XRP Tradings and Deposits Will Cease In January – Bitstamp

XRP trading and deposits for US customers are set to be discontinued, says the popular exchange, Bitstamp. This comes a few days after the announcement of the US Securities and Exchange Commission that they will be pursuing legal actions against Ripple and two of its executives, Garlinghouse and Larsen.

XRP haters are still having their field day in the sun as another well-known cryptocurrency exchange announced the halt of XRP trading. This started after Ripple revealed that they would be facing legal actions from the US Securities and Exchange Commission for illegal securities sales. Since then, the price of XRP kept diving.

Immediately after the lawsuit was announced, several exchanges have begun removing XRP from their list and halted trading for their US customers. OSL, CrossTower, and Beaxy have already stopped trading XRP on their platforms. The crypto hedge fund Bitwise has also removed XRP from its portfolio. All of them cited the lawsuit as the reason for their actions.

And, most recently, Bitstamp has also announced the end to XRP trading for US customers on their platform. As the largest exchange to do so, Bitstamp’s delisting of XRP is the biggest blow to Ripple’s prospects in recovering in the US so far. Bitstamp says that they will be keeping track of the situation and adapt to any developments.

On the company’s website, they announced that they would be stopping all trading and deposits for Ripple’s XRP on January 8, 2021, at 9 PM UTC. US customers will be allowed to withdraw thereafter. However, citizens from outside the United States will not be affected.

Ripple announced that they were expecting a lawsuit from the SEC a day before the regulatory entity’s official announcement. Their CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen were accused of carrying out an “on-going” illegal sale of securities by the authorities.

After Ripple announced the upcoming lawsuit, their price fell by 36% in the following day. Ripple has been going steady throughout the summer while many other cryptos were seeing huge gains. Then came the highly anticipated airdrop of the Flare Network’s tokens, Spark. XRP’s price then rose to a high $0.79. These tokens will help implement contracts on the XRP chain, and each eligible XRP holder was promised corresponding Spark tokens after the snapshot on December 11, 2020.

The lawsuit news then arrived, and their prices plummeted. Since then, XRP has been struggling to stay above the $0.30 mark. In contrast, Bitcoin has broken the $25,000 mark and is gaining the most attention. This may mean a more difficult time for XRP, currently the 3rd biggest cryptocurrency, to recover.

Ripple’s XRP Regains 35% Just Before “Dr. Doom” Spells Crypto Death

In another ill-fated tweet by “Dr. Doom” Roubini reiterates the death of cryptocurrencies and tokens. This happened just when XRP regained 35% of its worth and Bitcoin continues its bull run to its new all-time highs.

Nouriel Roubini, a naysayer of Bitcoin, believes that Joe Biden, president-elect of the United States, will go to greater lengths to control the cryptocurrency industry. In a heated twitter debate on Christmas eve, Roubini, known for his dislike on crypto and his ability to call market bottoms by mistake, called the cryptocurrency a “cesspool.”

He went as far calling pro-cryptocurrency lawyers as “delusional.” Roubini was responding to Jake Chervinsky, a lawyer studying the fallout from the news about the U.S. lawmakers were demanding for the stablecoin payments to implement an on-chain Anti-Money Laundering and Know-Your Customer  (AML/KYC) identification processes in their system.

The pro-crypto lawyer, Chervinsky, argues that the idea currently has no chances of becoming a law that can be enforced. Rather, it represented the “personal views” held by Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary who served under Trump and soon to be replaced by Janet Yellen, Biden’s pick for the role.

An irate Roubini retorted with calling Chervinsky delusional. He had these to say in response as well.

“Biden’s team, starting with Yellen who was my boss at CEA, will crack down on this criminal tax evading & AML-KYC-TFC-evading crypto/shitcoins cesspool much more than Mnuchin. Get a life as you have become a crypto hired gun cheerleader/enabler.”

The skeptics of the industry have been continually buoyed this week after news that the US Securities and Exchange Commission have filed a lawsuit against the blockchain payments network Ripple and two of its executives broke out. The largest investors in their cryptocurrency, XRP, Ripple has seen a 60% drop in value immediately after the lawsuit went public.

At the same time, others noted that Bitcoin, currently the largest crypto-token, didn’t really react to the lawsuit. However, surveys show that many are still concerned about the potential for government entities to ban these tokens and affect their successes.

However, proponents countered this argument and sees this as impossible. They say that the most effective way to counter cryptocurrencies is to reintroduce free markets on a sound monetary standard such as gold, something that is unlikely to happen.

