The stalled digital asset has been surpassed by Solana and Cardano in market cap, but the XRP lawsuit will soon come to an end.
The cryptocurrency space is still in its infancy and many of the 18,000+ cryptos being traded on nearly 500 exchanges are not expected to survive in the long run the same way many internet startups failed in the aftermath of the dot-com bubble.
That’s why it is so critical for digital assets to stay in the top 100 list, which could be considered the big league. The top 10 cryptos, however, may be the ones that lay out the rules for the rest of the industry. Somewhat like FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Google).
Ripple was in the big leagues right from the start and for many years it was the #2 crypto by market cap, only behind Bitcoin. The rise of Ethereum to #2 could be attributed to Hinman’s 2018 speech. Now, the SEC v. Ripple might have stalled XRP in such a way that the digital asset is just waiting for good news from the court.
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The recent upward moves in the crypto space saw Solana ($43.6 billion) and Cardano ($40.4 billion) taking XRP’s ($39.9 billion) place in the ranking by market capitalization.
XRP holders now look to the XRP lawsuit in search of news that triggers a newfound galvanization in both markets and industry adoption of the digital asset. The quicker the better, they believe, but the SEC is playing the delay game to its advantage.
We spoke with Natalia Zakharova, Head of Business Development at FXOpen, about the case and if the SEC will drag it further to limit Ripple’s place at the negotiating table.
“The SEC has a worldwide reputation to uphold, yet has been left behind to some extent by the new economy which is somewhat global and totally digital. Although the SEC has been one of the first regulators to understand digital assets and blockchain-based technology, all it did was list them as an asset class, whilst continuing to concentrate on the traditional derivatives exchanges and securities,” Ms. Zakharova said, adding that the complexity of blockchain made it difficult for regulators to operate.
“The decentralized, global nature of protocols like Ripple are tough ones for national regulators whose remit is to oversee physical venues dealing in traditional asset classes in a specific jurisdiction.”
As to the delay tactics, the FXOpen executive believes the SEC could try to extend its case in an attempt to cost Ripple a lot of money in legal fees which would limit its negotiating power or disable it financially.
“It is quite rare that a US regulator makes a mistake and loses a case, therefore the SEC is regarded as a benchmark regulator,” she continued, despite the impressive contradictions and shortcomings of the plaintiff in this particular lawsuit.
Ms. Zakharova also mentioned there is a matter of reputation at play. “If the SEC continues to bait Ripple and still loses, there would be reputational damage and credibility would be dented, and potentially some public discourse at money wasted in an attempt to make a point that did not need making”.
In March, the FXOpen executive concluded that a settlement in the SEC v. Ripple lawsuit would likely trigger a long-awaited bullish move in the XRP market, thus prompting a recovery in the rank.
Ripple is getting closer to summary judgment on fair notice as Judge Analisa Torres ordered both parties to agree on a briefing schedule. The defendants want opening briefs on May 22, but the plaintiff thinks “it’s premature” and is likely looking to extend the XRP lawsuit as much as possible as time is it’s best weapon against Ripple in this case.
The upcoming court ruling on the SEC’s motion for reconsideration, however, might change everything. A Ripple win means that the SEC will be forced to produce the very sensitive documents regarding Hinman’s 2018 speech. XRP Holders’ attorney John Deaton believes the SEC will settle rather than hand over such damning evidence.
It has been hinted that these files could contain an SEC analysis on XRP that concluded the digital asset is not a security.