Ripple Fights Back: Seeks to Expose SEC Employees XRP Holdings

Amidst an ongoing legal tussle with the securities and exchange commission, Ripple defendants have fired back with a motion to expose the XRP holdings of SEC employees, a token they have alleged is an unregistered security.

RIpple’s Recent Motion

On August 27th, attorney James Filan unveiled Ripple’s new motion demanding the SEC to produce documents related to its own employees’ XRP holdings. The legal order comes in response to four previous meetings Ripple has had with the SEC related to this issue throughout the summer, which have all been “without progress.”

The motion is filed on behalf of Ripple Labs Inc., Bradley Garlinghouse (Ripple CEO), and Christian A. Larsen (Ripple executive chairman). Specifically, the defendants wish to gather “anonymized documents reflecting [the SEC’s] trading preclearance decisions with regard to XRP, bitcoin, and ether.”

They also seek information specifically related to employee’s XRP holdings to be produced with redacted personal information or in aggregate form.

Within their motion, Ripple demonstrates that the SEC had “not adopted or imposed” any rules restricting their employees from trading in crypto until January 16th, 2018. This would, according to the company, be in line with the commission’s previous views on digital assets not being securities up until that point. Nevertheless, this left SEC employees a massive window of time to have collected XRP.


“At all times from 2013 until at least January 19, 2018, SEC employees were free to buy, sell and hold XRP without any restriction by the SEC.”

Ripple and the court are wasting no time: the order gives the SEC until Sept 3rd to respond to their motion.

Ripple’s Ongoing Legal Battle

The recent news is just the next step of a continuing legal war between Ripple and the SEC- one which Ripple has been winning as of late. In May, a US court denied the SEC’s attempt to access Ripple’s internal communications about the sale of their token, blocking the road that the commission wanted to use to crack down on them.

Furthermore, Ripple was recently approved on a motion to access information about the company’s XRP sales made on Binance exchange, which RIpple’s legal team claims were “overwhelmingly made on digital asset trading platforms outside of the United States.” This hurts the SEC’s case against Ripple using the securities act, which only applies to domestic offers and sales.


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Bitcoin-Friendly Robinhood May Have to Abandon Main Revenue Stream

In brief

  • Payment for order flow is a controversial practice employed by Robinhood.
  • Gary Gensler thinks it may be inefficient and costly for consumers.
  • SEC pressure could speed up Robinhood’s continuing expansion into crypto offerings.

Executives at stock and crypto trading app Robinhood have vowed to diversify its revenue sources in the coming months and expand its appeal to cryptocurrency users.

Better get on that.

In an interview with Barron’s published today, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said that the agency is considering banning a practice called payment for order flow. Trading in HOOD shares subsequently dropped, as payment for order flow has traditionally been responsible for the bulk of revenue.

Payment for order flow, sometimes shortened to PFOF, entails outsourcing the execution of stock trades to third parties. When someone buys a stock on Robinhood, another company pays Robinhood fractions of a penny per share to match buyers and sellers. (Not bad when you consider Robinhood processes millions of trades in a year.) Using complex price data, these market makers can execute the trade more efficiently than Robinhood could and take a cut of the resultant proceeds.

It’s how Robinhood can advertise trades without taking a commission. And it’s not necessarily bad. The market makers provide liquidity that make reasonably priced trades possible. They can even improve the trading prices for Robinhood customers as they must be able to at least match, if not beat, orders placed directly on a U.S. stock exchange, in line with what’s called National Best Bid and Offer (NBBO).

Yet some say the market makers are actually responsible for raising overall prices by keeping trades off of exchanges and making for larger spreads on trades (bad for traders). “Transparency benefits competition, and efficiency of markets,” Gensler told Barron’s. “Transparency benefits investors.”

Moreover, others say the data that market makers receive will reduce competition over time as the best firms price other market makers out, leading to larger spreads. Gensler agrees that it might be better if this data were all public.

“They get the data, they get the first look, they get to match off buyers and sellers out of that order flow,” he said. “That may not be the most efficient markets for the 2020s.”

In its Q2 earnings announcement, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev remained committed to a slew of new product additions, including a crypto wallet and more cryptocurrencies for trading. Its seven listed coins are a primary source of non-PFOF revenue for the firm. In the earnings call, its first as a publicly traded company, Robinhood revealed that 60% of accounts with funds in them had begun trading crypto for the first time, enough for crypto revenue to account for 41% of total revenue—up from 17% the previous quarter. Of that, however, 62% came solely from Dogecoin.

And if payment for order flow is in a precarious regulatory condition, you probably don’t want to be counting on Dogecoin—created as a joke—to be your only backup plan.