Meanwhile, the possible responses is Roubini continues his current outburst regarding cryptocurrencies, like XRP and Bitcoin, are looking bleak. As data shows, his outbursts have almost always matched the local price lows for these tokens, making the economist an accidental signboard for those looking to enter the market and profit from cryptocurrencies.

Ripple XRP’s Price May Continue to Fall After 64 Loss

XRP’s price keeps diving on Binance because of three key factors that keep the cryptocurrency from recovering. As of writing, XRP is valued at $0.2677 after dropping to below $0.3 on December 24.

The pressure to sell XRP has been getting more intense since the announcement of the high-profile lawsuit filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission against Ripple and its two executives, Garlinghouse and Larsen.

According to analyses, three major factors heavily affected the price of XRP. Aside from the SEC’s infamous lawsuit, the delisting by exchanges and the negative light at which the public sees the currency is also preventing it from recovering.

An investor says that this lawsuit is worse than EOS and Kik. Historically, this isn’t the first time the SEC filed a high-profile lawsuit against a blockchain firm or token. EOS and Kik have previously settled with the SEC, and according to Cinnemhain Ventures’ Adam Cochran, the lawsuits were considered as security violations only at the point of sale. Unlike these two, SEC alleges that XRP is still violating the securities law. Cochran interpreted this as the SEC still believing that the XRP is still a security.

Numerous lawyers also noted that Ripple might have a hard time pleading ignorance because of the documents the SEC cited in their lawsuit. This makes the lawsuit more complex for the company to deal with, regardless of the CEO Brad Garlinghouse’s willingness to fight it out.

Aside from these, Cochran also mentioned that some sources suggested that Coinbase had discussions with counsel about delisting XRP. However, exchanges do not have to delist the crypto token yet.  Although, if the token is declared as a security, lawyers say that the exchanges would have to delist the token preemptively, or they will be facing various risks.

Cochran had this to say regarding the matter:

“Sources [are] suggesting that Coinbase has already had discussions with counsel about the delisting of $XRP. It seems two potential plans are forming, one which puts the delisting on Friday. Unclear which Coinbase products it will impact but most likely Coinbase and Pro.”

Another possible reason for this is the negative social media sentiments around Ripple, causing it to decline further. According to data from Santiments, discussions on social media about cryptocurrencies are dominated by XRP and the current lawsuit from the SEC. Data from The Tie also shows that XRP scored their second-lowest level ever, while the volume of tweets spiked to new highs.

XRP’s Value Dives Nearly 40 After Announcement of SEC Charges on Ripple

Ripple’s XRP has lost almost 40% of its value, from $0.51 on December 21 to around $0.31 at the time of writing. The plunge appears to have happened due to the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit against Ripple and two of its executives, CEO Garlinghouse and Co-founder Larsen. The cryptocurrency has since traded volumes of around $4.85 billion recorded in the last 24 hours.

This huge selling of the XRP token appears to have resulted from the Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse’s announcement that the SEC would launch a legal proceeding against them and their company. The following day, The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that they filed a $1.3 billion legal action against the two executives and their company, Ripple, for alleged conducting of an unregistered security offering.

In light of the continuous drop of the XRP’s value, Garlinghouse angrily accused the SEC of being biased against his company and their token while appearing to allow free passes for Bitcoin and Ethereum. As previously said by the SEC, they say that XRP is a security, which means s that it is subject to what the US Securities Act dictates. The Ripple CEO, who repeatedly threatened to exit the United States because of SEC’s regulatory approach, doubled down on this and rejected the newly clarified characterization of XRP as a security.

In his several public announcements and attempts to push back against the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Garlinghouse claims that the XRP token is a capable and fully functioning currency that can offer a better alternative. He also adds that aside from Bitcoin and Ethereum, “the two Chinese controlled virtual currencies” according to Ripple, XRP currently ranks as the most capitalized cryptocurrency tokens.

However, the latter comment gained some flak and has prompted swift responses from some Bitcoin users and the creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin. On Twitter, he accused Garlinghouse, along with his team, of “sinking to new levels of strangeness.” Also weighing in on the subject, the CEO of Galaxy, Mike Novogratz, said that he “finds it strange that Clayton waited years to do this.”

In contrast, Ryan Selkis thinks that the SEC will lose the case as they are “outclassed on legal.” He also adds that classifying XRP as security will further hurt US businesses while global companies will continue making these markets.

