XRP price fell 41% on Binance over the past three days as news of the lawsuit by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission against Ripple became apparent. As a result, several small exchanges have already halted XRP trading.
So far, three small exchanges, namely OSL, Beaxy and CrossTower have either temporarily stopped trading or removed XRP.
More exchanges may delist XRP
According to prominent lawyers in the cryptocurrency industry, exchanges that listed XRP are at risk if the token is deemed a security.
Hailey Lennon, a partner at Anderson Kill, said:
“You know who is at risk if XRP is considered a security? EVERY EXCHANGE THAT LISTS XRP.”
The SEC alleges Ripple of paying money to exchanges to permit the “buying and selling of XRP” on their platforms.
The official lawsuit filed by the SEC said that Ripple entered into agreements with at least 10 digital asset trading platforms. The lawsuit reads:
“In 2017 and 2018, Ripple also entered into agreements with at least ten digital asset trading platforms — none of which were registered with the SEC in any capacity, and at least two of which have principal places of business in the United States — providing for listing and trading incentives with respect to XRP. Ripple paid these platforms a fee, typically in XRP, to permit the buying and selling of XRP on their systems and sometimes incentives for achieving volume metrics.”
If XRP is officially deemed a security, Lennon noted that the 10 exchanges cited by the lawsuit are likely to see the biggest risk.
And my guess is they would start with these 10https://t.co/5W6btHERmM— Hailey Lennon (@HaileyLennonBTC) December 22, 2020
Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, said he would “aggressively fight” and “prove our case” with co-founder Chris Larsen.
Garlinghouse emphasized that he has the option to individually settle with the SEC, but has decided not to take that route. Hence, the final court decision in the U.S. is needed to officially conclude whether XRP is or is not a security.
Some exchanges will likely halt trading in the foreseeable future until the formal court decision gets released. OSL, an over-the-counter and cryptocurrency exchange in Asia, said:
“In light of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement action against Ripple Labs Inc. and two of its executives, we have suspended all $XRP payment in and trading services on the OSL platform, effective immediately and until further notice.”
XRP price at risk
From a technical standpoint, traders say that XRP is in a “do or die” situation where it would have to bounce strongly at the current level at around $0.35 or face more downside.
Below $0.35, the chances of a bigger drop to early 2020 levels increase. Though a relief rally should also not be ruled out.
Alex Saunders, a cryptocurrency trader, said XRP remains risky for traders until the regulatory conflict with the SEC is resolved. He wrote:
“With a plethora of coins offering enormous upside. It’s ludicrous to emotionally attach yourself to $XRP now they are being sued by the SEC. Exchanges will be delisting & financial services industry won’t dare touch it until resolved. Good investors admit things changed & move on.”
Following Ripple's announcement yesterday of an incoming SEC lawsuit, #XRP tweet volume hit its highest level since January 5th 2018. Sentiment on XRP was the second lowest @TheTIEIO has ever recorded.— Joshua Frank (@Joshua_Frank_) December 23, 2020
Among the most used words in XRP tweets are Securities, Lawsuit, and Sell. pic.twitter.com/us6r0mzTTs
The uncertainty around XRP has also been reflected by a spike in social media activity surrounding the cryptocurrency. At the same time, the sentiment around XRP has dropped to its second-lowest recorded level in history, according to data from TheTie.