EU flag

Ripple, alongside three other blockchain companies, has launched the “Blockchain for Europe” association.

The partnership includes NEM Foundation, Emurgo – a company that invests in Cardano projects, Fetch.ai – a “smart ledger” utilizing artificial intelligence, and of course Ripple.

The association aims to provide a “unified voice for the blockchain industry” in Europe. Their goal is to educate key members of the European Union and bring some kind of consensus to the fragmented and inconsistent policy debates across the continent.

The Blockchain for Europe association also hopes to support and guide EU regulators. As the accompanying press release explains, they aim to “help Europe to create smart regulation to shape the global agenda on blockchain.”

Ripple’s head of regulatory relations in Europe, Dan Morgan said: “Ripple is delighted to be a founding member of Blockchain for Europe. This is a critical time for policymakers in Europe as they seek to develop the right regulatory framework to capture the benefits of both digital assets and blockchain technology.”

The association held its first summit in November to discuss how blockchain and distributed ledgers can support governance, healthcare, transport, trade, identity, financial market infrastructure as well as tokens/cryptocurrencies.

Source: Blockchain for Europe

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Ripple XRP

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November was a rough month in the world of crypto. Despite a spirited bounce last week, we’ve seen $70 billion wiped out across the board since the start of November.

But some cryptocurrencies held up better than others in the last couple of weeks. Here are the numbers since November 14th:

XRP – down 30%

Bitcoin – down 37%

Ethereum – down 45%

Notice how XRP hung on much better than Ethereum and ultimately surpassed it in terms of market capitalization? 

It’s not the first time Ripple’s XRP token has “flippened” ethereum, but this is now the longest it has ever stayed there.

Here are some possible reasons for the flippening:

1. Cryptocurrency Mining Concerns (Yeah, I’m Looking at you, Bitcoin Cash)

As we all know, Bitcoin Cash terrified the markets by splitting in two this month. Miners went to war, threatening to launch attacks on each other and hold the network hostage.

It showed a possible weakness in “mining” cryptocurrencies in that miners can exert a huge influence over the network.

It’s no coincidence that Proof-of-Work mining cryptocurrencies like ethereum, bitcoin, and bitcoin cash fell harder than others.

XRP, which uses a consensus protocol instead, held its value better during the crash, as did others with a consensus network like Stellar (XLM).

2. Utility?

As market prices fall, traders look to put their money in projects with real-world use. Ripple has been on a headline-grabbing spree this year, shouting about their high-profile partnerships with banks like Santander and American Express.

In reality, only a small handful of partners are actually using XRP, but Ripple has successfully given the impression that XRP has real-world utility which may have convinced people to keep their money in the token.

3. All Quiet on Ethereum

While Ripple is shouting from the rooftops about XRP, developers at Ethereum have got their head down. Ethereum enjoyed all the attention in 2017, but the team is now quietly working on the next upgrade, dubbed Ethereum 1x, due next year.

It doesn’t necessarily mean activity or innovation has died down on Ethereum, it just means there are fewer headline-grabbing announcements.

4. The Demise of ICOs

If you wanted to invest in an ICO (initial coin offering) last year, you typically needed to fund it with ether. Now that some ICOs have lost as much as 98% of their value, that excitement has vanished.

Not only is there a lack of ICO hunger, some ICOs are reportedly liquidating their ETH to meet costs. As the premier platform for ICOs, Ethereum is taking a bigger hit than many other major cryptocurrencies.

What do you think?

Is the XRP flippening permanent? Will Ethereum’s big upgrade trigger a resurgence? Leave your comments below!

A version of this article first appeared in our exclusive newsletter. If you’d like Block Explorer’s cutting-edge analysis before it hits our website, sign up now.

Good morning, folks. It’s one of those mornings where you’re almost nervous to look at the markets. After a crypto bloodbath where bitcoin suffered an 11% freefall and bitcoin cash ripped itself in two, it’s like peering outside after a hurricane.

