Top news this week
Judge rules that XRP is not a security in SEC case against Ripple
Ripple Labs scored a victory in a New York district court on July 13, when Judge Analisa Torres ruled partially in favor of the company in a case brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it dates from 2020. According to court documents, Judge Torres granted summary judgment in favor of Ripple Labs, ruling that the XRP token is not a security, but only with respect to programmatic sales on digital asset exchanges. The XRP price skyrocketed within minutes of the news. The case has been ongoing since December 2020, when the SEC sued Ripple and two of its executives over allegations of offering an unregistered security. Despite the positive result, several lawyers warned against celebrating too soon, noting that the ruling is only partial and does not set a precedent. Additionally, the SEC can appeal the decision, which could result in a reversal by a higher court.
XRP Becomes 4th Largest Crypto After Ripple’s Partial Victory Over SEC
XRP has become the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization this week after Ripple’s partial victory over the SEC. The XRP price surged as much as 98% in the hours after the decision, peaking at $0.93, according to data from TradingView. Meanwhile, its market capitalization rose a whopping $21.2 billion to hit a new yearly high of $46.1 billion. The new ruling has also sparked a new wave of relisting activity on major US exchanges, with Coinbase, Kraken, and iTrustCapital making the token available for trading on their respective platforms.
Celsius Network fined $4.7 billion by FTC, and CEO arrested on criminal fraud charges
US authorities have announced charges against the former CEO of bankrupt crypto lender Celsius, Alex Mashinsky, for securities fraud, commodity fraud and wire fraud. Former chief revenue officer Roni Cohen-Pavon and Mashinsky will also face charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, market manipulation, and wire fraud related to price manipulation of the Celsius token. Authorities arrested Mashinsky as part of the indictment, which includes seven criminal counts. In parallel, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced a complaint against Celsius along with a $4.7 billion fine, alleging that its co-founders marketed the platform as a “safe place” for consumers to deposit their cryptocurrency while spending money. misappropriated more than $4 billion in consumer assets. Under similar accusations, the SEC also filed a lawsuit against the company. While Celsius is cooperating with regulators, Mashinsky has pleaded not guilty to charges of misleading customers and inflating the CEL token.
Europe’s First Spot Bitcoin ETF Eyes Debut in 2023 After One-Year Delay
Europe’s first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) will debut later this year after a long delay. The Bitcoin ETF, created by London-based Jacobi Asset Management, was due to debut in July 2022 but was postponed due to market conditions. The asset manager now sees a gradual change in demand compared to 2022. This week also saw a related development in Argentina, as the nation welcomed its first Bitcoin futures contract. According to Matba Rofex, the trading platform behind the investment vehicle, it is the first Bitcoin futures contract in Latin America.
Binance Downsizing Hits 1,000 Employees
Binance has reportedly laid off hundreds of employees in recent weeks. According to former employees, the cuts were global and customer service workers were hit hard, particularly in India. Including this week’s layoffs, more than 1,000 employees have lost their jobs on the exchange. Prior to the bar, Binance’s global workforce was estimated at 8,000. The reorganization could cost Binance more than a third of its staff. The cryptocurrency exchange announced the 20% reduction in staff on May 31, claiming it was not downsizing but reallocating resources amid the ongoing crackdown in the United States. The most enduring challenge to Binance is reportedly an ongoing investigation into the activities of it and its executives by the US Department of Justice.
Winners and losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $30,227, Ether (ETH) at $1,923, and XRP at $0.72. The total market capitalization is $1.21 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.
Among the top 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers for the week are XRP (XRP) at 54.20%, Stellar (XLM) at 37.88%, and Synthetix (SNX) at 31.92%.
The top three altcoin losers for the week are eCash (XEC) at -21.82%, Bitcoin SV (BSV) at -16.75%, and Maker (MKR) at -7.87%.
To learn more about cryptocurrency prices, be sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
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most memorable quotes
“This [Ripple ruling] its a big problem […] It has been clear since this case was filed that it would have industry-wide implications.”
Sheila Warren, CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation
“What I do think is BlackRock, Invesco [and] the ETF provider pool is a real sign that adoption is coming.”
Mike Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital
“I think the next crypto cycle will be driven by consumer apps that run on crypto, but users won’t know it’s crypto unless they look closely.”
0xDesigner, pseudonymous Web3 UI/UX designer
“XRP is not a security. This victory for Ripple is a victory for the entire industry and a step towards regulatory clarity in the US.”
Ripple Labs, developers of the Ripple payment protocol
“[It] it is our expectation that the Bitcoin price will repeat its historical recovery pattern both before and after each Bitcoin halving.”
Berenberg Capital Markets, New York-based investment firm
“I think if we want Bitcoin to be more than payments, it needs more scaling solutions.”
Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum
prediction of the week
Can the price of XRP reach $1? Check out these levels below
The price of XRP skyrocketed after a federal court ruling declared its sales on crypto exchanges to be in compliance with United States securities laws. At its highest level during the week, the XRP/USD pair reached $0.93, its best level since December 2021.
Certain indicators show that the ongoing XRP price rally may not just be a short-term reaction to the positive news for Ripple. For example, the duration of XRP’s massive pump coincides with its trading volumes peaking at 10 months.
The number of transactions of XRP whales (portfolios with more than $100,000) rose to its best level in 2023, suggesting that wealthier investors are backing the XRP rally. “If key whale and shark directions are increasing their supply on this pump, then it’s an omen that the pump may be starting,” said pseudonymous analyst Brian Q of data analytics platform Santiment.
From a technical point of view, XRP may test the key $1 level in the coming days, but its potential to continue the rally beyond it looks weak at the moment. If XRP price decisively breaks above $1, then its next September price target will likely be near $1.35.
FUD of the week
Blockchain Association Calls for Investigation of Prometheum Over Alleged “Sweetheart” SEC Deal
The Blockchain Association has sent a letter to the US SEC calling for an investigation into the Prometheum crypto company. In the letter, the Blockchain Association asked the regulator to examine the approval of Prometheum’s special purpose stockbroker license by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The group also raised concerns about the means by which Co-CEO Aaron Kaplan secured a seat to testify before the US House Committee on Financial Services in June. Prometheum has reportedly shifted its public position from asking for regulatory clarity from the SEC to stating that “a clear path exists for digital asset registration and legislation is unnecessary” in the country.
New York prosecutor charges hacker with exploiting $9M from Solana-based exchange
A former security engineer for an international technology company has been arrested and charged with allegedly using a smart contract bug to steal $9 million worth of cryptocurrency from a Solana-based decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. The attack was carried out in July 2022 and involved exploiting a vulnerability in the exchange’s smart contracts to generate inflated fees with quick loans. The exploiter later returned most of the funds, but was allowed to keep $1.6 million as a white hat reward. The indictment states that the US Department of Justice will “file criminal charges if a person intentionally uses a protocol in a way that it was not *intended* to be used,” cryptocurrency lawyer Orlando Cosme said on Twitter.
Algorand’s decentralized lending protocol Algofi will shut down at the end of the year
Algofi, the Algorand decentralized financial blockchain-based lending and lending protocol, will soon be shut down. According to a July 11 announcement, developers’ “belief in the strength of Algorand’s technology and novel consensus algorithm has not wavered.” Liquidity mining programs will be halted and various collaterals will be reduced to 0% through December. The Algofi protocol has a total value locked in around $25 million, down from its peak of $135 million in February.
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Writers and reporters at Cointelegraph Magazine contributed to this article.
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