Ripple (CCC:XRP-USD) has been drifting down in recent weeks. After seeing $1.34 in the first half of November, XRP-USD has been on a downward spiral, in part due to the current negative sentiment in the crypto space. At the time of writing, Dec. 31, 2021, Ripple’s native token XRP-USD is swapping hands at around 85 cents per token, a decline of about 15% in the last month alone.
Meanwhile, the ongoing lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Ripple Labs is at its first-year anniversary. The SEC alleges Ripple executives have sold $1.3 billion worth of unregistered XRP tokens since 2013. There is chatter about a possible outcome in favor of Ripple. Yet, it is hard to predict when and how the legal battle will end.
If we witness a continued bear market in the crypto space, Ripple will likely be affected, as well. Nonetheless, a potential end to Ripple’s legal saga with the SEC could be a game changer for XRP-USD. Therefore, today we take a closer look at the prospects for the altcoin, especially potential post-lawsuit opportunities.
Where Ripple Stands
Despite the recent decline and legal worries, XRP is still up around 280% year-to-date (YTD) from its in early-January 2021 level of 23.7 cents per token. In fact, Ripple had the “strongest year ever” according to its chief executive officer Brad Garlinghouse. As a result, XRP-USD is among the top ten cryptocurrencies in the world. It currently ranks as the eighth-largest crypto with a market capitalization of over $40 billion.
By comparison, in 2021, Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD), and Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD), the two largest and widely-followed cryptos, returned over 65% and 415%, respectively. Their market caps are around $914 billion and $453 billion. In addition, two emerging altcoins Avalanche (CCC:AVAX-USD), and Cardano (CCC:ADA-USD) are up 3,240% and 652% YTD, with market caps of $26 billion and $46 billion.
2021 was a remarkable year for most digital assets. However, a recent Natixis Investment Managers survey finds cryptocurrencies to be the “top contender” for a major correction in 2022. More than half of the institutional investors polled anticipate a pullback in the widely popular virtual names.
Ripple Labs Launches New Projects
The San Francisco-based technology company Ripple Labs developed Ripple for global payments and exchange network protocols. Its RippleNet platform, based on the distributed ledger database of XRP Ledger (XRPL), allows for faster and lower-cost cross-border payments.
The developers of XRP, the native token of the Ripple protocol, want to make it one of the mainstream legacy payment systems like SWIFT, the current standard for international bank wires.
Since its launch in 2012, Ripple has been expanding its user base. Currently, over 1500 stores and services including MoneyGram International (NASDAQ:MGI), Western Union (NYSE:WU), and Twitch, which is owned by Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), accept XRP payments.
Ripple has continued targeting global growth even amidst the legal headache with the SEC.
For example, “Ripple Liquidity Hub,” which is accepted to become operations in the months ahead, will allow customers to find digital assets at optimized prices from a range of global exchanges, market makers and over-the-counter desks by using smart order routing. The hub will initially give access to six cryptos including BTC-USD, ETH-USD, Litecoin (CCC:LTC-USD), Ethereum Classic (CCC:ETC-USD), Bitcoin Cash (CCC:BCH-USD) and XRP-USD.
Also, in mid-November, LuLu Exchange, a financial services provider based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced a cooperation with Pakistan-headquartered Bank Alfalah to integrate RippleNet for cross-border payments between the UAE and Pakistan.
The Bottom Line on XRP-USD
The debate on digital assets will be a long one to end. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum have already been designated as non-securities. Wall Street concurs that the outcome of the SEC lawsuit will likely create a regulatory impact for all cryptos.
In a recent interview, CEO Brad Garlinghouse said he expected the lawsuit to wrap up sometime in 2022. The financial technology (fintech) group is optimistic about the result. What’s more exciting for investors is that Ripple will possibly go forward with an initial public offering (IPO) after the case is settled.
Nonetheless, Ripple has been recently delisted on numerous platforms due to regulatory concerns. Most recently, Bitbuy, a Canadian crypto exchange, announced that it will be delisting XRP-USD effective Jan. 13, 2022. As a result, a “#RelistXRP” campaign went viral on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), but so far to no avail.
XRP-USD is poised to remain speculative and volatile for the foreseeable future. Interested readers might want to watch Ripple closely with a view to allocate a small portion of their portfolios.
On the date of publication, Tezcan Gecgil 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.
Tezcan Gecgil has worked in investment management for over two decades in the U.S. and U.K. In addition to formal higher education in the field, she has also completed all 3 levels of the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) examination. Her passion is for options trading based on technical analysis of fundamentally strong companies. She especially enjoys setting up weekly covered calls for income generation.