Ripple will have to defend itself in a long-running class-action lawsuit over claims it violated securities laws in selling unregistered securities. In the lawsuit, XRP buyers allege that they lost a substantial amount of money on relying on fraudulent promotional statements issued by Ripple that encouraged them to sell their XRP Tokens.
The class-action lawsuit takes Ripple into a task for selling unregistered securities in total disregard of security laws in the US. A US District Court has since ruled that the class-action lawsuit can proceed, be it with some caveats.
The class-action lawsuit will now cover claims filed under the federal law while sidelining all claims filed under the California state law. While the ruling relieves Ripple of some pressure, affected XRP investors can still file new claims under California laws within the next 28 days. The court, in its verdict, dismissed Ripple’s argument that the lawsuit was not timely and thus should be thrown out.
The class-action lawsuit was filed five years after XRP hit the markets. Ripple, in its arguments, insists that if the lawsuit is allowed to proceed, it could destroy the XRP market share in the global cryptocurrency space.
The lawsuit threatens Ripple’s continued operations in the multi-billion industry. For instance, there are concerns that regulators could end up concluding that the cryptocurrency is an unregistered security and so should not trade on the capital markets.
To date, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to take a stand on what cryptocurrencies are, let alone XRP. The Ripple class-action lawsuit is in its second year, a number of complaints having been consolidated and moved from state courts into the federal court.
Ripple’s price has already taken a hit on the market, tanking by more than 8.2% as the class-action lawsuit continues to threaten its future in the market. Growing concerns that the lawsuit could threaten XRP’s share in the $500 billion markets is the latest tailwind taking a toll on altcoin market sentiments.
Polkadot is readying itself for its expected network launch after it announced its integration with Chainlink oracles on February 25. The progress made with the integrations is an indication of a systematic approach that will allow porting with Ethereum infrastructure.
Polkadot Announces Integrations of Chainlink Oracles
The integration of Chainlink oracles is vital in the creation of Polkadot’s decentralized finance and other smart contracts. Chainlink has finalized the preliminary integration on Kusama, which is a Polkadot canary network synonymous with a testnet.
Following the move, Polkadot developers will now be able to get access to external data through Chainlink oracles. This is important, and it will enable most of the more advanced features connected with smart contracts. The nature of the operation of oracles is through the transmission of real-world information to a blockchain in a form that a smart contact will understand and thus act on that data.
Currently, the most prominent use of oracles is for price feeds of crypto and other digital assets. For instance, MakerDo depends on the ETH/USD price feed to create a DAU stablecoin despite being a different and exclusive oracle.
Chainlink will integrate on Polkadot with a committed parachain, which refers to a blockchain chip that has personalized features. The other parachains on the interoperable network will access data from Chainlink chips to power dApps. The heterogeneous sharding approach will help solve most of the common blockchain problems, such as scalability, interoperability, and governance, as well as network security.
Parity Seeks to Onboard Ethereum Ecosystem Developers
Parity Technologies was the lead developer behind Polkadot because of its unique structure. Gavin Wood, the co-founder of Parity, was also among the co-founders of Ethereum. The Parity Ethereum client is one of the company’s products used in connecting with peers and processing the blockchain.
In December last year, Parity indicated that it will stop the development of its client and spin-off to a decentralized autonomous organization. Parity and the Web3 foundation have been making moves to onboard Ethereum ecosystem developers to their network. The addition of Chainlink indicates that there is a way of porting over Ethereum infrastructure.
The Libra Association has signed up Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify as its newest member as the troubled crypto project looks to get back on track.
Libra has lost several founding members in recent months for a variety of reasons, the most prominent of which was the massive amount of scrutiny leveled at the project. The association was originally made up of 27 founding members; however, several early backers such as Visa (NYSE:V), PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), and Mastercard (NYSE:MA) all jumped ship before the founding charter was signed, leaving just 21 members.
Vodafone was the most recent firm to quit The Libra Association, although for a different reason. The British telecom giant said it intends to dedicate resources previously allocated for the project to its own well-established digital payment service M-Pesa, which it plans to expand beyond the six African nations currently served.
In a rare piece of good news for Libra, Shopify said it is linking up with the venture to “work collectively to build a payment network that makes money easier to access and supports merchants and consumers everywhere.” The e-commerce platform has around 1 million businesses from 175 countries on its books and will join other Libra Association members in contributing at least US$10 million and operating a node that processes transactions for Libra, and will also leverage its expertise in managing payment networks.
Following the news that Shopify would join the Libra Association, Libra’s head of policy and communications Dante Disparte said the group was “proud” to welcome its newest member and talked up the troubled initiative. “Shopify joins an active group of Libra Association members committed to achieving a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of a global payment system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people,” Disparte said.
Libra is slated to launch in June of this year despite the huge amount of pushback against the project.
Over the past year or so, the fintech firm Ripple has come under fire from the XRP community for selling large amounts of the cryptocurrency token. The company holds the highest number of XRP tokens, meaning significant sales at regular intervals have affected the price of the cryptocurrency considerably.