Another thing to note, as of the time of writing, there are currently new reports that the Hong Kong trading platform OSL has suspended XRP services because of this lawsuit.

Ripple Sued by SEC, Calling XRP a “$1.3B unregistered securities offering”

Ripple, Garlinghouse, and Larsen have allegedly participated in an “unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities offering” to investors since 2013, according to the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission)

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has recently taken legal actions against Ripple and its CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Christian Larsen.

In the charges filed on December 22, 2020, in federal district court in Manhattan, the SEC alleges that the XRP token is classified as a security and accuses that Ripple and its two executives of raising over $1.3 billion through an “unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities offering” to investors since 2013. The Securities and Exchange Commission also alleged that Ripple distributed XRP for “labor and market-making services,” and that the two executives, Garlinghouse and Larsen, failed to register their sales of their personal XRP, which amounts to an estimated $600 Million.

Stephanie Avakian, Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, had this to say regarding the matter: “[The things they have done has] deprived potential purchasers of adequate disclosures about XRP and Ripple’s business and other important long-standing protections that are fundamental to our robust public market system.”

Under the Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, individuals and cryptocurrency firms have to register their offerings with the SEC or an exemption if they are classified as securities. However, which tokens under this classification remain unclear and an extremely contentious subject. The cryptocurrency industry has been waiting for clarity from the commission or newer and clearer legislation on these classifications for a long time.

Meanwhile, the SEC alleges that Garlinghouse and Larsen had failed to register XRP back when it was still serving as an investment in Ripple, and it has enriched the pair of executives. The pair and the firm could face disgorgement of their gains and civil penalties.

News of the lawsuit from SEC broke out a day before it dropped and caused a steep drop in the price of XRP, having fallen 20% in the last week. On Twitter, Garlinghouse addressed the charges. He said that the SEC “voted to attack crypto” and “The SEC is doing the opposite of ‘fostering innovation’ here in the US.”

Garlinghouse announced the impending action of the SEC last night. In mid-November, the CEO said that since most RippleNet’s customers are located outside the United States, is classified as a security wouldn’t necessarily affect the company’s underlying business adversely. On the other hand, in early-2020, Larsen announced that Ripple is considering relocation outside the United States because of the frustrations with the SEC’s lack of regularity clarity

Ripple’s XRP to Flare’s Spark Token Airdrop Ratio Announced

After the December 11, 2020 snapshot done by Flare Network, they have finally announced how many Spark (FLR) tokens will be dished out for each eligible XRP holders. These users are those who transferred and held their tokens on participating cryptocurrency exchanges or wallets in anticipation of the airdrop.

It should be noted that after a period of a slump for XRP, its price finally rose since December started. This is because of the hype and anticipation for the long-awaited Spark (FLR) airdrop from Flare Network.

In a blog post, the Flare Network announced that they would be issuing around 46 million FLR tokens to people who had XRP in participating exchanges and wallets during the December 11 snapshot. Co-founder and CEO Hugo Philion also explained how the ratio for the airdrop was solved. The post had a long and complicated explanation for the ratio, but the bottom line is 1 XRP is equal to 1.0073 FLR tokens.

The formula they used basically calculated the amount of XRP that was eligible for the announced airdrop and was divided by the number of eligible participants. The formula also included three classifications for the tokens: XRP total is the total number of tokens in the snapshot, XRP Ripple are the tokens owned by the Ripple corporation, and XRP NPE are the tokens held on exchanges but not eligible for the FLR airdrop. The total XRP tokens was 99,990,822,918, with 54,172,271,587 tokens under XRP Ripple and 322,744.698 tokens classified as XRP NPE.

The reason behind this airdrop was to get people to pay attention to the coin by giving away free tokens. XRP has more or less remained as the third biggest non-stablecoin cryptocurrency in terms of market cap, with Bitcoin and Ethereum as first and second, respectively. And with their unique position, the airdrop got a lot of attention and traction.

However, the snapshot captured a large share from ineligible accounts. This may be from non-participating or corporate clients, with statistics saying that the top 100 accounts own around 66% of XRP. This number doesn’t necessarily represent the total number of holders eligible for the drop, as the exchanges have many other clients. Some of them may be Ripple staff or ineligible for other reasons, making them ineligible to receive FLR tokens once they drop.

Luckily, most users who kept their XRP on exchanges and major platforms supported the airdrop. Among these are Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance. Some wallets like Ledger also participated. People who held their XRP on these places should receive their FLR once the tokens arrive. However, independent XRP wallet holders would have to claim their FLR from Flare Networks.