As the dust settles, two cryptocurrencies have bounced back stronger than others: Stellar Lumens (XLM) and Ripple (XRP).

Stellar (XLM) +5%

Stellar 24 hour chart
Stellar XLM 24-hour price chart. Credit: CoinMarketCap

Stellar (XLM) is up more than 5% over the last 24 hours. After “flippening” EOS earlier this week, XLM has strengthened its position ahead of EOS as the fifth-largest cryptocurrency.

The price movement is supported by the recent decision to airdrop $125 million worth of XLM tokens to blockchain.com wallets. Stellar has also announced its integration with Kik, a mobile messaging service which is moving from Ethereum to Stellar to launch its own cryptocurrency.

Coingate, a payment gateway, has also announced support for Stellar, allowing people to use XLM as a payment method on e-commerce stores.

Ripple (XRP) + 3%

Ripple XRP daily chart
Ripple XRP 24-hour price chart. Credit: CoinMarketCap

Among a sea of red, Ripple’s XRP token is pushing 3% higher this morning, having overtaken ethereum as the second-largest cryptocurrency.

There’s no major catalyst for the price movement other than the news that Coinbase will support XRP in its custody service. We should point out this does not mean XRP will be tradable on the Coinbase platform.

Elsewhere on the markets, IOTA is holding up well (+3%), alongside 0x (+7) following its addition to the Coinbase roster. Dogecoin (+6%) is also rising after it was reported that Dogecoin is used twice as much as Bitcoin Cash for transactions.

All prices are correct at time of publishing.

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Ripple

Ripple’s relationship to the cryptocurrency XRP has always been a little controversial.

That argument might be about to spill over into federal court.

Ripple is batting a high-profile and controversial lawsuit over its relationship to XRP, but what exactly are the charges?

In this piece, we’ll untangle the Ripple lawsuit, examine the reasons behind the legal action, and discuss what it means for the future.

Ripple and XRP: Clearing up the Terms

Before we get deeper into this topic, you need to know that Ripple and XRP are two separate things. The terms are often used interchangeably to refer to the cryptocurrency, but that’s not accurate.

Ripple – is a company that aims to speed up international money transfers with blockchain technology.

XRP – is the cryptocurrency created by the same people behind Ripple.

The distinction is important to understanding the lawsuit going on behind the scenes.

Ripple Lawsuits: the Short Version

In the simplest possible terms, XRP holders are suing Ripple because they lost money when the price dropped.

They believe Ripple mislead them into believing the price would go up. When it didn’t, they turned to legal action.

One plaintiff is Ryan Coffey, who bought 650 XRP on January 6th, 2018 at $2.60. He sold two weeks later at $1.70.

Ripple XRP price drop
XRP price drop since January 2018. Credit: CoinMarketCap

But if it were that simple, wouldn’t there be lawsuits all over the cryptoverse since January 2018 after prices dropped 80% across the board?

What’s so different about Ripple that attracts legal action?

Ripple Is Accused of Creating and Controlling XRP

The grounds for this legal action is Ripple’s alleged control and command over XRP. The accusers say XRP is more like company stock (a security) than a traditional cryptocurrency.

As we all know, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum are mined into existence slowly by its users.

XRP is totally different. All 100 billion XRP tokens were created at once by the same organization that founded Ripple.

Ripple now holds more than half of all XRP tokens (stored in escrow and released slowly to the company month-by-month).

As such, the plaintiffs argue, XRP acts like company stock. They claim that Ripple created XRP and used the money it generated to fund its operations. 

XRP should, they argue, be classified as a security.

XRP logo

The Lawsuit Wording

To explain further, let’s take a look at the exact wording filed by those attacking Ripple.

In a lawsuit filed in July, it reads:

“The XRP offered and sold by the defendants had all the traditional hallmarks of a security, yet defendants failed to register them as such… XRP purchasers reasonably expected to derive profits from their ownership of XRP, and [Ripple] themselves have frequently highlighted this profit motive.”

In other words, they claim Ripple created XRP, sold the tokens to raise money, and then mislead buyers to believe the price would rise.

