRP as a security that would immediately fall under its purview.

“It is attacking from the flank and arguing Ripple marketed and treated XRP like a security, and therefore it is. The SEC has had some success with this argument in the past and it makes sense as a strategy since in all substantive ways XRP is NOT a security.”

With Ripple and its executives going on the offensive again, the market will continue to watch how this legal tussle unfolds.

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Author: Jimmy Aki