Positive news emerged for Ripple (XRP) late last week as the blockchain giant looks to get relisted on US coin exchanges. In a historic SEC lawsuit against Ripple Labs, a judge involved in the discovery process acknowledged XRP’s viability as both a currency and utility. In the same hearing, the SEC admitted that only Ripple and its affiliates are capable of illegally soliciting securities. Could this open the gateway for relisting?
The Significance of XRP as a Currency
Judge Sarah Netburn of the Southern District Court of the United States characterized XRP exactly how Ripple lawyers characterize it—as both a currency and a utility.
If Ripple successfully argues its native coin is a currency (and not a security), the entire case unravels. It appears that Judge Netburn is nearing that conclusion.
Since the Dec 22 press release of the SEC’s lawsuit, XRP has been dropped from every major US crypto exchange. Despite that, Ripple continues to grow in other markets like Asia.
Notably, Netburn is not the primary judge on the case; he is assisting and consulting the case in the discovery and mediation process. However, if Judge Netburn acknowledges XRP’s applicable use as a currency before an asset, it would boost the odds of Judge Analisa Torres (the primary judge) siding with Ripple.
In a video published Saturday, attorney Jeremy Hogan (who is not involved in the case) commented:
“If I’m Ripple, I’m feeling pretty good that my mediator and consulting summary judgment judge just said on the record what I essentially argued in my pleadings.”
SEC Paves a Potential Path for XRP’s Relisting
Hogan also noted the SEC’s response to Judge Netburn’s question about the sale of illegal securities. Would users be liable?
The SEC responded that only Ripple and its affiliates, under Section 4 of the Securities Act, would be responsible for the sale of illegal securities.
This statement alone does not permit popular US exchanges like Coinbase and eToro to reinstate XRP, but it does initiate a potential pathway. Ripple needs a final ruling as a viable currency or, at the very least, legal security.
To achieve that goal, it is necessary to convince the judge and jury that XRP functions as a currency first and a utility second.
In any case, following the reports, the price of XRP reacted positively, adding around 12% to its dollar value.
At the time of publication, there is no official court documentation available to confirm these statements. Attorney Jeremy Hogan listened into the public briefing to share these noteworthy remarks.
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