Is XRP a Security?

This is the crux of the lawsuit.

A security is an investment vehicle, like stocks or bonds, and they are subject to much more rigorous regulation.

But what does it matter if XRP is a security?

If XRP is considered a security issued by Ripple, then it means that holding XRP would denote ownership in the Ripple company.

If that happened, Ripple could, theoretically, be held responsible for the price drops. 

Ripple could also then be in trouble for not registering XRP as a security in the first place.

Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, has repeatedly explained that XRP is not a security.

brad garlinghouse ripple lawsuit

In June, he said: “I think it is very clear that XRP is not a security. It exists independently of Ripple the company. If Ripple, the company shut down tomorrow, XRP will continue to exist.” 

Doubling down in September, he said: “when you buy XRP, that doesn’t give you any rights to the profits or ownership of Ripple the company.”

Ripple and XRP don’t appear to satisfy the “Howey Test,” the most widely used criteria for classifying a security. However, a court may see it differently.

Ripple in Court: A Brief History

A number of individual lawsuits have been brought against Ripple in 2018, but they have since been rolled into one large class action.

In response, Ripple is now trying to move the case from state courts to federal courts. It’s a high-profile move, but one lawyer familiar with the situation called it “tactical brilliance.”

The reason being that a class action lawsuit is more suited to the bigger courts with plaintiffs from different locations. However, there’s also a suggestion that federal courts look more favorably on corporate rulings. In other words, it gives Ripple a better chance of winning.

Conclusion

The debate about XRP and Ripple has raged for years, but it may now spill out into the biggest courts in the country. While the court may finally provide some guidance on XRP as a security, the ultimate decision rests with the Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC). And the SEC remains quiet.

Block Explorer will bring you more information as the lawsuit unfolds.

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Ripple XRP volume surge

XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency, experienced a swell of volume over the last three days. According to CoinMarketCap, XRP’s volume more than tripled from $275,000,000 on Sunday to $972,000,000 at the time of publishing.

The surge in volume indicates a flurry of buying activity for XRP, the cryptocurrency associated with Ripple, with the price soaring more than 15% to tick over the $0.5 mark.

Ripple XRP price chart
Ripple XRP price between Nov 3rd – Nov 6th, via CoinMarketCap

 

What is volume in cryptocurrency? Volume indicates how much of a particular cryptocurrency changed hands over a 24 hour period. High volume means that lots of traders are buying and selling XRP. Volume is not necessarily linked to price increase; volume will also rise when lots of selling activity occurs.

Why Did XRP Volume Triple?

There appears to be a handful of reasons behind XRP’s surge in volume, from the ongoing rollout of Ripple’s xRapid service to its expansion into new territories. Let’s look at them one at a time:

New xRapid Commercial Customer? SendFriend

Another name has been reportedly added to Ripple’s list of active xRapid partners. SendFriend is the latest company to join the roster, a service that facilitates money transfers between USA and the Philippines. SendFriend uses blockchain technology via Ripple’s distributed ledger and xRapid.

xRapid is Ripple’s cross-border payment service that actively uses the XRP token to settle payments. Although hundreds of banks are using Ripple’s network, only a handful are currently using xRapid.

Further reading: Everything You Need to Know About xRapid (Ripple’s Cryptocurrency Service)

XRP as Base Currency on Canadian Exchange

A relatively new crypto exchange in Canada, CoinField, now lists XRP as its base currency. In other words, 22 trading pairs on the exchange are now linked to XRP.

Although based in Canada, the exchange is available in 61 countries and is growing rapidly. The choice of XRP as a base currency means almost all trading on the platform will take place via the XRP token, which could increase volume further.

Ripple Expands to Dubai and Middle East

Ripple has been busy partnering with banks in the Middle East throughout 2018. They’ll now finish the year strong by opening up an office in Dubai.

Conclusion

These factors combined over the last few days to trigger a swell of momentum in the XRP market. It’s a welcome surge of activity after October marked the weakest month of trading of the year.

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