Bitcoin surged on Friday morning and broke the US$31,000 resistance level after Ripple Labs won a partial victory in its three-year lawsuit against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Ethereum and many alternate coins also saw some gains in what could be seen as a new rally in cryptocurrency, with XRP having the highest spike of 70%.
According to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin appreciated 3.45% over the last 24 hours to US$31,463 as of 07:50 a.m. in Hong Kong for a weekly gain of 4.93%. It reached its peak of US$31,814 early Friday morning, the highest price since June 2022.
The SEC sued Ripple in December 2020, alleging that the company’s sales of $1.3 billion of digital asset XRP since 2013 constituted an unregistered securities offering. In Thursday’s verdict, a New York Southern District Court Judge Analisa Torres ruled that Ripple’s programmatic sales of the XRP token on public exchanges do not constitute securities, marking a partial victory for Ripple against the SEC.
However, the court ruled that Ripple’s XRP sales to institutional investors did violate securities laws.
“Based on the totality of circumstances, the Court finds that reasonable investors, situated in the position of the Institutional Buyers, would have purchased XRP with the expectation that they would derive profits from Ripple’s efforts.”
The court also ruled the use of XRP as payment for employee wages and other services did not meet the criteria of an investment contract. “Whereas the Institutional Buyers reasonably expected that Ripple would use the capital it received from its sales to improve the XRP ecosystem and thereby increase the price of XRP, programmatic Buyers could not reasonably expect the same.”
Nonetheless, Ripple’s Chief Executive Officer Stuart Alderoty called the judgment “a huge win” in a Friday tweet.
Ripple’s XRP transactions with institutional clients will now be subject to further court proceedings.
Parties to SEC also saw some victory in Thursday’s ruling. CoinShares’ Head of Product Townsend Lansing said that the aspect of the verdict that identifies Ripple’s sales to institutional customers as a violation of securities law marks “a considerable victory for the SEC.”
He noted that the ruling will now set a precedent for legal action against other cryptocurrencies by regulators.
“It is important to note that institutional investors who purchased directly from Ripple may find themselves subject to class-action litigation as potential underwriters,” Lansing added. “This is an area to watch closely, especially if big-name venture capitalists were involved.”
Crypto Rally On XRP’s News
The news of XRP’s partial victory saw some rally in cryptocurrencies with the value of all cryptocurrencies jumping almost 6% to $1.3 trillion.
Following Bitcoin, Ether surged 6.99% to US$2,004, moving up 7.69% for the week – the first time it traded above $2,000 since April.
Every other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies also gained in the past 24 hours, with Cardano’s ADA, Solana’s SOL, and Polygon’s MATIC having two-digit gains.
Ripple’s XRP spiked by 72.75% to US$0.8142 and added 74.89% for the week, replacing Binance’s BNB as the third largest non-stablecoin cryptocurrency by market cap and fourth-largest digital asset according to CoinGecko.
Overall, crypto market capitalization gained 6.19% in the past 24 hours to US$1.26 trillion, while trading volume jumped 95.72% to US$60.3 billion.
However, the same did not hold true in the NFT’s market as trading volume declined by 1.72% in the past 24 hours to US$24.45 million, according to data from CryptoSlam.
Bitcoin-based $FRAM BRC-20 NFTs had the highest volume of trade in the last 24-hours, moving up 0.31% to US$2.14 million. Its sales volume was over two thirds of the total volume on the Bitcoin network. Ethereum-based collections Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and the Captainz ranked second and third respectively amongt the NFT collection.