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How the Ripple Court Victory Could Impact Other Cryptos

A recent court ruling on the SEC/Ripple case brought a wave of celebration within the crypto industry. Judge Analisa Torres delivered a significant verdict by declaring that XRP should not be categorized as a security. Many crypto enthusiasts perceive this ruling as an encouraging sign that similar assets will thrive in the United States. However, legal experts caution that further regulatory clarity is still necessary.

Bitcoin, as a commodity, benefits from a clearer regulatory framework and oversight from specific agencies. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the majority of cryptocurrencies.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) argues that most cryptocurrency assets qualify as securities and thus fall under the jurisdiction of securities laws. Consequently, the SEC has initiated enforcement actions against token issuers and crypto exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance, which facilitate the trading of these tokens.

The recent court ruling, which determined that XRP itself is not an investment contract, has inspired hope among some members of the crypto industry. They anticipate that the SEC will adopt a more hands-off approach in the future. As a result of this ruling, other crypto assets previously considered securities, such as Polygon and Solana, experienced a rally in response to the news.

According to Jason Gottlieb, a partner at Morrison Cohen, the ruling marks a departure from the SEC’s previous cases involving Kik and Telegram. In those cases, all initial coin offerings were viewed as part of a single investment scheme. Now, it may be possible to trade crypto assets as unrestricted securities, provided they demonstrate sufficient decentralization or are not directly sold to retail investors. Gottlieb also believes that the Ripple ruling makes it challenging to argue that staking rewards should be classified as securities.

In addition to offering more clarity for token issuers, the Ripple court decision also grants exchanges greater flexibility regarding the assets they can list. The order further highlighted that while XRP sales to institutional investors violated securities laws, trading XRP on exchanges by retail investors did not.

This ruling could potentially impact the lawsuits filed by the SEC against Coinbase and Binance, both accused of operating unlicensed securities exchanges. Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s head legal officer, stated that the court order in the Ripple case strengthens the exchange’s legal standing. Grewal expressed confidence in the case even before the decision and believes that this ruling further solidifies their position.

While the crypto industry views the Ripple court finding as a temporary victory, it is essential to acknowledge that this ruling may not serve as the final verdict for two crucial reasons. Firstly, the SEC retains the option to appeal the judge’s decision in the Ripple case. Secondly, the ultimate determination regarding the regulatory classification of crypto assets may arise from new legislation passed by Congress, an idea supported by SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce.

Industry players such as HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: HIVE) (TSX.V: HIVE) are likely following the current litigation against Coinbase and Binance to see how this recent ruling affects the outcomes of those ongoing cases.

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