Ripple effect

A win for crypto or not?

Welcome back. As the writer of a crypto newsletter, few things are scarier than the infamous summer news slump. Luckily, the last week has been anything but slumped—in fact, crypto’s regulatory landscape might just have changed forever.

Today: Unpacking the Ripple ruling, examining Europe’s ambitious metaverse plans, and Bitcoin at $120K. Let’s go.


Ripple Won…Right?

Crypto may have received its most impactful legal decision of the year last week when Judge Analisa Torres issued a summary judgment in the seminal SEC v. Ripple Labs case, declaring that XRP does not classify as a security. But is it too early to celebrate?

Some background:

  • The SEC sued Ripple Labs in late 2020 for failing to register its XRP token as a security before offering up $1.3 billion worth of XRP for sale.

  • There’s a lot at stake. If XRP were declared a security, hefty regulatory restrictions could hit the entire U.S. crypto industry.

Mixed feelings: Thursday’s summary judgement was widely celebrated as a major win for crypto. But here’s where things get tricky

  • On one hand, Judge Torres ruled that selling XRP to retail investors on crypto exchanges did not violate federal securities laws.

  • On the other, Torres concluded that Ripple’s sale of XRP to institutional investors did constitute an investment contract and thus broke the law.

This grants both Ripple and the SEC a partial win and a partial loss. Nevertheless, traders had reason to celebrate—XRP’s price shot up 100% the day the news broke and most major crypto exchanges announced their relisting of XRP.

Where does this leave crypto at large? The ruling marks an important step for the crypto industry in its endeavor to establish cryptocurrencies as a new, separate asset class. This ruling could also become leverage for other crypto companies accused by the SEC of selling unregistered securities.

However: Ripple’s legal battle against the SEC isn’t over yet. Chances are high that the SEC appeals the court’s decision, which could result in a ruling reversal.

The EU Bets Big on the Metaverse

Turns out Zuck isn’t the only one who still has grand plans for the metaverse. The EU does, too—at least according to the ambitious agenda concerning the future of the metaverse that the European Commission laid out last Tuesday.

The vision: The new metaverse strategy is the EU’s attempt to become a leader in virtual worlds. Specifically, the initiative plans on…

  • Shaping global standards for an open and interoperable metaverse

  • Preventing Big Tech from dominating the metaverse the way it does social media

  • Promoting metaverse development by creating regulatory sandboxes and offering skills development programs

  • Rolling out virtual public services

Big numbers: The Commission predicts that the metaverse’s global market size will exceed $890 billion by 2030 and create as many as 860,000 new jobs in Europe alone by 2025.

A breath of fresh air? Most of the metaverse initiatives we’ve seen to date have been spearheaded by big corporations (*cough* Meta *cough*), not political bodies such as the EU. But the Commission’s vision shows that political interest in the metaverse is growing…despite the metaverse having become somewhat of a laughing stock in tech circles.

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BTC at $120K?

Warning: Hopium ahead.

Multinational banking giant Standard Chartered predicts that Bitcoin will hit $50,000 by the end of this year and $120,000 by the end of 2024, according to a report viewed by Reuters last week.

What will fuel the pump? A BTC supply shock. Standard Chartered believes the price increase will be driven by miners starting to hoard their Bitcoin instead of adding new coins to the circulating supply.

Big picture: The institutional narrative around Bitcoin is changing. Standard Chartered follows BlackRock in expressing pretty bullish sentiments.

In other news:

  • Crypto data firm Arkham Intelligence ruffled feathers with the announcement of its new on-chain intelligence marketplace.

  • Europe’s first spot Bitcoin ETF will finally launch after a year of delays.

  • Ex-Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky was arrested but will be released on a $40 million bail.

  • A new Chainalysis report found that crypto criminals are stealing less money this year than they did last year.

  • Bridging protocol Multichain is officially shutting down after weeks of drama.

Crypto Job Board

And that’s what you need on your radar today in crypto. What are your predictions for the SEC v. Ripple case—is last week’s ruling really the end of this saga? Hit that reply button. Catch you back here next Tuesday!