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Ripple Executive Denies Bribing Coinbase For XRP Listing; Should You Believe It?

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Miguel Vias, the head of XRP markets at Ripple, denied allegations of paying off Coinbase to list XRP on their cryptocurrency exchange.

The response followed a series of bribery accusations shot towards Coinbase after its sudden announcement of adding XRP trading pairs to its platform on Feb 26. In contrast, the US exchange had earlier remained cautious of the said listing. As many speculate, Coinbase’s careful approach was due to XRP’s controversial history with Ripple Labs, a San Francisco startup that owns 60% of XRP – a stock worth billions of dollars.

What also concerned the company was a pending $167.7 million class-action lawsuit against Ripple which would determine whether or not XRP is a security asset.

However, all the genuine concerns Coinbase had were washed aside almost too suddenly, at least according to Allistair Milne.

The CIO of Altana Digital Currency Fund reached Coinbase’s communications’ director, Elliott Suthers via an email with a set of interrogative questions. He asked Suthers whether or not Coinbase sought the permission of either the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) before offering XRP to the public. Milne also asked whether there was a private deal between Coinbase and Ripple for listing XRP pairs.

According to a screenshot published February 26, Suthers told Milne that Coinbase was happy to discuss his questions “off the record.” Milne took the response as a piece of evidence proving that Ripple had bribed Coinbase.

“You god damn right they did,” Milne hashtagged.

Vias: XRP Not Our Token

Miguel Vias contradicted Milne’s statement in a February 28 tweet. He clarified that Ripple didn’t pay Coinbase anything to make the XRP listing happen. Vias also claimed that XRP was not their token.

The “not our token” theory signified that Ripple, as a company, didn’t issue XRP tokens.

Ripple had faced a lot of flack for holding a majority of XRP stakes. In response, the company decided to lock their 55 billion XRP tokens away from themselves – in a cryptographic escrow account. The time-based smart contracts would release 1 billion XRP on the 1st of every month. At the end of each month, Ripple would place the remaining unused tokens into a new escrow account set to expire in another 55 months from creation.

Still, Ripple had a say when it came to distributing XRP tokens.

On October 13, 2017, Ripple launched a RippleNet accelerator program to increase the “XRP utility.” The company allocated a $300 million XRP fund from its escrow holdings and declared that it would reward those financial institutions with XRP that test RippleNet payment framework. As a result, Ripple was able to attract partnerships from mainstream financial firms.

“This rebate — available in XRP or USD — is designed to accelerate adoption and usage of Ripple solutions.” the post read.

Incentivization, or free distributions, became one of the significant tools for Ripple to boost XRP adoption. And a Bloomberg report published in April 2018 revealed the same.

The $100 Million Incentive?

Bloomberg reported that Ripple had suggested paying financial incentives to crypto exchanges Gemini and Coinbase for XRP listing. In Coinbase’s case, Ripple had allegedly offered to lend $100 million in XRP to start letting its users trade the token. The firm had reportedly made a similar offer to Gemini – albeit amounting to $1 million.

Milne reiterated his accusation with the Bloomberg article. He asked Vias whether Ripple and Coinbase exchanged any assets in over the past 12 months or more. Milne also found it hard to believe that Coinbase, a company embroiled in multi-lawsuit accusations of insider trading surrounding its Bitcoin Cash listing, didn’t take a single penny but yet listed XRP.

The Coinbase Nostalgia

On December 19, 2017, Coinbase had made a surprise announcement that it was adding Bitcoin Cash trading option to its platform. Earlier, the company had refused to list the said crypto asset, so the u-turn took the trading community by surprise. Indeed, the price of Bitcoin Cash surged on the news within minutes, reaching as high as $1,000. In response, Coinbase canceled and all the further BCH trades citing liquidity issues.

According to Jeffery Berk, the primary plaintiff in the lawsuit filed May 2018, insiders were able to flood GDAX – a crypto trading platform owned by Coinbase – with BCH orders soon after the news went public. Coinbase, based on an internal investigation’s outcome, claimed that no such Bitcoin Cash insider trading took place.