Ripple’s XRP Potential Highlighted in World Economic Forum

Ripple, along with Bitcoin and Ethereum, were the stars of a publication regarding the crypto market’s potential, strategy, objectives, and goals. This publication was titled “Crypto, What Is It Good For?”. This reviewed the main projects and cryptocurrencies in the current industry and their cases and applications in several different sectors. The three were highlighted among other major cryptocurrencies.

This was developed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Future Council on Cryptocurrencies that has experts who focus on making cryptocurrencies and digital tokens useful in a wide range of cases in different industries. The experts also made classifications for these cryptocurrencies and the networks where they are capable of operating.

The study included projects that were divided into base layer blockchain and cryptocurrency, second layer protocols, financial products and services, and non-financial and service applications. The experts created this classification to educate and create more awareness regarding the class in which these digital assets fall. The report claims:

“Cryptocurrencies have reached a point of inevitability. We have dedicated our careers to advancing the adoption and use of cryptocurrencies because we believe they represent an enormous opportunity to grow the global digital economy and benefit consumers and businesses across the world.”

Furthermore, the World Economic Forum (WEF) claims that Ripple is in the process of building “the next generation financial infrastructure.” This is because of the product they have, namely RippleNet and On-Demand Liquidity (ODL). With these, Ripple can create a global financial communication bridge that is capable of allowing its customers to make transactions quickly, safely, and at low cost, especially when sending money.

The report from WEF says that RippleNet is “decentralized and standardized” which makes it free of even a single point of failure. These strengths, with the addition of Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity solution, eliminates the need for two or more financial institutions to “prefunded” accounts and also adds the following capabilities and functions  to XRP:

“XRP was built for a payments use case. It settles in approximately 3 seconds, already scales to 1,500+ transactions per second (TPS), consumes negligible energy, and has a very low transaction cost ($0.0003). It is open-source and decentralized, making it a convenient instrument in bridging two different currencies quickly and efficiently.”

Since announcing RippleNet, Ripple has encouraged hundreds of users to join it and currently has 30 active ODL users. Among them, the WEF highlighted American Express, SBI, Santander Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Azimo, and MoneyGram, among many others.

Ripple net is available in 55 countries and can transact and send payments in over 70. With this, Ripple has managed to process around 2 million transactions, all of which are worth over $7 billion. 25% of these have been done using their ODL.

Ripple Partnered SBI Offers Custody to Institutions With Securitize Partnership

Ripple’s Partner, SBI Digital, recently announced their partnership with the Japanese company Scrutinize. Their partnership aims to integrate the platform developed by the Japanese company and manage digital securities with their digital “sbiwallet” wallet. This partnership will allow foreign users to access the Japanese stock market more easily and quickly.

SBI Digital is a subsidiary partner of Ripple under the SBI Group Asset Holdings. As previously seen regarding the foreign supporters of Ripple and XRP, this company is currently among the major supporters of Ripple and the cryptocurrency in their bid to enter the Asian financial scene.

The SBI Holding’s CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao, is a major driver on Ripple’s BOD (board of directors) and is the driving force behind the XRP adaptation in the Asian market. Aside from Ripple, a few others have invested in SBI Digital, such as BRD, R3, and Börse.

According to their announcement, the “sbiwallet” is their bid at a custody solution for institutional investors. This wallet has MPC technology that will sign transactions while also protecting the users’ assets. Aside from this security, it also offers a product designed to meet the compliance requirements and regulations with its multi-layered multi-step authentication model. This will all be done following the anti-money laundering policy that SBI Digital Holdings is following.

Through this cooperation, its users will have a platform that will allow them to sell, manage, and issue securities in a fast and “efficient” way that also follows the regulations. Fernando Luis Basquez Kao, CEO of SBI Digital Asset Holdings, said that they are very much looking forward to being able to further drive the growth of digital solutions in Japan through the integration of the “sbiwallet” and the securitize platform.

With this, Securitize has become a part of the SBI Digital Holding’s growing ecosystem. In the past years, the company has been increasing its partnerships to provide institutional investors with multiple offerings through its digital financial ecosystem. As a registered and recognized transfer agent by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Securitize will be providing accessibility and liquidity to the US ecosystem for SBI.

Hidetoshi Kobayashi, Securitize Japanese Country Manager, had this to add about the partnership:

“This partnership will give our customers a one-stop access to the STO platform with industry-leading security and convenience. We are pleased to help develop the STO market in Japan through this partnership.”

