Not everyone is turning their backs on XRP, the embattled asset associated with San Francisco-based Ripple Labs.
- Japan-based financial services company SBI Holdings released a statement Monday saying under Japanese law XRP is a "cryptocurrency asset."
- The statement arrives after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week sued Ripple Labs claiming it made a $1.3 billion profit selling XRP to retail investors while failing to register the cryptocurrency as a security in the U.S.
- SBI referenced a research article by Sadakazu Osaki of the Nomura Research Institute indicating under Japanese law XRP is a "cryptocurrency asset" and it is not a security in Japan.
- CoinDesk reported in October Ripple intended to invest in SBI's MoneyTap blockchain-based payments subsidiary, which planned to used the RippleNet technology to lower Japanese transfer costs.
- Many cryptocurrency companies are backing away from XRP around the world, including Bitwise in the United States, Bitstamp in Europe and Hong Kong trading platform OSL.
- "SBI is putting lipstick on a pig to try and minimize the damage to its reputation in Japan from the Ripple lawsuit," said Joel Edgerton, chief operating officer of BitFlyer USA, a cryptocurrency exchange that also has a strong presence in Japan. "SBI is an aggressive player in the Japanese financial industry and it is working to buy the pieces required to make it a leader in Japanese crypto," Edgerton added. "However, it has many other regulated businesses that will not want any negative reputation impact."