 

Why would a regulated exchange risk its neck to list unproven securities? The jury is still out.

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Ripple (XRP) Bulls Weak but Japanese Investors are Confident

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The hype element specific to cryptocurrencies meant 90 percent of surveyed individuals got involved with cryptocurrencies in late 2017. That’s around the same time when almost all digital assets “mooned” according to data collected by Japan’s GMO Internet Group and subsequently reported by Ethereum World News.

Even though 2018 was a tough year for crypto asset holders it is encouraging that more than 50 percent of the 11,000 surveyed had Ripple (XRP) in their portfolio and were convinced 2019 would be a better year for XRP. Better still, 70 percent of those polled were of the opinion that aside from speculation, cryptocurrencies are long-term investments. 95 percent had invested more than $9,500 in digital assets but the number could rise thanks to SBI Group’s effort and their dedication of supporting Ripple Inc as they market XRP.

But it is not only in Japan where cryptocurrencies can be a source of revenue. An Indian exchange, Coindcx, has rolled out a program where account holders can lend their assets and earn interest. Dubbed the Dcxlend, five coins including XRP are available with monthly interest of 0.75 percent for XRP.

All coins, the exchange said, will be “lent through Dcxlend will be used to provide leverage to users on Dcxmargin” and “the interest rate varies dynamically and goes up to a maximum of 2 percent, according to market dynamics — demand and supply.”

XRP/USD Price Analysis

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Down 2.8 percent in the last day, Ripple (XRP) performance is dismal. That has been the situation in the last month or so and as prices consolidate within a 4 cents zone, buyers have a chance above 30 cents. Regardless of recent liquidation, our previous XRP/USD trade plans are valid and bulls may rally in days ahead with the only condition being rejection of lower lows.

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Trend and Candlestick Arrangement: Ranging but Bullish

As visible from the daily chart, Ripple (XRP) prices are in range mode. That has been the case in the last three months or so and even up-thrusts of Jan 30 and the follow through of Feb 8 couldn’t catalyze interest needed for prices to rally above 34 cents—our immediate minor resistance line representing the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement of Dec 2018 high low.

Unless otherwise XRP prices find support and bulls reject further liquidation below 30 cents, it is likely that XRP will snap back to trend and expand in the direction set by late Sep 2018 bulls. If not and Bitcoin draw down compound losses for alt-coins including XRP, then odds are the asset price will tank below 30 cents towards 25 cents invalidating our trade plan as the BB squeeze turns to a distribution.

Volume: Bearish

Our anchor bar is Feb 24—61 million versus 30 million. Since Feb 25 upswings weren’t confirmed as asset prices consolidated, bears from an effort versus result perspective have an upper hand. It all boils to how prices will react at 30 cents—our first level of support and 34 cents—our buy trigger line. If prices drop then bears of Feb 24 would flow back but if prices rally above 34 cents then 30 cents would turn out to be reliable support if not a firm foundation for $60 cents.

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Ripple Inc Foothold in Middle East, Rain Now Supports XRP

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It’s all about liquidity and making XRP accessible to all. Rain, a Bahrain based Sharia compliant cryptocurrency exchange now supports XRP, the native token of the Ripple ledger, and will trade the asset against the Bahrain Dinar, Kuwaiti Dinar, UAE Dirham, Saudi Riyal, Oman Rial and the US Dollar.

According to reports by Saudi Gazette, the crypto exchange is the first to graduate from the country’s regulator sandbox after successfully ticking all check-boxes as stipulated by Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB), a Sharia Advisory firm licensed by the Bahrain’s central bank and tasked with issuing compliance certificates.

Rain is now applying for the required operational license. Rain joins the likes of Stellar, X8, Ovamba and Beehive as firms advised by the SRB who have solid plans of expanding and having a foothold in the region. Yasser S. Dahlawi, the CEO of SRB said:

“With more than 13 years of experience in the Shariah certification and Shariah audit businesses, we are confident that we will be able to further develop the Islamic crypto and exchange business systematically and help customers like Rain open new opportunities for investors.”

