First Mover Americas: SEC Drops Charges Against Ripple Leaders; Bitcoin and XRP Gain

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for Oct. 20, 2023.

AccessTimeIconOct 20, 2023 at 12:01 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 20, 2023 at 3:42 p.m. UTC
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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will no longer pursue claims against Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse or Executive Chairman Chris Larsen that they aided and abetted the company in violating federal securities laws in its XRP transactions, canceling a trial scheduled for next year and giving the crypto company another victory in the agency’s long-running suit against it while moving the regulator closer to appealing a federal judge’s ruling in the case. According to a filing Thursday afternoon, the parties agreed to voluntarily dismiss the aiding and abetting charges against the two executives with prejudice, which means the changes cannot be filed again. The SEC will continue pursuing its claims against Ripple, the filing said.

Bitcoin crossed the $30,000 mark during the morning hours on Friday, extending its weekly gains to over 11% as bullish sentiment around a possible spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval in the U.S. gained momentum. Tokens formed by the forking of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin SV (BSV) jumped as much as 26% to lead gains among alternative tokens in a sign of possible irrational exuberance. Several ETF providers amended their filings over multiple days in the past week alongside pressure on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to soften its stance on a bitcoin ETF approval. XRP logged its best daily percentage gain in three months as the SEC dropped securities-violations charges against fintech company Ripple’s top leaders. XRP, the world’s fifth-largest digital asset, rose 6.5% to 52 cents, jumping to a high of 53 cents before pulling back to 51 cents at press time, CoinDesk data shows.

FTX’s general counsel “never approved” the crypto exchange lending customer funds to sister firm Alameda Research, he told the jury on day 12 of Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal fraud trial. Can Sun, the general counsel at FTX from August 2021 to the time of the exchange’s collapse in November 2022, said “absolutely not” when asked Thursday whether he signed off on Alameda’s use of FTX customer funds. Sun testified he believed FTX customers’ funds were kept segregated from the company’s funds, based on conversations he’d had with Bankman-Fried. Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon walked Sun through FTX’s terms of service and other public statements supporting the Department of Justice’s thesis that FTX misappropriated customer funds.

Chart of The Day

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  • The chart shows bitcoin has crossed above resistance at $28,754, stemming from the June 2021 low.
  • The latest breakout might be more long-lasting than those in April and June, thanks to the ETF narrative.
  • Source: TradingView

- Omkar Godbole

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Edited by Parikshit Mishra.

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Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.


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