Another Ripple Lawsuit Claims XRP Is A Security

A third investor in three months is suing Ripple on grounds that the XRP cryptocurrency is a security issued by the firms. 

AccessTimeIconJul 5, 2018 at 3:34 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:08 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Ripple is facing another class-action lawsuit tied to the legal classification of the XRP cryptocurrency.

A lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of California (San Mateo County) claims that Ripple "created the XRP token and then used sales of the tokens in order to fund its operations and the development of the XRP ecosystem." Filed by California resident David Oconer, the complaint names Ripple Labs, XRP II (Ripple's licensed money services business), Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and 25 unnamed persons affiliated with the firms as defendants.

The suit claims:

"Here, the XRP offered and sold by the defendants had all the traditional hallmarks of a security, yet defendants failed to register them as such. The purchase of XRP constitutes an investment contract, as XRP purchasers, including plaintiff, provided consideration (in the form of fiat, such as U.S. dollars, or other cryptocurrencies) in exchange for XRP. XRP purchasers reasonably expected to derive profits from their ownership of XRP, and defendants themselves have frequently highlighted this profit motive."

Like previous lawsuits, Oconer's filing seeks damages for the price drop from earlier this year, noting that while traditional securities would afford owners some measure of control over the firm, XRP does not. Oconer goes a step further, claiming that Ripple has complete control over the XRP ledger and that the network is not decentralized like bitcoin or ethereum.

The suit comes on the heels of two others with similar claims. Former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Mary Jo White and former SEC official Andrew Ceresney are representing the company in the first suit, though it is unclear whether they will do so for the second, third and fourth ones.

Further, New York-based law firm Skadden Arps is representing Ripple in at least one of the suits, a representative told CoinDesk.

Previously, Garlinghouse has publicly stated that "XRP is not a security," claiming that the XRP ledger is decentralized, independent of Ripple Labs and that purchasing XRP tokens does not give investors ownership of Ripple.

A spokesperson for Ripple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Notably, a similarly-constructed lawsuit was also filed this week by investor Avner Greenwald, public records show. That lawsuit also alleges that XRP is a security.

This article has been updated. 

Image via Shutterstock

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.