SEC accuses XRP Army of issuing ‘false statements’ against its leadership on social media

The commission argued that Ripple’s motion, if granted, would open the floodgates for the company to request testimony from high-ranking government officials.

The ongoing lawsuit between Ripple Labs and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, continues with the regulatory body claiming that XRP token holders are targeting its members on social media platforms with allegedly false statements.

In a Thursday motion addressed to Judge Sarah Netburn in the Southern District of New York, the SEC has requested a conference to discuss quashing the motion from Ripple to subpoena the former director of the regulatory body’s division of corporation finance, William Hinman. The SEC argued that Ripple’s motion, if granted, would set a precedent for the company to be allowed “a parade of requests for the testimony of high-ranking government officials,” and interfere with U.S. government operations.

“Allowing Defendants [Ripple] to depose Director Hinman would likely result in Director Hinman being served with multiple deposition subpoenas by the many other persons alleged to have violated the registration provisions of the securities laws during his tenure at the SEC,” said the motion. “Such a result would not only create significant burdens for Director Hinman, but would make other qualified individuals reluctant to serve in high-ranking roles at the SEC for fear of being embroiled in litigation for years following their terms of service.”

However, one of the SEC’s arguments in the motion against letting Ripple depose Hinman is XRP token proponents — also known as the XRP Army — allegedly using social media “to disseminate negative and false statements about members of SEC leadership,” including the former director. The commission claimed that the deposition coupled with the social media attention could deter individuals from seeking positions in public service.

The SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple in December, alleging the firm, CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen had been conducting an “unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities offering” with their XRP token sales. In the aftermath of the commission’s announcement, several crypto exchanges have suspended the trading of XRP or delisted the token entirely. Garlinghouse also said in March that Ripple had agreed to “wind down” its partnership with global money transfer service MoneyGram.

Related: US isn’t prepared to regulate new industries like crypto, says Ripple CTO

In response to the SEC lawsuit, Ripple has claimed that XRP is more like Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH), both of which the regulatory body has classified as commodities rather than securities. Members of the XRP Army have also seemingly focused much of their online activity around the SEC case with Ripple, specifically mentioning Hinman.

Some of the ideas on social media pushed by XRP token holders about the SEC leadership include that members of the commission are working to make China’s economy greater than that of the United States, requests that former chairperson Jay Clayton and Hinman be investigated, and the occasional comparison of one or more members to lizard people:

XRP Army members have also started an online campaign to get exchanges to relist the token amid the SEC lawsuit. In April, the price of XRP reached a yearly high of $1.78 and stayed above the $1.00 level for a month. At the time of publication, XRP is $0.63, having fallen more than 35% in the last 30 days.

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$420M in leveraged long traders liquidated after XRP rallies to $1.96

XRP price dropped by 20% shortly after making a 2021 high at $1.96, but have the altcoin’s bullish fundamentals changed?

XRP holders couldn’t have asked for a better year as the cryptocurrency rallied almost 800% and flirted with a $2 level in the early hours of April 14. 

In addition to achieving its highest level since January 2018, this robust price increase signals that investors are not worried about the ongoing SEC “unregistered securities offering” dispute.

However, just 6 hours after rallying to $1.96, XRP price crashed by more than 20%. During an interview, DCG Group CEO Barry Silbert said it would be risky for exchanges and companies in the United States to relist XRP ahead of receiving the SEC’s blessing. These remarks may have contributed to the unprecedented $420 million long liquidations on derivatives exchanges today.

XRP price in USDT at Binance. Source: TradingView

Over the past couple of weeks, the primary catalysts for XRP’s rally have been victories in Ripple’s legal battles. Lawyers representing Ripple were granted access to internal SEC discussions regarding cryptocurrencies, and more recently, a court denied the disclosure of two Ripple executives’ financial records, including CEO Brad Garlinghouse.

Considering the recent rally, pinpointing a single reason for the price correction will likely be inaccurate. Nevertheless, the impressive $420 million long liquidations past 24-hours exceed those of Feb. 1 when XRP price crashed by 46% in two hours.