RippleNet Used By Commerce Finance Bank Euro Exim to Facilitate Funds

Ripple is working with Euro Exim, an international commerce finance bank, to attach themselves to banks, cost suppliers, and digital asset exchange by utilizing the RippleWeb.

As a category A Worldwide Banking Monetary establishment, Euro Exim is included under the revised legal guidelines and regulations of St. Lucia. This authorizes the bank to conduct enterprising with third party events throughout different industries worldwide.

The bank has undergone operations and carried out Ripple’s xCurrent and ODL (On-Demand Liquidity) companies using Ripple’s technical capabilities and experience in blockchain buying and selling tricks and techniques and world funds.

Euro Exim had this to say in one of their weblogs:

“By way of the advantages prolonged by our partnership with RippleWeb, we make sure that our purchasers will expertise safety, velocity, and integrity of cross-border transactions.”

xCurrent is Ripple’s enterprise software program answer that allows banks and other entities to talk in real-time and settle their cross-border fund transfers while allowing for end-to-end monitoring for security.

The transactions that will happen will utilize the ODL (On-Demand Liquidity) platform, which is currently using the XRP token because of these exchanges’ underlying exchange mechanisms. Using this DL will decrease operating costs and allow for real-time native and foreign fund transfer in any participating markets and industries.

It can be remembered that just a few days ago, Euro Exim Bank announced this partnership with Ripple with a report regarding the relationship between the two entities. As part of Euro Exim Bank’s 2020 profile, they highlighted the importance of their collaboration with RippleNet and the potential it holds. As the report suggests, Euro Exim currently has a specific and bullish interest in the cryptocurrency XRP.

CEO of Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse, recently commented on the reasons why major or bigger banks are not partnering with their company, Ripple. He claims that small banks are more interested in these partnerships since they can adapt to changes faster and quickly undertake monetary innovations. On the other hand, bigger banks and monetary establishments already have their techniques in place and consequences. This makes newer and smaller banks faster in undertaking new platforms like RippleNet and the like.

One of these “smaller banks” is Euro Exim. They have only been in operation for about five years and are currently in full partnership with Ripple for their real-time funds and low liquidity transactions. This is made possible because of their partnership’s basis being the cryptocurrency, XRP.

Ripple CTO Announces Successful Optimization Trials on XRP Ledger

Ripple CTO David Schwartz recently shared the amazing statistics of their newly built XRP Ledger software. As made public on December 17, these statistics were acquired by Schwartz after merging different performance proposals by several software engineers. And the resulting product is very impressive. Schwartz even referred to the initials tests, after the implemented upgrade, as “incredibly encouraging.”

The recently performed test in the more optimum version of the XRP Ledger was done by shutting down the server and restarting it after a minute of waiting. As stated by Ripple’s CTO that this method is to replicate the process of restarting to upgrade similar operations and codes. The test measured three metrics: data processing, memory consumption, and the time the task was performed.

Via the Ripple CTO’s Twitter account, Schwartz stated that the XRP Ledger software’s current version is version 1.7.0-b5. This version has an average synchronization speed that clocks at 82 seconds. The software also occupies 5.2 Gigabytes of memory and can reach a total of 73,000 nodes per second.

In comparison, the newly optimized version that the Ripple CTO is currently testing has a synchronization speed of 37 seconds, occupies 2.2 GB, and can reach up to 327,000 nodes each second on the computer where Schwartz conducted the test. This improvement represents a major optimization upgrade close to 50% on almost every metric that they measured after the said upgrade.

The XRP Ledger GitHub page already has this published under the XRP Ledger optimization branch. The Ripple CTO also acknowledged and welcomed the contribution of the community and said that an audit would be needed to confirm the results of the test. He also doesn’t recommend using the optimized version on “real money machines” yet.

On another note, ScandiNodes, the Flare Network’s Scandinavian delegation service, has also announced that since December 16, they are functioning as an official validator of the XRP Ledger. This announcement extends the scope of their delegation services. This means that users will now be able to leverage their Spark tokens as viable collateral to get XRP/FXRP and earn trading fees.

As previously reported, on December 12, 2020, the Flare Network Snapshot that recorded the accounts that are eligible to be a recipient of the Airdrop of Spark tokens from Flare Networks happened. However, some users expected to receive the said tokens on the same day as well. Contrary to their belief, the token is expected to be distributed via this airdrop next year, either in the first or second quarter of 2021.