The company Ripple (CCC:XRP-USD) is responsible for a very popular cryptocurrency, XRP.
A well-documented legal battle between Ripple and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has put both the company and the coin in the spotlight recently.
It’s a long, ugly battle with no clear winner yet. Yet, the outcome could have an impact on all cryptocurrency investors.
At the same time, XRP has fallen to a more attractive price point. With some good news, the token’s price could potentially double or more.
But really, there’s much more at stake here. The true headline story is that, just maybe, the SEC isn’t the all-powerful force that some folks think it is.
Analyzing the XRP Price
From the beginning of April to mid-July, XRP took a round trip of epic proportions.
It started at 58 cents on April 1, shot up to a 52-week high of $1.96 along the way, and then fell back to 58 cents by July 17. It trades today at around 55 cents.
For folks who aren’t accustomed to trading low-priced cryptocurrencies, this might seem like total insanity. Yet, it’s really just par for the course.
It’s exciting to consider that the XRP price could triple or more within a matter of weeks.
After all, we just saw it happen – but then, the subsequent drawdown was equally intense. Therefore, I don’t recommend taking a large position as the volatility is too high.
That being said, I must admit that XRP has come down to an attractive price level. If you truly believe in “buy low, sell high,” then this could be your chance to put that principle into action.
Ripple Fights the Good Fight
Sometimes, I’ll caution investors against trying to fight against the government. I’m actually willing to make an exception in this case, though.
Let’s rewind the clock a little bit. In December of last year, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple, alleging that the sale of XRP constituted an unregistered offering of securities worth over $1.38 billion.
So, in this David versus Goliath story, the SEC is the Goliath that wants to have total control over all sales of securities.
Some folks would claim that the SEC has a poor understanding of XRP, and of cryptocurrency in general. They might assert that crypto is a currency, or a commodity, or something else – but not a security.
That’s a challenging, arcane debate which I’ll leave to the experts.
But for the time being, we can picture Ripple as the David of this story: the underdog that might actually have a chance of winning in the end.
A Wrinkle in the Story
Now, I understand that the SEC should be the odds-on favorite here, but there’s a wrinkle in the story that some onlookers might not have expected.
Reportedly, Ripple had requested to call William Hinman, the former head of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, to testify about Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD) and XRP.
Why would Ripple’s lawyers want to depose Hinman? Simple: at a conference in 2018, Hinman suggested that ETH should not be considered a security.
“The Ethereum network and its decentralised structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions,” Himan stated during the conference.
Hinman, who served as the director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance at the time, also said that “applying the disclosure regime of the federal securities laws to current transactions in Ether would seem to add little value.”
And now, much to the SEC’s chagrin, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn has authorized Hinman’s deposition to proceed.
It’s a small victory for Ripple, but it shows that the SEC isn’t invincible. Besides, little wins can add up to big ones – anything’s possible in the world of crypto.
The Bottom Line
Will Hinman’s testimony provide insights into XRP’s legal status as a security or something else?
That remains to be seen.
For the time being, Ripple’s supporters can celebrate a small win – and hope for big changes – as regulators struggle to understand the true nature of cryptocurrency.
On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.