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Is XRP A Security Or Something Else?

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Is XRP A Security Or Something Else
Is XRP A Security Or Something Else?

The discourse surrounding the securities laws and the treatment of digital assets continues to draw debate among market participants, regulators, and legal practitioners. One of the most high-profile targets in this ongoing debate is XRP, a digital asset issued by Ripple Labs Inc. Despite voluminous public examination, regulators have not reached a consensus on the appropriate treatment for this widely traded digital asset.

Amid vociferous debate and clamoring from market participants for clear, concise and practical guidance from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the commission’s approach to the digital asset space to date has been notably sparse and cautious. However, we are currently enjoying a flurry of recent guidance. In April of this year, the SEC published the “Framework for Investment Contract Analysis of Digital Assets,” drawing heavily on a June 14, 2018, speech by William Hinman (the director of the corporate finance division of the SEC) on digital asset transactions. This suggests some hope that the SEC’s reluctance to embrace and promulgate digital asset guidance may be waning. This historical reluctance is made all the more apparent when compared with the vigor with which the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) have waded into the digital asset discussion, publishing numerous guides, interpretive letters, and proposed rules. Nevertheless, a pending class-action lawsuit against Ripple has the potential to offer a glimmer of regulatory clarity concerning the fundamental question that continues to disorder the digital asset ecosystem: When is digital asset security?

The Ripple lawsuit is slowly winding its way through the federal court system. Owing largely to procedural jostling, the plaintiffs in the case submitted an amended complaint on Aug. 5, to which Ripple responded on Sept. 19 with a motion to dismiss. 

Among other things, the plaintiffs allege that Ripple has raised hundreds of millions of dollars through the sale of XRP — an asset that the plaintiffs allege is unregistered security — to retail investors in violation of the registration provisions of federal and state securities laws. In addition to claiming that XRP constitutes a security under California law, the plaintiffs in the Ripple case argue that XRP is a security under the SEC’s long-standing “investment contract” analysis promulgated under 1946 case of the SEC v. W.J. Howey Co., 328 U.S. 293 — i.e., the Howey test). Whether any asset (including a digital asset) constitutes an investment contract — and thus a security under the Howey test — is determined by the satisfaction of the following four elements: 1) an investment of money, 2) in a common enterprise, 3) with a reasonable expectation of profits, 4) to be derived from the efforts of others. The plaintiffs, in asserting their case, borrow heavily from the aforementioned SEC framework, quoting from it extensively. 

The SEC framework, mentioned above, suggests, perhaps rather evidently, that “the first prong of the Howey test is typically satisfied in an offer and sale of a digital asset because the digital asset is purchased or otherwise acquired in an exchange for value.” The plaintiffs echo this sentiment and claim that XRP clearly satisfies the first prong of the Howey test. With respect to the second prong of the Howey test, the plaintiffs argue that purchasers of XRP have clearly invested in a “common enterprise,” acknowledging Ripple’s own concession that it “sells XRP to fund its operations and promote the network.”

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One Billion of Ripple’s XRP Released From Escrow As BTC and ETH Whale Activity Escalates

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One Billion of Ripple’s XRP Released From Escrow As BTC and ETH Whale Activity Escalates

One billion XRP owned by Ripple has just been released from escrow, making it available for the San Francisco startup to sell to institutions and crypto exchanges.

It’s part of a monthly routine set up by Ripple in late 2017. At that time, Ripple locked 55 billion XRP into separate escrow accounts – each account containing 1 billion XRP.

Every month, 1 billion XRP is unlocked from escrow, and the amount that Ripple doesn’t sell is placed right back into escrow 30 days later.

The process is designed to assure investors that Ripple will never sell all of its holdings on the open market at once.

“To provide additional predictability to the XRP supply, Ripple has locked 55 billion XRP (55% of the total possible supply) into a series of escrows.

These escrows are on the ledger itself and the ledger mechanics, enforced by consensus, control the release of the XRP.”

With the price of XRP lagging far behind Bitcoin in 2019, Ripple has faced increasing criticism that its sales of XRP are keeping the price of the third-largest cryptocurrency from rising.

