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Bitcoin Nears a 13-Month High After Ripple Court Decision

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Bitcoin Nears a 13-Month High After Ripple Court Decision

On Friday, Bitcoin was trading at a new high after a legal triumph in which the cryptocurrency XRP was declared not to be a security. According to a US judge, Ripple Labs Inc did not breach securities legislation by selling its XRP coin on public exchanges.

The case marks the first victory for a cryptocurrency corporation in a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint. Although the ruling was limited to a single case, it inspired hope among cryptocurrency investors that more cryptocurrencies may not be classified as securities in the future.

Nonetheless, some were disappointed to learn that Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has cut off over 1,000 employees in recent weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal. The layoffs are ongoing and could result in the exchange losing more than a third of its workforce, according to the article, which cited a source familiar with the situation.

Coinbase also stated on Friday that it will restrict its crypto staking services for retail users in California, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, awaiting procedures started by multiple states last month, alleging that the programme breached securities laws.

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Bitcoin reached its highest price since June 2022 earlier this week, reaching $31,818 before falling to roughly $30,091 around 2009 GMT on Friday.

The second-largest cryptocurrency, ether, had its highest session since March on Thursday, and XRP, which a US judge said could be lawfully sold on public crypto exchanges, rocketed 73% on Thursday and maintained the majority of its gains on Friday.

“The regulatory environment is changing,” explained Matthew Dibb, chief investment officer at cryptocurrency asset manager Astronaut Capital. “And, based on what we’ve seen in the last 24 hours, it may be for the better.”

According to Justin d’Anethan, head of business development in Asia at Keyrock, a Hong Kong-based digital asset market maker, the discovery that XRP tokens sold on public crypto exchanges were not securities under law “probably serves as a precedent.”

“Ripple stakeholders had been waiting for regulatory clarity.” “The court appears to have provided just that yesterday,” he remarked.

Following the verdict, several major cryptocurrency exchanges, including Coinbase (COIN.O) and Bitstamp, restarted trading of XRP on their systems, which had been banned due to the SEC’s lawsuit in 2021. Binance.US said on Friday that it had permitted XRP trading on its exchange.

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Coinbase, which was sued by the SEC last month for suspected securities law violations, had its stock rise nearly 25% on Thursday as investors thought that the Ripple case would be favourable to Coinbase.

So far this year, cryptocurrencies have staged a steady rebound after prices plummeted significantly last year and a string of bankruptcies at big crypto firms, including crypto exchange FTX, left investors with significant losses.

The demise of FTX provided impetus to global regulatory efforts to rein in the sector, particularly to protect small investors enticed by quick profits.

China has effectively banned cryptocurrency. US authorities investigating FTX have charged founder Sam Bankman-Fried with multibillion-dollar fraud, to which he has pled not guilty.

According to a U.S. indictment released on Thursday, Alex Mashinsky, the founder of bankrupt crypto lender Celsius, was charged with fraud for misleading consumers and artificially inflating the value of the company’s token. He entered a not guilty plea.

Meanwhile, Coinbase and its larger rival Binance are facing lawsuits from the SEC and, in Binance’s case, other agencies.

Last month, a top SEC official stated that the industry has “an ethos built around noncompliance.”

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The layoffs at Binance, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, are taking place as a number of executives, including Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Hillmann, have recently left the business. Hillmann announced his departure from the debate on Twitter, citing personal concerns.

Nonetheless, crypto investors have been encouraged by BlackRock (BLK.N), the world’s largest asset management, filing to start a bitcoin exchange traded fund last month. Earlier this month, exchange operator Cboe (CBOE.Z) updated its application for a similar fund managed by asset management Fidelity.

As a risk asset, cryptocurrencies may benefit from a weaker dollar.

“We’d gone through this long period of just consistently negative news to make the space look pretty grimy,” Chris Weston, head of research at Melbourne brokerage Pepperstone, explained.

“For the first time in a long time, there has been consistent positive news coming through, which means you have momentum.”

Vidya Ranganathan in Singapore contributed reporting, and Simon Cameron-Moore, Alex Richardson, and Josie Kao edited the piece.

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