Four of the world’s largest crypto exchanges said on Thursday that they would relist or consider relisting XRP after previously delisting the token in the U.S. in late 2020 and 2021.
Coinbase, Kraken, and Bitstamp announced that they would reinstate the cryptocurrency on their platforms. Gemini, another U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange that’s run by the Winklevoss twins, who are most famous for their role in the founding of Facebook, said that it was reconsidering a relisting.
“Following today’s court ruling, we have resumed trading of XRP in the United States effective immediately,’” Bitstamp CEO Bobby Zagotta said in a statement. “Bitstamp was one of the earliest exchanges to list XRP, and we are a leading liquidity venue for the asset globally.”
We’ve read Judge Torres’ thoughtful decision. We’ve carefully reviewed our analysis. It’s time to relist. https://t.co/dA70ucccgw
— paulgrewal.eth (@iampaulgrewal) July 13, 2023
The exchanges’ reappraisal of XRP follows a landmark ruling from Judge Analisa Torres on Thursday regarding an ongoing lawsuit, often described as a seminal case for the industry, between the Securities and Exchange Commission and the cryptocurrency company Ripple, whose founders originally released XRP in 2012.
In the case, originally filed in December 2020, the SEC sued Ripple. It claimed XRP was a security and that Ripple, through selling the token to institutional investors, listing it on exchanges, and distributing it through other means, was selling an unregistered asset and therefore violating federal law.
Shortly after the SEC filed the suit, Coinbase and a slew of other exchanges delisted the token, not wanting to run afoul of regulators. Ripple, however, decided to fight the lawsuit, ultimately spending north of $200 million in the ensuing legal battle.
Many in crypto have eagerly awaited a decision in the case, as it has widespread ramifications for the burgeoning crypto industry. The question of whether a digital asset is a commodity, something more akin to gold or sugar, or a security, which is squarely under the SEC’s regulatory authority, would either lessen or heighten, respectively, regulatory oversight of crypto firms.
On Thursday, Torres finally delivered a summary judgment, ruling that, while Ripple’s initial sale of XRP to institutional investors (e.g. venture capitalists, hedge funds, etc.) was a securities offering, its offering on secondary markets like crypto exchanges was not.
Therefore, for the vast majority of retail investors, the buying and selling of XRP was not akin to the buying and selling unregistered securities. The crypto market soared when the judge’s decision became public. XRP was up more than 75% on Thursday evening compared with the beginning of the day, and Coinbase’s share prices had jumped up more than 24%.