Ripple to Explore IPO after SEC Lawsuit, CEO Discloses

Blockchain payments firm Ripple Labs Inc might be battling a lawsuit with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but it is in no way losing focus on what the future holds.


In an interview with CNBC, Chief Executive Officer Brad Garlinghouse has confirmed that the firm will consider moves to float its Initial Public Offering in the US when it is done with the SEC.

“I think we want to get certainty and clarity in the United States with the U.S. SEC. You know, I’m hopeful that the SEC will not slow that process down any more than they already have,” Garlinghouse told CNBC during the World Economic Forum in Davos. “But you know, we certainly are at a point in the scale, where that is a possibility. And we’ll look at that once we’re past this lawsuit with the SEC.”

Garlinghouse said he hopes the SEC will not impede its speed when it wants to push for the public listing as it has done through the legal battle that has lasted well over 12 months. The plans to go public have long been in the works for Ripple as it looks to thread similar paths as Coinbase Global Inc which made its public debut back in April 2021.

While Garlinghouse is optimistic the ongoing legal brawl will be concluded this year, and hopefully, in the firm’s favour, the entire plan of an IPO is an ambitious one amidst a largely bearish market.

While Ripple Labs operates with the aid of the XRP coin which helps in facilitating cross-border transactions, it said the bulk of its business is dominated outside of the US, and the slump of the XRP coin in recent times, fueled in part by the SEC lawsuit has not impacted its overall productivity. Garlinghouse said it increased its On-Demand Liquidity transactions which totalled $8 billion this quarter versus $1 billion in the same period last year.

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JPMorgan Backs Bitcoin to Rise 28%, Saying Cryptos are Preferred Alternative Asset

U.S.-based global investment bank JPMorgan disclosed on a note on Wednesday that the fair price of Bitcoin is 28% higher than its current level, implying “significant upside from here” after the current dramatic pullback in cryptocurrencies.

The investment bank mentioned that it was sticking to its view that $38,000 was a fair price for Bitcoin. That figure was 28% higher than the current price of the crypto, which stood at the $29,722 level on Wednesday morning.

In the note, the bank’s strategists, including Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, stated: “The past month’s crypto market correction looks more like capitulation relative to last January or February and going forward we see upside for Bitcoin and crypto markets more generally.”

JPMorgan acknowledged that the recent market crash has hurt cryptos more than other alternative investments, like real estate, private equity, and private debt. That suggests there is more room for cryptocurrencies to bounce back, the strategists mentioned in the note.

The bank further pointed out that cryptocurrencies have overtaken real estate as one of its preferred “alternative assets” — financial assets that don’t fall into the conventional categories like stocks and bonds.

“We thus replace real estate with digital assets as our preferred alternative asset class along with hedge funds,” JPMorgan strategists wrote in the note.

The strategists further stated that the dramatic crash of the TerraUSD stablecoin and its sister cryptocurrency Luna triggered fear among several crypto investors. They, however, observed that there is little indication that venture-capital funding into cryptocurrencies was slowing down.

In February, JPMorgan released a similar report stating that the long-term price of Bitcoin would reach $150,000. In January, the investment bank carried out a client survey and identified that the majority of respondents expected Bitcoin price to hit $60,000 or more this year.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies have fallen to their lowest level in 2022, down more than 50% from their all-time price high in November last year. The plunge witnessed this year came as rising inflation and interest rates, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and China’s crackdown triggered investors to abandon assets considered risky.

The current crypto crash marks one of its worst prices falls in recent years, with market analysts warning it could form part of a longer-term bear market if it does not rebound soon.

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“I Still Take Salary in Bitcoin”, Miami Mayor Suarez Says at Davos

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, recently, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told a panel that despite the crash that sent crypto prices down almost 40% over the previous two months, he is still taking his city salary in Bitcoin. - 2022-05-26T101044.598.jpg

The Republican mayor mentioned that he is more focused on the utility of the flagship digital currency. He stated that the plunge of the TerraUSD stablecoin has not changed his vision for promoting the cryptocurrency industry in the city.

Suarez, a 44-year-old lawyer, further pointed out that “tremendous volatility” exists in tech stocks as well. The Miami mayor noted the difference between protecting people from losses and protecting people from fraud: “Government has had time to try and protect people against losses, and you can’t protect people against losses. That’s the American system. That’s what makes investing. That’s the risk component to winning as well.”

Paying Way for a Crypto-Centric Future

Suarez has been taking action to promote Miami city as a hub for crypto giant Bitcoin. In February last year, the vocal mayor disclosed plans to transform Miami into a tech innovation hub and how he embraces Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

The mayor has been selling his city as the world’s cryptocurrency capital and wants it to be on the next wave of innovation.

In June last year, Suarez convinced organizers of the Bitcoin 2021 conference to hold the event in Miami.

Suarez secured a second term in his office and announced that he would accept 100% of his salary in Bitcoin last November. He even touched on paying employees with Bitcoin, encouraging businesses to accept the crypto for payments, and investing city funds in the cryptocurrency. He clarified that Miami would not be enforcing that city employees accept Bitcoin.

The notion made him popular in the crypto community and advanced his rebranding campaign. His efforts have won him campaign donations from tech investors and attracted funds to develop Miami’s rising tech sector.

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 26,572.12 0.40%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,591.75 0.43%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 64.85 0.11%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 208.86 0.35%