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  • Mathew Jacob

SEC Forcing Ripple into Settlement for XRP Lawsuit

Since the end of 2020, Ripple has been embroiled in a high-profile legal battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC accused Ripple of offering XRP as an unregistered security, igniting a controversy that has had significant implications for the broader cryptocurrency market.

In a landmark initial ruling, the court determined that the XRP token itself was not a security. However, it found that Ripple's offering of XRP to institutional investors had violated federal securities laws. This nuanced decision created a complex legal landscape for Ripple, setting the stage for further negotiations and potential settlements.

In a notable development, Ripple expressed its willingness to pay a penalty of up to $10 million to resolve the matter. This led to a significant concession from the SEC, which reduced its initial claim from $2 billion to just under $103 million. The SEC justified this reduction by emphasizing the need to "deter future misconduct in the crypto industry." Despite these negotiations, the court has not yet issued a final decision on the penalty that Ripple might face, leaving the crypto community in a state of anticipation.

In October 2023, Judge Analisa Torres rejected an SEC Motion for Interlocutory Appeal. The SEC filed the Motion for Interlocutory Appeal in August to overturn the Programmatic Sales of XRP ruling. In July 2023, Judge Torres ruled that programmatic sales of XRP do not satisfy the third prong of the Howey Test. Significantly, the court decision on the Motion for Interlocutory Appeal meant that the SEC must wait until the end of the Ripple case to file any appeals. A settlement would end SEC plans to appeal against the Programmatic Sales of XRP ruling, questioning investor optimism toward a settlement.

The SEC plans for an appeal remains a headwind for XRP. Furthermore, the SEC could drag its heels on approving an XRP-spot ETF until the end of the appeals process. Beyond the SEC vs. Ripple case and appeal plans, uncertainty about the Fed rate path contributed to the losses. FOMC Members appeared to be in wait-and-see mode vis-à-vis interest rate cuts despite recent US inflation and retail sales raising hopes of a more dovish Fed rate path.

Meanwhile, the XRP Ledger ecosystem continues to evolve and expand. DeFi Payments (DPay) has emerged as a notable player, being the only and first banking token on the XRP Ledger. Launched less than 12 hours ago, the DPay token has already ranked in the top 10 tokens on the XRP Ledger. The XRP Ledger is projected to transact $30-$50 trillion by 2025, bolstered by innovations like the first XRPL credit card. DeFi Payments aims to facilitate $1 trillion in transactions by 2025 with its groundbreaking credit card initiative.

As Ripple navigates its ongoing legal challenges, the broader developments within the XRP ecosystem reflect a vibrant and dynamic future. The resolution of the SEC lawsuit, whether through a settlement or a final court decision, will likely have far-reaching implications for Ripple, XRP, and the entire cryptocurrency industry.



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