XRP delisted on more platforms following SEC's Ripple complaint – Business Insider


A ripple coin stands on a table
A ripple coin stands on a table

  • Several cryptocurrency exchanges including Crypto.com, Coinbase, and OkCoin said this week they were suspending trading of the XRP token following the SEC’s complaint against Ripple Labs, XRP’s developer. 
  • XRP dropped 31% on Tuesday, but climbed back roughly 23% as of Thursday.
  • “XRP (the coin) is one foot in the grave,” Phil Liu, Chief Legal Officer at Arca, told Business Insider. “Ripple, the company, may be insolvent by the end of 2021 if it can’t raise money by selling XRP and its other products aren’t profitable.”
  • The SEC’s lawsuit is against Ripple, not XRP the token. TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington explained that “whatever happens to Ripple, XRP will continue to exist. It exists independent of the company.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Several cryptocurrency exchanges have delisted trading of the XRP token this week following the SEC’s complaint against Ripple Labs, XRP’s developer. 

Cryptocurrency exchange and finance platforms including Crypto.com, Coinbase and OkCoin said this week they were suspending trading of the XRP token. Crypto payments firm Wirex and app Ziglu followed suit shortly after, according to The Block.

The delistings follow a complaint from the SEC last week stating that Ripple had effectively been running a $1.3 billion unregistered offering with its sales of XRP, which the regulator deemed a security and not a cryptocurrency. 

“We have been closely monitoring the news surrounding the December 22nd SEC lawsuit against Ripple, the company behind XRP, and two of its key executives,” OkCoin said in a Monday statement. “As the lawsuit proceedings take place, we have determined it is the best course of action to suspend XRP trading and deposits on OKCoin effective January 4, 2021.”

While Coinbase said: “In light of the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple Labs, Inc, we have made the decision to suspend the XRP trading pairs on our platform.” 

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XRP dropped 31% on Tuesday, losing 75% in value since hitting a two-year high in early November, when investors took advantage of a weaker US dollar to pile into cryptocurrencies. As of Thursday the coin has gained roughly 23% since its Tuesday low. 

Phil Liu, Chief Legal Officer at Arca, sees the SEC lawsuit as a risk for the XRP token, and a more serious one for Ripple itself.

“XRP (the coin) is one foot in the grave,” Liu told Business Insider. “Ripple, the company, may be insolvent by the end of 2021 if it can’t raise money by selling XRP and its other products aren’t profitable. I don’t see a viable alternative to replace XRP sales except to move out of the U.S. and exclude U.S. investors from buying XRP. They would have to start from scratch because all XRP profits would be disgorged since they all occurred when Ripple was a U.S.-based company.”

However, Michael Arrington, TechCrunch founder and Arrington XRP capital partner said XRP will still be a viable token as Ripple doesn’t own all of XRP. The SEC lawsuit is against Ripple, not the XRP token.  

“Whatever happens to Ripple, XRP will continue to exist. It exists independent of the company. It exists on a distributed ledger,” Arrington explained.

Arrington said he believes the SEC wants to bring the case to court, so that the courts can establish clearer laws surrounding cryptocurrencies. 

He also said it’s unclear whether the rest of the SEC or DOJ feels the same way about Ripple as outgoing Secretary Jay Clayton does.

Chris LaVigne, a partner at the law firm Withers said it’s hard to say what Clayton’s suit means for the future of cryptocurrency regulation.

“This suit was filed just before a change in administration. It is a suprising action in that respect. There was clearly no immediate need for an enforcement action, and it is unclear how the new administration will view the lawsuit or the Commission’s general enforcement agenda in this area,” LaVigne told Business Insider.

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