Major exchange sites Bitstamp, Binance.US, Coinbase and OKCoin among others announced they will be removing Ripple’s token, XRP from their lists of cryptocurrencies after the Securities and Exchange Commission took legal action against the company and its executives Brad Garlinghouse and Christian Larsen. Smaller exchange platforms such as OSL, Beaxy and CrossTower quickly made action and removed XRP trading from their available services.
Beijing-based crypto exchange and the world’s largest crypto trading platform by volume OKCoin announced on December 28, 2020, that they will be suspending the option to trade XRP starting January 4. All XRP spot and margin tradings and deposits for XRP stopped the day after the blog post was published.
The largest exchange site in the United States, Coinbase announced they will also stop global XRP trades beginning January 19 on a blog post published by Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal. The date may be moved sooner as needed but customers with XRP in their wallets need not worry about losing access to their funds since they will not be affected by the announcement.
Bitsamp also announced that their customers in the US won’t be able to make XRP trades right after SEC’s legal action. Another US-based exchange platform Bittrex announced on December 29, 2020, that all XRP markets will be removed from the platform starting January 15. Affected trading pairs include USD/XRP, ETH/XRP, USDT/XRP and BTX/XRP.
Binance.US and eToro are the latest exchanges to delist and halt XRP trading effective January 13 and January 3, 2020, respectively. Investment firms based in the US are also liquidating their XRP assets following the announcement. Digital fund managing company Grayscale liquidated an estimated US$5.77 million worth of XRP.
The price of XRP dropped 24% within 24 hours of the SEC announcement. It has further dropped from US$0.35 on December 23, 2020, to US$0.23 at the time of writing.
The announcements from exchange platforms all over the globe came soon after the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple, CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Christian Larsen on December 22, 2020. The lawsuit includes allegations of Ripple paying at least ten trading platforms to support XRP trading. Thus, numerous exchange sites broke ties with Ripple and removed XRP from their lists.
The SEC recently classified XRP as a security asset which has been left unregistered by Ripple. As a result, the commission officially filed charges on the federal courts in Manhattan, alleging that the company has been distributing unregistered digital asset securities to investors since 2013.
Moreover, Garlinghouse and Larsen are also accused of not registering their personal XRP sales which amount to an estimated total of US$600 million. Garlinghouse responded on a series of tweets, saying ‘the SEC voted to attack crypto’ by favouring BTC and ETH in the US crypto industry.
The Ripple CEO states his and the company’s will to fight back on a blog post ensuring their customers that they are on the right side of the law. Ripple Labs will be officially filing their response to the allegations in a few weeks. XRP is currently the third-largest cryptocurrency in market capitalization with a total of US$10 billion in circulation.