In a new development, it has emerged that more than 31 million XRP tokens were sent from an unknown wallet to the Bitsamp exchange. The transaction was announced by a reliable Twitter account named Whale Alert, which tracks big transactions in the crypto space.
Now, it is being speculated that the latest movement of XRP tokens could also be a case of Ripple selling more of its holding to exchanges. Last year, there had been widespread dissent against the company for the heavy selling of the XRP token. Eventually, CEO Brad Garlinghouse had to state that the sales were aimed at expanding the use of the token.
The behavior from the company eventually saw some prominent members of the XRP community threatening that they would go for a fork if it continued. Reports suggest that the unknown wallet had received as many as 463,420,929.99 XRP tokens from Ripple last month.
It’s not a surprise that there is speculation that Ripple has possibly started selling XRP in bulk yet again. Additionally, there has also been talk about a possible initial public offering from the company, and according to Allen Scott of Cointelegraph, such a move could prove to be a problem for XRP. He stated that an IPO could actually make it difficult for XRP to exist as a cryptocurrency altogether.
However, it should be noted that Brad Garlinghouse clarified later that his comment about more blockchain companies having IPOs was a bit of theorizing and has nothing to do with a possible IPO from Ripple.
Over the years, the crypto space has seen plenty of remarkable rallies, and one of the more noteworthy ones in recent times has been that of Tezos (XTZ). The token has rallied by as much as 400% over the past six months, and when an altcoin rallies so strongly over a sustained period of time, people are bound to take notice.
Despite the strong move in the cryptocurrency over the past few days, it should be noted that a large number of XTZ tokens were recently moved to Binance. XTZ tokens worth as much as $650,000 were moved to Binance, and such a move generally comes from a big player in the market known as a whale. Additionally, such moves often prove to be a sale signal, so investors should keep an eye on Tezos over the coming hours.
Since January, XTZ has soared by as much as 225% and has continued to extend its gains progressively. At this point in time, there is no indication that the Tezos rally is going to slow down any time soon. It is now being speculated that the current rally in XTZ could have been triggered by the marketing efforts of Coinbase. More often than not, such marketing campaigns can create ‘fear of missing out’ among investors and can often lead to sustained rallies in cryptocurrencies.
The whole Tezos project is marketed as a staking platform, and this particular aspect of the project is marketed quite aggressively by Coinbase. It is important to keep in mind that Coinbase is possibly one of the world’s most influential crypto exchanges and boasts of the biggest pool of American customers. It is only natural that it has the ability to make or break cryptocurrencies.
At this point in time, XTZ has managed to climb to the 10th spot in the market cap rankings of cryptocurrencies. However, with the backing of Coinbase, it could well be a matter of time before the market cap rises further in the coming months.
Over the past year or so, XRP is probably one of the few major cryptocurrencies that have not enjoyed any meaningful gains, and much of the blame has been laid at the door of the fintech firm Ripple. The San Francisco-based company owns the highest number of XRP tokens.
Uncertainty in the Crypto Market
Currently, the uncertainty in the crypto market has beaten down the XRP price further. However, it is the possibility of an initial public offering from Ripple that has given rise to a fresh debate among analysts.
Earlier this year, the Chief Executive Officer of Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse, stated that there is a possibility that many crypto-based companies are going to have their IPOs. That resulted in a lot of speculation about an IPO from the company itself. Garlinghouse later said that he was merely talking about the possibilities but has not been thinking about an IPO this year.
Allen Scott, who is the head of markets at Cointelegraph, stated that an IPO from the company could prove to be an existential threat to XRP as a token. However, it should be noted that the possibility of an IPO is currently at a speculative stage.
XRP has been beset with a range of troubles in recent times, and in order to tackle that problem, Ripple has launched a portal. The portal is aimed at allowing XRP investors to report malicious activity. The move from the company came after it emerged that XRP-related scams have hit the market.
In addition to that, reports of fake XRP giveaways, token theft, and other financial crimes have come to the fore as well. Due to the presence of this portal, people can fill in a form that offers an exhaustive list of suspicious activities, which can be reported to the company. Ripple will investigate the matter but is not going to reimburse anyone with XRP tokens.
Sorare, a global fantasy football platform built on the Ethereum blockchain, has inked an exclusive licensing agreement with Italian soccer giants Juventus to launch a digital collectibles range of its star players.
Ethereum-Based Fantasy Football
Paris-based Sorare provides a soccer management game with digital cards representing players that fans can collect and trade. The cards represent non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard. For each player, Sorare issues 1 “Unique” card, 10 “Super Rare” cards, and 100 “Rare” cards in a manner similar to FIFA’s Ultimate Team game mode. The Juventus cards, which will feature five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, will go live on February 11, with some cards expected to fetch fees in excess of US$2,000.
“We are very proud to have signed this agreement with such an Italian heavyweight,” said Sorare CEO Nicolas Julia. “We see this as a new key step in our vision to onboard the best soccer clubs from around the world and bring blockchain-gaming to football fans around the world.” Juventus is not the first European giant to reach a deal with the Ethereum-based platform; Atletico Madrid, Porto, and AS Roma also signed similar agreements.
