Bitcoin reached its highest price in almost 13 months this year on Friday, fueled by a significant legal triumph for the crypto industry. A US judge ruled that Ripple Labs did not violate federal securities law by offering its XRP token on public exchanges. Bitcoin initially surged to $31,818 before settling around $30,935 on Friday.
The second-largest token, ether, experienced its most successful session since March on Thursday. Similarly, XRP, which the US judge declared legally tradable on public crypto exchanges, skyrocketed by 73 per cent on Thursday and maintained most of these gains on Friday.
The favorable legal ruling and market performance have triggered optimism among industry experts. Matthew Dibb, the Chief Investment Officer at crypto asset manager Astronaut Capital, remarked that the regulatory landscape is evolving and recent developments indicate positive changes lie ahead.
Justin d’Anethan, Head of Business Development in Asia at Keyrock, a digital assets market maker based in Hong Kong, believes that the court’s decision sets a potentially influential precedent, offering much-awaited regulatory clarity to Ripple stakeholders.
In response to the ruling, major cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase and Bitstamp resumed trading XRP on their platforms. Binance.US also announced the re-enablement of XRP trading on its exchange.
The market reaction was particularly encouraging for Coinbase, which had been sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for alleged securities law violations. Following the Ripple case ruling, Coinbase’s shares surged by almost 25 per cent on Thursday as investors hoped for a favorable outcome in their own legal battle.
This landmark case represents the first victory for a cryptocurrency company in a lawsuit initiated by the SEC. Although the ruling pertains to this specific case, it has generated optimism among crypto investors, who believe that other cryptocurrencies may also avoid being classified as securities.
However, the positive sentiment was somewhat tempered by reports from the Wall Street Journal indicating that Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has undergone substantial layoffs in recent weeks. According to an insider, the ongoing layoff process could result in a workforce reduction of over a third for the exchange.