Bitcoin and Ethereum have both escaped SEC enforcement due to their decentralized nature. However, XRP, the token associated with Ripple, has long been criticized by some members of the crypto community as highly centralized. Ripple has maintained an escrow account of around 50 billion XRP, or around half of the total supply, which the CTO David Schwartz claims to have been ‘gifted’ by the creators of the third-largest cryptocurrency.
Despite class-action lawsuits and acrimonious splits between the original founders, Ripple has survived to become one of the fintech industry’s richest companies, with a reserve — primarily held in XRP — that could theoretically be worth almost $25 billion, even after a dramatic 13.5% drop in the price of the cryptocurrency token following the news of the potential lawsuit.
A source with connections to Ripple told Cointelegraph that: “There’s no way it [XRP] is not a security.”
Ripple posted a Wells submission document to its website explaining its position, claiming that “By alleging that Ripple’s distributions of XRP are investment contracts while maintaining that bitcoin and ether are not securities, the Commission is picking virtual currency winners and losers, destroying U.S.-based, consumer-friendly innovation in the process.”