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Billionaire Who Predicted 2008 Housing Crash Says Bitcoin Is “Worthless”

“Bitcoin is a bubble” is something that has been thrown around a lot ever since the last bull run began in 2017. A lot of prominent personalities in the finance industry took this stand when the digital asset hit its then all-time high of $19K. The bear market that followed seemed to validate this for the next few years. Then the bull run of 2020 started and a lot of those sentiments were put on the back burner. But now, John Paulson has come to hit the market with the same thing.

Related Reading | Here’s How Much Your $1,200 Stimulus Check Would Be Worth In Various Cryptocurrencies In 2021

Over a decade ago, billionaire John Paulson had bet against the housing market. Paulson had reportedly made his fortune from carefully placed bets against the housing market in 2007. The billionaire had used credit default swaps to bet against the housing market, which looked to be in its subprime. By 2010, Paulson himself had made $4.9 billion from his bet. The complete total Paulson made for himself and his clients from shorting the market in 2007 came out to about $20 billion, making it one of the biggest fortunes ever made in the history of Wall Street.

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Bitcoin Has No Intrinsic Value

Paulson was on Bloomberg’s Wealth with David Rubenstein to talk about trading and financial markets. Paulson remained bullish on gold, as he has been for a number of years now, which he believed is coming into its moment. The billionaire although had nothing good to say about cryptocurrencies. Cryptos received harsh criticism from Paulson, where he stated, “I am not a believer in cryptocurrencies.”

Related Reading | Deloitte Survey Shows 76% Of Finance Execs Think Physical Money Is Nearing Its End

Paulson then went on to call cryptocurrencies a “bubble.” Paulson attributed the value of cryptocurrencies to the high demand for them. One could argue that this is the way economics works. Demand always plays the biggest role in how something is valued.  Paulson also explained that there were way too many downsides to bitcoin. He added that the digital asset was just too volatile too short. Hence, the short methods

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“I would describe cryptocurrencies as a limited supply of nothing. There is no intrinsic value to any of the cryptocurrencies.”

Although Paulson spoke critically on other investments like SPACs, he was harshest on bitcoin. The billion said that cryptocurrencies “will eventually prove to be worthless.”

Gold Versus BTC

Paulson’s track record after his famous 2007 short has not been noteworthy. Although his assets under management grew after the notoriety he gained from that trade, it soon dwindled down as investors pulled out their money. In 2019, Paulson went from managing $38 billion to only about $9 billion assets under management, at this point mostly managing his own money. So Paulson turned his hedge fund into a family office.

Bitcoin price chart from

Bitcoin price chart from

BTC has surpassed gold year over year | Source: BTCUSD on

Paulson is bullish on gold, despite the fact that bitcoin has outperformed the asset consistently over the past decade. While gold has brought consistently negative results to its investors, bitcoin has returned over 200% year over year in returns.

Featured image from Bitcoinist, chart from


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Bitcoin Cools Off Before Face-Melting Run

Last Week In Bitcoin is a series discussing the events of the previous week that occurred in the Bitcoin industry, covering all the important news and analysis.

Summary Of The Week

The week started off great with bitcoin breaching $50,000 on Monday, but it seemed to stagnate as the days went on. While many complained, bitcoin was already up 60% over the preceding month and a short cool-off period is nothing new. In the week, MicroStrategy stacked up and continued to HODL, more billionaires joined the bitcoin club, and both Ray Dalio and Facebook made some ill-advised moves. Here’s the last week in bitcoin:

Bullish News

❶ The week started off great as bitcoin surpassed $50,000 for the first time since May, in what seemed to be the start of a bullish week. Sadly, the price struggled to remain above $50,000 and dipped a bit. Many cried foul, but were quick to forget bitcoin surged over 60% over the month leading up to Monday.

❷ On Tuesday, bitcoin infrastructure firm, Blocksteam, raised $210 million in funding at a $3.2 billion valuation as the firm plans to expand its mining initiatives and launch its own ASIC miners. Blockstream is led by Adam Back, founder of Hashcash, used in bitcoin mining, and the fundraising confirms market interest in bitcoin infrastructure investments.

❸ Also on Tuesday, Michael Saylor announced that MicroStrategy purchased an additional 3,907 BTC bringing the company’s total holdings to 108,992 BTC. Saylor reiterated the company’s intent to HODL and confirmed that the company maintains self-custody with no intent on lending it out.

❹ Rounding out news from Tuesday was Mexican billionaire, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, calling fiat currency a fraud and noting that his bank, Banco Azteca, was working on becoming the first in Mexico to accept bitcoin. It also operates in Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru and El Salvador. This is overly bullish considering bitcoin is becoming a big talking point in South America, with El Salvador just over a week away from starting its nationwide bitcoin rollout.

