Uneasy Regulatory Status Surrounding Ripple (XRP) Sparks Debates


The situation involving Ripple’s native XRP asset is evolving rather slowly. More specifically, people want to know whether or not this is effectively a security. With the Ethereum situation now clarified, one can only hope more information regarding Ripple in the coming days and weeks.

The XRP Situation Remains Unclear

There are some characteristics about Ripple’s XRP which worry investors and regulators. That doesn’t automatically mean it can be labeled as a security by the SEC, though. An official “investigation” is underway, by the look of things. Ever since a lawsuit was filed to determine the future status of XRP, there has been a fair amount of speculation.

According to the SEC’s William Hinman, classifying XRP is not straightforward. A security is usually an investment vehicle for which buyers have specific expectations. If the buyer expects said coin to rise in value, it can be considered to be a security first and foremost. However, that concept would apply to all cryptocurrencies, assets, and tokens on the market today.

In the case of Bitcoin, there is no central entity determining the future of the project. Ethereum is also decentralized in a “similar” manner. Ripple’s XRP, however, is fully controlled by a centralized entity in many different ways. Although that situation will change, it remains a very centralized project on the surface. It is this “duality” which makes the decision-making process quite difficult for SEC officials.

Nathaniel Popper Weighs In

Defining the clear boundaries between centralized and decentralized has become a lot more difficult. Even for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, there is no clear-cut solution in place as of right now. Until the SEC clarifies its stance on XRP, this uneasy situation will remain in place.

The SEC comments this morning seem to have been worded to strongly suggest, without saying it outright, that Ripple's cryptocurrency, XRP should be categorized as a security. Do lawyers out there disagree? And why not just come out and answer this lingering question?

— Nathaniel Popper (@nathanielpopper) June 14, 2018

Nathaniel Popper, a well-respected author and cryptocurrency enthusiast, shared his views this week. In his opinion, XRP may very well be classified as a security. He doesn’t appear to be favoring either outcome at this point but mainly aims to spark more debate. Ripple’s native asset is very different from Bitcoin and Ethereum in every way one can imagine. As such, it may very well be regulated in a different manner either.

Even so, the community seems to think otherwise. Some people take offense to Popper’s statements and consider him to be biased against Ripple’s asset. Moreover, there is the question as to whether or not a security “label” would change much for XRP. It will impact cryptocurrency exchanges and existing speculators. In what capacity that may be, remains to be determined.


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