Now that the SRB has determined that the exchange’s activities—sale, custody and purchase of assets—are in line with Sharia principle, Rain would now focus their efforts and ensure that their assets are available to high-net worth institutions as Islamic hedge funds as well as super-capitalized family offices in the country. Abdullah Almoaiqel, one of the co-founders of the three-year old exchange said:

“This is a major milestone in the cryptocurrency and Islamic markets. This is the implementation of Rain’s mission to provide the Middle East with a cryptocurrency exchange that meets the highest standards in terms of regulation, accessibility, security and trust. We are excited to open the Islamic markets to cryptocurrency with a Shariah-compliant exchange and a suite of cryptocurrency investment opportunities. We could not be more excited to have graduated the sandbox and are very close to our public launch now.”

That XRP would at the end of the day be compliant with Sharia law was expected and confirms confidence espoused by Dilip Rao, who is the Global head for Infrastructure Innovation at Ripple. While speaking at the Global Islamic Economic Summit in Dubai late last year he was confident that most if not all of Ripple Inc solutions where compatible with Sharia Laws.

“If you can, with integrity, tokenize an asset worth a million dollars, you can now have a million people share in that asset rather than necessarily one millionaire. It starts to solve for reach into the unbanked. We think therefore aligns well with all of the Islamic finance principles.”

He went on adding that XRP as a reliable digital asset can be used by several countries like UAE who plan to transition, taking government activities to the DLT by 2020. By doing so, Rao reckons that it “is a fantastic way to encourage innovation, to bring Fintechs to your market and then to then build the capability locally to iterate on those solutions that the Fintechs bring.”

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XRP receives another boost as Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Bitbuy adds coin to its roster

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XRP was given a massive boost after Bitbuy, a Canadian cryptocurrency platform, heeded to its growing user base and added the world’s third largest cryptocurrency to its platform.

Making the announcement, the exchange tweeted,

“#whenXRP?  NOW!
XRP is now live on Bitbuy! Buy, sell, deposit and withdraw #XRP today.
#xrparmy #xrpcommunity”

The exchange revealed that XRP can be now traded with Canadian dollars [CAD], with Bitcoin [BTC] arriving on the platform soon. In what is yet another cap in XRP’s adoption spree, Bitbuy is the fifth exchange to list XRP on its platform in this week alone. Bitbuy’s website read:

“Bitbuy is a Canadian owned and operated digital currency platform. Originally founded as InstaBT in 2013, the company’s mission is to provide convenient, dependable and secure access to Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Bitbuy currently operates out of downtown Toronto and is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Ledger Corporation.”

Bitbuy wasn’t the only exchange involved with XRP this week, as CoinField, another Canadian cryptocurrency exchange, revealed that XRP was going to be added as a base pair for 130+ trading pairs on its testnet.

The tweet by CoinField read,

“We’re glad to announce 130+ new coins have been successfully integrated to our #TESTNET and will be added to @CoinFieldEX eventually once our #legal evaluation and security review is done. We will offer these new coins in both fiat & #XRP based trading pairs. #cryptocurrency”

The XRP community received the new developments with applause, with many claiming that it will result in an increase in the coin’s prices and market volume. This, however, was not an opinion shared by some popular community members, who went on to state that xRapid will not ‘flip the switch’ on the price of XRP.

The conversation was started by Nayer Malik, a Twitter user, who tweeted,

“@galgitron @Hodor @jungleincxrp @C3_Nik …Guys what r ur thoughts on Bob Way’s view regarding X-Rapid usage not increasing the price in and of itself.”

To this, Galgitron, a crypto enthusiast, replied,

“Sure, there may be some massive FOMO buy-in once banks announce they are starting to use xRapid, and that will send the monkey [price action] hundreds of feet into the air, but, only speculation creates parabolics.”

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