XRP futures aggregate liquidations. Source: Bybt

The only logical reason behind this staggering liquidation is excessive leverage used by buyers. To confirm such a thesis, one must analyze the perpetual contracts funding rate. To balance their risks, exchanges will charge either longs or shorts depending on how much leverage each side is demanding.

XRP perpetual futures 8-hour funding rate. Source: Bybt

The chart above shows that the 8-hour funding rate is surpassing 0.25%, which is equivalent to 5.4% per week. Although this is excessive, buyers will withstand these fees during strong price rallies. For example, the current upward price move lasted for almost three weeks, and prior to that another took place in early February.

Blaming the liquidations exclusively on leverage seems a bit extreme, although it certainly played its part in amplifying today’s correction.

Moreover, the record growth in XRP futures open interest was accompanied by a hike in the volume at spot exchanges. As a result, the eventual impact from more significant liquidations should have been absorbed by the increased liquidity.

Cascading liquidations will always take place in volatile markets. Thus investors should focus on how long it takes until the price recovers from it.

Fundamentally, a 10% or 20% intraday drop should not be interpreted differently. The correction depends on how many bids were previously stacked at exchange orderbooks and is not directly related to investors’ bullish or bearish sentiment.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Streaming tokens surge as Bitcoin price drops to the $54,000 support

Tokens related to gaming, video and music streaming rallied to new highs even as Bitcoin price pulled back to the $54,000 support.

Bitcoin (BTC) bulls faced strong headwinds on March 22 that quickly dampened any attempt at a breakout above the $58,000 level despite comments from United States Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell which called the top cryptocurrency a “substitute for gold.”

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView show that traders made several attempts to push BTC above $58,000 over the past two days only to be rejected, with Monday’s failure resulting in a pullback to the $54,000 support level.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

On-chain analysis shows that while BTC price struggles to climb back above $60,000, whale wallets have been in accumulation mode over the past 30 days indicating that some of the wealthiest Bitcoin holders still see more upside for the current bull market.

Mainstream cryptocurrency adoption gains traction

The macro picture for the cryptocurrency sector continues to improve as the globally recognized TIME magazine revealed that it is looking for a CFO who is comfortable with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as the publication has begun exploring the creation of one-of-a-kind non-fungible tokens based on some of its most iconic covers.

Now that blockchain technology has evolved to the point where it can handle processes like video and music streaming, platforms with a first-mover advantage in those sectors have seen their prices breakout over the past few months as mainstream audiences are increasingly exposed to the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Theta (THETA) and Theta Fuel (TFUEL) have taken the lead when it comes to blockchain-based video streaming with the dual token system enjoying astronomical growth in 2021 that continues to push its price to new all-time highs.

THETA/USDT vs. TFUEL/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Audius (AUDIO), a music streaming platform, has also rallied strongly over the past month as its price increased from $0.356 on Feb. 28 to a new all-time high at $2.05 on March 16.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for AUDIO on March 1, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. AUDIO price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ score for AUDIO was in the green late in February and hit a high of 68 on March 1, roughly 24-hours before the price began to increase by 400% over the next two weeks.

Following the price peak on March 16, AUDIO price and its VORTECS™ score experienced a pullback that lasted several days. The VORTECS™ score then turned green again and reached a high of 71 on March 20, roughly 15 hours before its recent price rise.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Other notable altcoin performances on March 22 include Augur (REP), which has seen its price increase 30% to a multi-year high of $39.30, and XRP, which spiked 20% to an intraday high at $0.60 as members of the XRP army look to get the token relisted on exchanges that suspended services in response to th actions from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.746 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 59.8%.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Jed McCaleb Sells $22 Million Worth of XRP, Ripple Cofounder’s Stash Could Run Dry by May

During the last few weeks, the former Ripple executive Jed McCaleb has reportedly been selling millions of XRP tokens and every sale has been monitored by the public. On Sunday, McCaleb dumped another 38 million XRP worth $22 million after selling 95 million XRP last week worth $56 million today. Ripple Cofounder Sells 38 million […]
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