Top Clubs Embracing Crypto
Crypto promotion is becoming an increasingly popular trend in the soccer world. Several Premier League teams have signed sponsorship agreements with crypto firms, including Wolves’ shirt sponsor CoinDeal, while eToro also has deals in place with six teams, including Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, and Southampton. Further afield, Portuguese champions Benfica announced last year that its merchandise would be available for purchase with cryptocurrency. Benfica accepts Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), as well as UTRUST token (UTK).
However, Juventus has arguably the biggest fan base out of all the clubs mentioned, thanks to an overflowing trophy cabinet and several high-profile players, including Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, and Matthijs De Ligt. The 35-time Italian champions currently sit one point clear of Lazio in Serie A.
The crypto space can be highly volatile for traders, and over the years, Bitcoin (BTC) has proven to be among the more volatile cryptocurrencies. Over the past few days, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by market cap had managed to make a comeback of sorts, but the volatility returned once again today. Such volatility was last seen back in November 2019.
At around 5 in the morning Hong Kong time, the cryptocurrency plunged by as much as 8% within a matter of 45 minutes, dropping down to $9,320 per coin.
While the meltdown in Bitcoin did come as a surprise for many in the market, the cryptocurrency clawed back from those levels and eventually hit $9,598 a coin some hours later. Emmanuel Goh, who is in charge of the crypto derivative tracking company Skew, stated that the dramatic plunge in BTC was possibly a technical move, which may have been triggered after highly leveraged derivative positions had been called in.
Despite the dramatic fall, it should be noted that BTC is still up by as much as 20% so far this year. At this point last year, the coin had been in the middle of a remarkable rally.
The surge in Bitcoin over the course of the year so far is possibly due to the fact that many now see it as a legitimate hedge against the turmoil in the financial markets. The outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic in China has spooked markets all over the world, as fears continue about the shutdown of many factories in the country.
In such a situation, BTC has become the preferred hedge for some investors as they look to protect their capital. Investors could keep an eye on the Bitcoin price action over the coming days.
The New Year has seen a degree of a turnaround in the crypto space, as many tokens have recorded significant gains. One notable gainer is Tezos (XTZ). Since the start of the year, the XTZ token has more than doubled in price, and it goes without saying that it could be on the radars of most crypto traders by this point.
More importantly, the coin has managed to break into the top 10 crypto projects by market cap thanks to this rally. Currently, XTZ enjoys a market cap of $1.9 billion. However, this begs the question of whether the current surge is sustainable or just another crypto bubble.
Over the years, the crypto world has seen many such remarkable rallies, which have later turned into monumental bubbles. Hence, it would perhaps be far more prudent to be cautious about the current rally in Tezos. Alex Saunders, who is a well-regarded commentator on the crypto space, recently tweeted about the XTZ rally. He stated that there are rumors of hard forks since “people aren’t happy” with XTZ. He went on to assert that once the “euphoria” about the token is over, it is going to “fall hard.”
The XTZ blockchain is something that is described as a “self-amending blockchain” and allows for the development of smart contracts that allow two entities to interact on the basis of predetermined conditions. Due to its very nature, Tezos cannot go through a hard fork unless there is an agreement between the majority of participants.
In order to achieve that, the blockchain would need an update of the whole system, which could prove to be a particularly tough thing to accomplish. That being said, it should be noted that the Tezos token has performed impressively over the past months, and investors need to look closely before making any decision.
A group of Telegram Open Network (TON) developers, calling themselves “The TON Community Foundation,” have submitted a court document criticizing the SEC’s prosecution of the project.
The former messaging app turned blockchain developer has been embroiled in a long-running suit with the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission, which alleges that US$1.7 billion raised from the sale of ‘Gram’ tokens between January and March 2018 should have been registered with the authority because the tokens constitute a security. Telegram has consistently denied the accusations and has recently been backed up by the community of international developers building the blockchain on which the digital coin will be based.
The TON Community Foundation, a non-profit body collectively representing Telegram’s developers, has submitted an amicus curia, which is a court filing that offers expertise or insight into a given case on behalf of an entity that is not formally part of the case. The filing states that the foundation was established to represent a “professional community of active participants in the TON project in whose interest it is to see the TON blockchain mainnet launched as soon as possible.”
The foundation is split into 20 teams of “independent specialists” who collectively make up over 2,000 computer scientists, engineers, programmers, and entrepreneurs based in China, Russia, and Spain, among other countries. The group argues that the lawsuit against Telegram is part of a broader effort by the SEC to place the crypto industry under an “innovation-suffocating regime,” and that particular arguments made by the SEC’s blockchain expert, Professor Maurice Herlihy, are “unrealistic standards of pre-launch performance, security, and maturity.”
The group of developers has countered the SEC’s concerns over the security capabilities of Telegram’s blockchain by saying TON is fully operational, has “state-of-the-art prelaunch security” and a developed suite of services. They say that, in its current state, TON would be ready for launch as a mainnet in a “matter of seconds.”