Ripple has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the SEC which targets documents pertaining to Ethereum co-founders
Ripple’s case before the Securities and Exchange Commission is threatening to have major, well, ripple effects for the industry.
On Jan. 29, Ripple Labs filed its response to the SEC’s complaint. Ripple, as it has many times before, argued that XRP is not a security i.e. an investment in Ripple and is therefore not in the SEC’s jurisdiction. Ripple is, moreover, prepared to drag the rest of the industry into its fight to make its case.
“The SEC has clearly picked two winners and ignored a growing and robust industry that is much larger than Bitcoin and Ether. In addition to discovery we will seek directly in the lawsuit, we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for more information about how the SEC determined the status of Ether as a non-security.”
The FOIA request in question, which is available here, brings into question Ether’s status. Representatives at the SEC have repeated many times that, while its presale may have been a securities offering at the time, Ether is sufficiently decentralized that it qualifies as a commodity and thus, Ether trading in the U.S. is under the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The FOIA request specifically asks for “All communications with the Ethereum Foundation and/or other relevant companies (including, but not limited to, ConsenSys) or individuals in the ether ecosystem (including but not limited to, Vitalik Buterin, Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, Mihai Alisie, Amir Chetrit, Joseph Lubin, Gavin Wood and Jeffrey Wilcke), or any attorneys or other individuals representing the Ethereum Foundation or other relevant companies or individuals in the ether ecosystem, and all documents, including internal communications, analyses, and other materials, that were prepared or relied upon by Director Hinman, or any other current or former Division Director, Staff, or Commissioner in reaching the determination that ether is not a security, including drafts of Director Hinman’s statements regarding ether and analyses prepared by SEC staff.”
The request is likely to entail a huge volume of records from several years of commission documents, given how long it took the commission to come forward with any statements at all.
The question of timing is critical in the Ether as security or commodity discussion. The Ether presale happened years before the SEC issued its DAO Report. A response to the meltdown of Ether investment into the Decentralized Autonomous Organization, the DAO Report was the SEC’s 2017 declaration that some cryptocurrencies were securities.
The subsequent years have seen enormous confusion as to what qualifies an initial coin offering as a security or not. Important to note is that Bitcoin, never having had a presale, never comes up in these conversations. The SEC has, nevertheless, never pursued Ether. But in December, the commission filed against Ripple in a landmark case that alleges that Ripple Labs’ sale of XRP constitutes an ongoing sale of investment contracts in the firm.
In its FOIA request, Ripple leans especially heavily on the claim that Bitcoin and Ether are both controlled by China-based mining pools, playing off of longstanding fears by U.S. regulators of Chinese control of digital assets. Ripple further asks for communications between the commission, particularly Division of Corporation Finance Director Bill Hinman, and key figures and attorneys for the Ethereum Foundation. While it is almost inconceivable that the SEC will back out of its many statements that Ether is a commodity at this stage in the game, Ripple’s aim seems to be to undercut the legitimacy of that decision in an effort to shore up its own defense.
The SEC’s case against Ripple has been coming for a long time, and Ripple has expended significant resources in trying to stave it off. While XRP also predates the DAO Report, the key argument is that Ripple continues to control the bulk of the XRP market in a way that, for example, the Ethereum Foundation, Vitalik Buterin, and Joe Lubin do not.
Since the SEC’s announcement, the price of XRP has collapsed and many U.S. exchanges have delisted the token.
Ripple CEO Claims Ether Surpassed XRP Because of SEC
Ether took XRP’s second spot because of the SEC, says Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse
During his appearance at the DC Fintech Week virtual conference, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse opined that the regulatory clarity that Ether, the second-biggest crypto, has received from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission allowed it to surpass XRP:
Within the last few years, XRP was the second most valuable digital asset. As it became given that the SEC had given a hall pass to ETH, ETH has obviously kind of exploded…That clarity has helped.
Garlinghouse adds that market forces are supposed to determine winners and losers instead of regulators.
In December 2017, XRP became the second-largest crypto but it has since slipped to seventh place.
Ether is now firmly in second place, with its market cap recently surpassing that of banking giant JPMorgan.
Garlinghouse slammed Gary Gensler for refusing to answer whether the rival cryptocurrency is a security, adding that the existing securities laws are outdated:
If laws are so clear, then let’s just say the answer to these questions.
