- Ripple is going on the offensive against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to attorney Jeremy Hogan, making the lawsuit a ‘winner takes all’ game.
- The fintech is seeking an affirmative defense to establish XRP as a non-security.
Ripple Labs filed its long-awaited response to the SEC yesterday. In a blog post, Stuart Alderoty, the company’s general counsel, provided a summary of the 93-page document. As Alderoty states, the only question that ultimately matters in the lawsuit is “whether Ripple‘s limited distributions of XRP were an investment contract.”
Alderoty summarized Ripple’s defense arguments as follows:
- XRP is a virtual currency and thus, outside the SEC’s jurisdiction.
- Ripple has never entered a contract for an investment with any holders of XRP.
- Ripple never held an ICO, never offered future tokens to raise money and has no relationship with the vast majority of XRP holders.
- Holding XRP does not mean a person receives a portion of Ripple’s revenue or profits.
- Ripple’s XRP sales amounted to far less than 1% of the massive XRP market that has grown over the last 8 years.
- The XRP Ledger, on which XRP actually moves, is completely decentralized. The SEC ignores the economic reality of an XRP transaction.
- Ripple’s XRP holdings do not create an investment contract any more than DeBeers holdings convert diamonds into securities.
No difference to Ethereum
Jeremy Hogan from the law firm Hogan & Hogan in Orlando (USA) commented on Ripple’s response in a YouTube video, arguing that Ripple’s response makes the lawsuit a “winner takes all” game.
As the lawyer notes, Ripple wants a quick decision, which is why they did not file a motion to dismiss. This has typically been done by Ripple in other lawsuits “only as a hassle or delay tactic.” In the SEC lawsuit, however, Ripple is waiving it in order to get a ruling as quickly as possible.
In addition to the arguments that Hogan believes are very strong, he highlights two strategies within the response letter in particular that he calls “brilliant.” First, Ripple has filed a motion under the Federal Sunshine Law to obtain the SEC’s informal opinion regarding Ethereum’s classification as a non-security. According to Hogan, this is by no means a “desperate move.”
if you listen to the SEC’s legal arguments, Ethereum at one point was definitely selling securities as well. So why the proclamation in 2018 that Ethereum didn’t sell securities? Ripple has seen a chink in the armor and is going for it. Who knows what they’ll find but this issue will put the SEC on its backfoot – very subtle but very good Ripple. Make the SEC defend itself for once.
Ripple makes the lawsuit a “winner takes all” game
Furthermore, Hogan also refers to “Affirmative Defenses” at the end of the response. An Affirmative Defense is something of a counter-attack by the defendant and raises issues that Ripple wants to be decided. “The difficult thing about affirmative defenses is that the defendant has the burden of proving them,” Hogan said. Of particular interest, according to Hogan, is Ripple’s 2nd Affirmative Defense:
XRP IS NOT A SECURITY. Ripple did not violate Section 5 of the Securities Act because XRP is not a security [… ] and therefore no registration was required with the sale of XRP.
As Hogan notes, the SEC avoided seeking a declaratory judgment that XRP is a security in its complaint. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is only seeking “damages and remedies that would affect XRP held in trust.” Ripple, however, is seeking to do just the opposite with this Affirmative Defense. This makes the lawsuit a “winner takes all” game:
So, in effect, Ripple itself has requested the complete ruling that the SEC did not – Ripple is saying they want a full determination from the court that XRP is not a Security. Ripple could’ve “escaped” this lawsuit with no such finding if it had wanted and here it is raising the major issue itself! […]
You see, I honestly thought, I assumed really, that Ripple would tip-toe into defending the lawsuit – looking for a quick settlement. But I apparently underestimated Ripple’s belief in its position. This Affirmative Defense shows that Ripple truly believes it can and will win, not just on certain offerings of XRP but all of them. When I read that Affirmative Defense I was like Morpheus in the Matrix.
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.