Ripple sells XRP to crypto exchanges on a daily basis, at 10 basis points of the daily XRP volume. It also conducts over-the-counter (OTC) sales to institutions looking to buy the crypto asset in large quantities. The company strongly denies the notion that its sale has any impact on the market.

Ripple says it sold $66.24 million worth of XRP in the third quarter of this year and plans to sell a similar amount in Q4.

Meanwhile, a number of Bitcoin and Ethereum whales are making a splash this weekend.

Whale watchers spotted a movement of 385,904 ETH worth $58.2 million on Saturday. The transaction was sent between two wallets of unknown origin.

Bitcoin whales sent a total of 7,642 BTC worth about $58.4 million in the last 24 hours. Three of the transactions involved crypto moving from unknown wallets onto exchanges, with the other three doing the opposite – moving BTC from crypto exchanges to unknown wallets.

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BitLord, XRP Is a Security That Allows Ripple to Acquire Businesses

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XRP Is a Security That Allows Ripple to Acquire Businesses

BitLord, one of the most prominent influencers on crypto Twitter, recently addressed the elephant in the room when it comes to Ripple’s XRP. He claims that the third biggest cryptocurrency by market cap is, in fact, security, something that Ripple vehemently tries to deny.

“How is this legal?”

During an interview with CNN, which took place back in September, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse insisted that they couldn’t control the price of the company’s native token. Moreover, he pointed to the fact that Ripple was the most interested party in the success of XRP as its biggest holder.

However, BitLord is certain that Ripple dumps XRP on its community in order to finance the acquisition of real-life businesses. As reported by U.Today, the crypto behemoth recently completed its $50 mln investment obligation in old-school money transfer company MoneyGram. However, according to the naysayer, XRP holders do not have any rights to Ripple or MoneyGram.

He also questioned the legality of such actions, and crypto analyst Alex Krüger was quick to take a jab at XRP.

The big question

There is a pending class-action lawsuit against Ripple, which was filed by XRP investors who lost big due to the token’s depreciating prices. The company’s attempt to throw the suit out of the court didn’t fare well.

Back in August, Garlinghouse addresses pervasive FUD, claiming that XRP was “clearly” not security. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) classified XRP as an exchange token, but the US Securities and Exchange (SEC) is yet to voice its take on the matter.

Meanwhile, despite all legal questions, XRP continues to reach new milestones, recently shattering its daily transaction volume record.

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Buyers May Not Be Interested in XRP Until it Visits $0.16 – Claims Analyst

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Buyers May Not Be Interested in XRP Until it Visits $0.16 – Claims Analyst

XRP has been facing significant bearishness over the past several days and weeks, with the latest sell-off sending it to fresh post-2018 crash lows at $0.22, and its bulls have continued expressing significant weakness as it has failed to post any type of decisive bounce.

Analysts are now noting that XRP may need to continue dropping until it reaches $0.16, as this may be where there is enough interest from buyers to spark the next major price rally.

XRP Likely Needs to See Significantly Further Downside Before Sustainable Rally Commences

At the time of writing, XRP is trading down roughly 3% at its current price of $0.227, which marks a notable drop from its daily highs of just under $0.24.

XRP’s recent bearishness first came about earlier this month when it failed to break above the $0.30 region, which proved to be a significant level of resistance for the cryptocurrency. The downwards momentum that was sparked by its inability to break above this level was further perpetuated by Bitcoin’s downtrend.

In the near-term, it is clear that bears have full control of XRP’s price action, and without some sort of major bullish movement for BTC it is highly probable that the crypto will continue facing further downward pressure.

DonAlt, a prominent cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, recently explained that $0.19 is a strong support level for the embattled crypto.

In spite of the support that exists at this level, it is important to note that the cryptocurrency may not see any significant buying pressure until it reaches $0.16 – as this may be the level at which buyers are most interested in entering new spot positions.

Harry, a popular crypto analyst who focuses primarily on XRP, spoke about this in a recent tweet.

 

How Bitcoin trends in the near-term will likely have a significant influence on XRP’s price action, but any further downside will likely lead XRP to plummet lower, setting fresh yearly lows.

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