He also praised “Twitter sleuths” who are busy dissecting the SEC’s case against Ripple.
The Ripple boss has reiterated his oft-repeated claim about the lack of clarity in the U.S. He also said that the company had signed zero new customers in the States due to regulatory headwinds, but this didn’t stop the company from expanding worldwide:
We are growing a lot more outside the United States.
China’s hostile stance toward crypto also doesn’t make a lot of sense in the long run, according to Garlinghouse.
Here’s how Ripple is expanding its footprint in Asia Pacific
Ripple is partnering with another company in Singapore to expand its services for cross-border payments in the Asia Pacific. The new partnership is aimed at expanding RippleNet’s footprint in the region by offering the fundamental infrastructures for cross-border payments for banks.
Ripple had a plan to acquire a 40% stake in Tranglo company, and the new partnership follows that intention. The first country to receive the results of the new partnership in the Philippines, and new corridors will be launched after that.
Providing the Structure for Cross-Border Payments
There are many opportunities in the Asia Pacific area for companies that are solving payment challenges. Cross-border payments are among the essential needs of banks and citizens in that region because many of the people work abroad and help their companies by sending money from other countries.
Ripple is among the most active blockchain companies that have a considerable focus on this area. The RippleNet solution has helped many big banks launch corridors for cross-border payments, and the new partnership with the Tranglo company is aimed to expand these services.
Tranglo will launch its first live On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service on RippleNet in the Philippines in six months as the first result of the partnership with Ripple. More corridors will be introduced in the coming months. The Philippines is a very good target region for this partnership because this country is the third-largest remittance-receiving country in Asia.
Tranglo is among the best companies in East Asia, helping cross-border payments for citizens. It has supported existing RippleNet corridors in the Asia Pacific before. Companies like BKK Forex, DeeMoney, and Siam Commercial Bank use Tranglo services. These new connections help the company process more currencies in the region.
Ripple execs believe the Singapore company can help them very well in expanding footprints in the Asia Pacific region. Brooks Entwistle, Managing Director of RippleNet in APAC and MENA, said:
“The strong traction with Tranglo in the past 6 months alone is testament to how we’re executing well on our shared mission to transform the cross-border payments experience in Asia Pacific, a region which is often tricky to navigate. Tranglo’s in-depth regional experience has been extremely instrumental in expanding RippleNet in Asia Pacific, and I’m excited to see us further collaborate to scale our partnership to new heights.”
New partners using the RippleNet solution for payments means more customers for Ripple. It always has been a great goal for the company, and it seems to be working based on numerous partnerships. All of these incidents can help the XRP coin, too, by increasing the demand.
Ripple Forecast and XRP/USD Analysis October 21, 2021
XRP/USD are trading at 1.1307 and continue to move within the growth and bullish channel. The capitalization of the Ripple cryptocurrency at the time of the publication of the forecast is $53,450,449,348. Moving averages indicate a short-term bearish trend for Ripple. Prices broke through the area between the signal lines upward, which indicates pressure from buyers of the asset and a potential continuation of the rise in the XRP rate in the market already from current levels. At the moment, we should expect an attempt to develop a small correction of the asset and a test of the support level near the 1.0785 area. Further, an upward rebound and a continuation of the rise of the cryptocurrency to the area above the level of 1.2505.
Ripple Forecast and XRP/USD Analysis October 21, 2021
In favor of raising the XRP/USD quotes, a test of the support line on the relative strength index (RSI) will come out. The second signal in favor of the growth of asset quotes will be a rebound from the lower border of the bullish channel. Cancellation of the option of raising the cryptocurrency will be the fall and closing of quotations below the level of 0.9505. This will indicate a breakdown of the support area and a continued fall in XRP/USD to the area below the level of 0.8505. Confirmation of the growth of the digital currency rate will be the breakdown of the resistance area and the closing of prices above the level of 1.2205, which will indicate a breakdown of the upper border of the downward correction channel.
Ripple Forecast and XRP/USD Analysis October 21, 2021 imply an attempt to test the support level near the 1.0785 area. Where can we expect the cryptocurrency to continue to rise with a potential target at the level of 1.2505. An additional signal in favor of the growth of Ripple will be a test of the trend line on the relative strength index (RSI). Cancellation of the option to raise quotes will be a fall and a breakdown of the 0.9505 area. In this case, we should expect a continuation of the decline in the rise in digital currency with a target below 0.8505.