Given the current pressure for crypto regulation, the industry breathed a sigh of relief on July 13 as Ripple Labs won a partial victory in its legal battle with the States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). United since 2020.
Judge Analisa Torres of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled that Ripple’s XRP (XRP) token is not a security, but is only for programmatic sales on digital asset exchanges. However, the SEC also scored its own victory as the judge ruled that XRP is a security when sold to institutional investors because it met the conditions set out in the Howey test.
Immediately after the news, Ripple became the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Just hours after the decision, XRP’s market capitalization jumped $21.2 billion to a new yearly high of $46.1 billion, lifting it from seventh position to beat Circle’s USD coin. (USDC) and Binance’s BNB (BNB) token in the process.
Industry heavyweights believe the decision will help crypto exchanges Coinbase and Binance in their respective SEC lawsuits. Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, said the decision “decimated” the SEC’s case against Coinbase. His twin brother, Cameron Winklevoss, called the decision a “watershed moment” that will make it difficult for the SEC to claim authority over cryptocurrencies. U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis said the verdict reinforces the immediate requirement for Congress to provide a comprehensive crypto framework that prioritizes consumer protection.
South Korea to ask companies to disclose their crypto holdings from 2024
South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) has announced a new bill requiring all companies that issue or hold cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) to disclose their holdings. The new measures aim to improve transparency in the accounting and disclosure of crypto assets in accordance with supervisory guidelines that require accounting for every transaction involving crypto. The initiative also aims to revise accounting standards that require disclosure of virtual asset transactions.
First Bitcoin Futures Contract Debuts in Argentina
Argentina welcomed its first Bitcoin futures contract on July 13, three months after the country’s securities watchdog approved the underlying index as part of a strategic innovation program. The Bitcoin futures contract will be based on the price of BTC quoted by several market participants providing BTC/ARS trading pairs. All transactions will be settled in Argentine pesos and traders are required to make deposits by bank transfer. According to local media, the product will initially only be available to institutional investors. There is no clear timeline for when retail investors can trade Bitcoin futures in the country.
Former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky arrested and charged
The former CEO of now-bankrupt crypto lender Celsius, Alex Mashinsky, has been arrested after an investigation into the company’s collapse. On the same day, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Mashinsky, accusing him of raising “billions of dollars” through unregistered and fraudulent offerings, as well as selling “securities of crypto assets “. The criminal charges came alongside those from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which announced a complaint against Celsius and Mashinsky on July 13. According to the commission, Celsius acted as an unregistered commodity pool operator, while Mashinsky was an unregistered associated person of said operator, which are violations of the Commodities Trading Act.