Bitcoin Soars as XRP Wins Legal Battle and Crypto Market Sees Regulatory Optimism
Bitcoin approached its highest level of the year on Friday, as cryptocurrency investors found solace in a legal triumph that determined XRP, a cryptocurrency, to be free from the classification of a security.
A U.S. judge ruled that Ripple Labs Inc had not violated any securities laws while selling its XRP token on public exchanges.
This marks the first favorable outcome for a cryptocurrency company in a lawsuit initiated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Although the ruling is specific to this particular case, it has ignited hope among cryptocurrency investors, who speculate that other cryptocurrencies might also escape the security categorization.
Nevertheless, this positive sentiment was somewhat dampened by a Wall Street Journal report stating that Binance, the largest global cryptocurrency exchange, has been implementing layoffs in recent weeks, potentially resulting in a reduction of more than one-third of its workforce, as per an insider.
Additionally, Coinbase announced on Friday that it would restrict its crypto staking services for retail customers in California, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. This measure is pending the outcome of legal proceedings commenced by several states last month, alleging that the program violated securities laws.
Earlier in the day, Bitcoin reached its highest price since June 2022, briefly touching $31,818 before retracing to around $30,091 by 8:09 PM GMT on Friday.
Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, enjoyed its most successful session since March on Thursday. XRP, the cryptocurrency determined by the U.S. judge to be legally tradable on public crypto exchanges, witnessed a remarkable 73% surge on Thursday and managed to retain most of those gains on Friday.
"The regulatory landscape is undergoing transformations," commented Matthew Dibb, the chief investment officer at Astronaut Capital, a crypto asset management firm. "Based on the events of the past 24 hours, it seems to be moving in a positive direction."
Justin d'Anethan, the head of business development in Asia at Keyrock, a digital assets market maker based in Hong Kong, suggested that the court's ruling regarding XRP tokens sold on public crypto exchanges not being classified as securities could establish a precedent.
"Ripple stakeholders had been eagerly awaiting regulatory clarity. Yesterday, the court seems to have provided just that," he remarked.
Following the ruling, several major cryptocurrency exchanges, including Coinbase and Bitstamp, resumed trading of XRP on their platforms. Binance.US also announced the enablement of XRP trading on its exchange.
Coinbase, which had been sued by the SEC last month for alleged violations of securities laws, witnessed a nearly 25% surge in its shares on Thursday, with investors hopeful that the outcome of the Ripple case would have positive implications for Coinbase's situation.