❻ On Wednesday, Holly Kim became the first politician in the U.S. state of Illinois to accept bitcoin donations, saying “It seems to be how people want to give. I feel like it’s a new frontier.” As more and more politicians warm up to the idea of bitcoin and its potential, it’s likely they will be for pro-bitcoin legislation in the future.

❼ Also on Wednesday, NYDIG partnered with SIMON, which serves over 100,000 wealth managers with assets over $5 trillion, to offer bitcoin custody services. SIMON also launched a bitcoin education platform specifically aimed at wealth managers.

❾ By Thursday, Morgan Stanley funds held more than 1 million shares in the Grayscale Bitcoin trust.

❿ Also on Thursday, Bloomberg reported that billionaire, Simon Nixon, was seeking bitcoin exposure, following in the footsteps of Ricardo Salinas Pliego earlier in the week. Nixon is the co-founder of price-comparison website, MoneySuperMarket, founded in 1993.

Other bullish bits of news to round the week off with was Fidelity predicting bitcoin would hit $1 million in 2026, billionaire Samih Sawiris started accepting bitcoin at his luxury hotel in Switzerland, Wyoming Senator, Chris Rothfuss made it clear the state was pro-bitcoin and Venezuelan Turpial airlines plans to accept bitcoin as a hedge against hyperinflation.

Bearish News

❺ On Tuesday Ray Dalio, who just weeks ago claimed to be investing heavily in bitcoin, claimed that gold is still superior. With his stance flopping around like a fish out of water, it can be misconstrued that he’s completely changed it, but that still remains unclear. He is co-CIO at one of the world’s largest hedge funds and so his word carries some weight to no-coiners, for now.

❽ On Wednesday, Facebook reaffirmed its commitment to stablecoins and NFTs, instead of bitcoin. Although it’s entirely their choice, the company that controls the voices of billions through its platforms, is taking a clear stance that it prioritises other crypto assets over bitcoin — slap in the face to bitcoin and bitcoin users worldwide.


Over the last week I have noticed the longer you’re active in the bitcoin space, the more desensitized you become to overly bullish news. Billionaires are eager to invest in bitcoin, wealth managers and banks are launching new bitcoin-friendly products almost weekly, and more and more institutions are starting to heavily invest their resources in bitcoin, but the markets don’t seem to react. Then again, as I have stated before, bitcoin’s fiat price should be no indication of its strength.

We are in the early days of an asset that will shift the status quo and put financial control back in the hands of the masses. If you buy bitcoin because some billionaire is doing it, then you clearly don’t comprehend what bitcoin is, how it works or what it stands for. Although, more adopters should always be welcomed and those with a podium to preach from are welcome to join the “diamond hands army.”

Bitcoin breached $50,000 for the first time in several months and that’s a good sign.It’s slowly but surely moving up and if you didn’t stack up at $30,000 in late July, then the second best opportunity to stack is now. In just over a week El Salvador will start rolling out bitcoin as legal tender, millions of citizens will receive $30 in bitcoin each and the country is poised to pave the way for further adoption by countries that have for centuries been described as “third world” but little do they know…

I am confident that bitcoin is still poised to go beyond $100,000 in the months ahead, whether or not there will be a major catalyst that drives this growth, remains to be seen, but then again, isn’t the biggest catalyst for growth the idea that bitcoin will bring financial freedom and more importantly financial security in the decades to come?

This is a guest post by Dion Guillaume. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.


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Here Are the Breakout Targets for Ethereum, Cardano, XRP and Four Altcoins, According to Analyst Scott Melker

Prominent crypto strategist and trader Scott Melker is keeping a close eye on seven altcoins that he says are threatening to take out their immediate resistance levels.

In a new strategy session, Melker tells his 83,000 YouTube subscribers that he’s watching the price action of ETH as it looks to exhaust sellers at $3,330.



“But ultimately, you want to see [ETH] hold $3,000. That’s the top of this range… And the real trade now is one, two, three, four, five, six touches unable to break $3,330. You want to get above that and then hope that we continue to rise.” 

Above $3,330, Melker predicts Ethereum can soar to his target of $4,384.

Looking at Cardano, the crypto trader says that the “sky’s the limit” for ADA after it breached its resistance of $2.47 and then retested it as support.

Another coin on the trader’s radar is Binance Coin (BNB). Melker says the utility token of crypto exchange Binance is facing heavy resistance areas, but he’s bullish on BNB and predicts that it will revisit its all-time high.

“We would expect a lot of resistance here between $570 and $615 but ultimately, this should be returning back up to $691.”

Next up is XRP, which the crypto strategist says is gearing up to ignite a rally as long as it holds a key level.

“If it holds $1.10, we should expect price to be heading up to the $1.50 to the $1.70 region, ultimately, almost $2. After that, we can figure it out.”

