XRP Rises as Observers Claim Ripple 1 – SEC 0

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In Brief
  • The SEC - Ripple Labs, et al cases underwent an initial hearing in SDNY on Mar. 19.

  • Judge Netburn asked Ripple's lawyers about its use cases and differentiation from BTC and ETH.

  • The question, and others, set XRP higher in a largely dormant market.

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The XRP community celebrates as an initial hearing with Judge Netburn in the SEC – Ripple, et al, cases lean toward the platform.



The proceedings in the court case against Ripple Labs and CEOs Christian Larsen and Brad Garlinghouse took a turn on Mar. 19. The case was conducted online, with a phone line for observers. 

During the proceedings, Judge Netburn asked the defense for clarification:



“My understanding of XRP is that not only does it have a currency value but it also has a utility and that utility distinguishes it from Bitcoin and Ether.”

The defense replies that Bitcoin and Ether do also have their own use cases, but that the utility of XRP is undeniable. The defense then gives an example of cross-border inter-bank transfers.

The audio of the whole hearing can be found at:

No XRP Celebrations, Yet

Despite the initial indication of the judge’s understanding of the case, a quick end to the saga is not likely. The timing of the motions and responses to date extend through June 4. This is for initial motions from both parties.

XRP Market Reaction

Even though this is only an initial stage of the court battle, the market responded positively to the news. As this report was written, XRP is the only coin in the top-10 by market cap to rise over the last 24 hours.

SEC Accusations

The SEC filed charges against Ripple Labs, and separately, Garlinghouse and Larsen, for selling unregistered securities. In a Dec. 22 press release, the SEC claimed that Ripple raised funds totaling around $1.2 billion. Furthermore, Christian Larsen and Brad Garlinghouse had raised an additional $600 million worth of unregistered securities. In both cases, the sales were of XRP.

Another Accusation

On Feb. 8, 2021, Ripple investor Barry Sostack filed for the company to produce documents “improperly withheld” showing correspondence between Ripple and the SEC. Sostack is the lead plaintiff in a class-action suit against the company.

The SEC faces lawsuits itself as Ripple investors begin circling. They question the SEC’s focus on investor protection. The SECs actions, they say, have wiped billions of investments off the table, given the market reaction to the suit the Commission launched. The XRP price plunged, and it was delisted from American exchanges.


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James Hydzik is a finance and technology writer and editor based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He is especially interested in the development of regulation in the face of increasingly rapid technological change. He previously covered the CEE region for Financial Times banking and FDI magazines. An ardent believer in gut renovating eastern Europe one flat at a time, he currently holds more home renovation gear than crypto.

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