Interoperable blockchain Polkadot (DOT) is also on the trader’s list. Melker highlights that DOT could be forming a bottom structure on the daily timeframe.

“Now at this point, we have a very strong resistance between $28 and $31. I would really to get above that area right now. But once again, tweezer bottoms, potentially… That’s when you have these tiny little wicks down there to an equal low and then the price goes up.” 



According to Melker’s chart, a move above $31 could send DOT near its all-time high of $49.

As for decentralized exchange Uniswap, the crypto strategist says that he wants to see UNI take out a diagonal resistance around $27 so it can rally to his targets of $30 and $44.

The last coin on Melker’s radar is Terra (LUNA). Melker says the decentralized finance payment network can surge to as high as $50 after breaking out from a bull flag pattern on the lower timeframe.

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Here’s how Bitcoin options traders might prepare for a BTC ETF approval

Very few events can shake the cryptocurrency markets in a sustainable manner that really sends Bitcoin and altcoin prices into a sharp directional move. One example is when Xi Jinping, China’s President, called for the development of blockchain technology throughout the country in October 2019. 

The unexpected news caused a 42% pump in Bitcoin (BTC), but the movement completely faded away as investors realized China was not altering its negative stance on cryptocurrencies. As a result, only a handful of tokens focused on China’s FinTech industry, blockchain tracing, and industry automation saw their prices consolidate at higher levels.

Some ‘crypto news’ and regulatory development have a lasting impact on investors’ perceptions and willingness to interact with the crypto market. Not every one of these is positive. Take, for example, the launch of Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Bitcoin futures in Dec. 2017, which experts say popped the ‘bubble’ and led to a nearly 3-year long bear market. Despite this outcome, a positive was institutional investors finally had a regulated instrument for betting against cryptos.

Tesla’s February 2021 announcement that it had invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin effectively changed the perception of reluctant corporate and institutional investors, and it validated the “digital gold” thesis. Even if the price spiked to a $65,000 all-time-high and retracted all the way to $29,000, it helped to establish a support level price-wise.

Believe it or not, investors have been expecting the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to approve a Bitcoin futures exchange-traded instrument since July 2013, when the Winklevoss brothers filed for their “Bitcoin Trust.”

Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) was finally able to list it on OTC markets in March 2015, but numerous restrictions are applied to these instruments, limiting investor access.

A potentially positive price trigger is coming up

With that in mind, the effective approval of a U.S. listed ETF from the SEC will likely be one of those events that will alter Bitcoin’s price forever. By expanding the field of potential buyers to the underlying asset, the event could be the trigger that drives BTC to become a multi-billion dollar asset.

Bloomberg ETF analysts Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart issued an investor note on Aug. 24 that suggested that the SEC approval could come as soon as October. Even though one could use futures contracts to leverage their long positions, they would risk being liquidated if a sudden negative price move occurs ahead of the approval.

Consequently, pro traders will likely opt for an options trading strategy like the ‘Long Butterfly.’

By trading multiple call (buy) options for the same expiry date, one can achieve gains that are 3.5 times higher than the potential loss. The ‘long butterfly’ strategy allows a trader to profit from the upside while limiting losses.

It is important to remember that all options have a set expiry date, and as a result, the asset’s price appreciation must happen during the defined period.

Using call options to limit the downside

Below are the expected returns using Bitcoin options for the October 29 expiry, but this methodology can also be applied using different time frames. While the costs will vary, the general efficiency will not be affected.

Profit / Loss estimate. Source: Deribit Position Builder

This call option gives the buyer the right to acquire an asset, but the contract seller receives (potential) negative exposure. The Long Butterfly strategy requires a short position using the $70,000 call option.

To initiate the execution, the investor buys 1.5 Bitcoin call options with a $55,000 strike while simultaneously selling 2.3 contracts of the $70,000 call. To finalize the trade, one should buy 0.87 BTC contracts of the $90,000 call options to avoid losses above such a level.

Derivatives exchanges price contracts in Bitcoin terms, and $48,942 was the price when this strategy was quoted.

The trade ensures limited downside with a possi 0.25 BTC gain

In this situation, any outcome between $57,600 (up 17.7%) and $90,000 (up 83.9%) yields a net profit. For example, a 30% price increase to $63,700 results in a 0.135 BTC gain.

Meanwhile, the maximum loss is 0.07 BTC if the price is below $55,000 on October 29. Thus, the ‘long butterfly’ appeal is a potential gain of 3.5 times larger than the maximum loss.

Overall, the trade yields a better risk-to-reward outcome than leveraged futures trading, especially when considering the limited downside. It certainly looks like an attractive bet for those expecting the ETF approval sometime over the next couple of months. The only upfront fee required is 0.07 Bitcoin, which is enough to cover the maximum loss.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.