As the landscape of digital currencies continues to reshape, with the epicenter of interest decisively shifting towards Asia, Ripple‘s ongoing legal challenges underscore the larger dynamics at play.
The crypto industry is in a push-and-pull game with the Security Exchange Commission (SEC). Ripple has created a buzz within the industry by winning its latest suit against the regulator. The federal court ruled that the SEC failed to prove that the company’s XRP tokens were sold as unregulated securities.
As the West engages in stringent regulatory exercises, Asia emerges as a potential haven for crypto enthusiasts and businesses.
Ripple Vs. SEC Court Battle
The SEC accused Ripple earlier last year of selling unregulated securities to unsuspecting investors during the initial coin offering of its XRP token. The company, however, rebutted and stated that XRP was a digital asset and not a security and thus did not require regulation from the SEC.
The regulator has also been involved in other legal battles with crypto-related businesses such as Kraken and Coinbase. Ripple’s win was not cheap, as the company CEO states they are now facing $200 million in legal fees. He added that he had pegged the amount at $100 million, which has now doubled.
The high legal fees show the current situation facing most crypto-related companies in the United States, with the SEC under the new chairman, who initially seemed like an ally but has played a significant role in the regulator’s constant battle with the crypto companies since his inception into leadership.
Ripple was often scorned for being corporate has now found its place within the crypto industry after its victory as the industry embraces it for having a common enemy. In his speech at the Mainnet conference, the CEO of Ripple also added that the SEC chair is pursuing power and politics instead of sound policy, making him a bully, which the industry has to fight against.
It is uncertain how long this crackdown will continue since the SEC has already expressed willingness to appeal the federal court’s decision further to enforce their harsh strategy against the crypto industry.
All eyes on Asia
The skyrocketing legal fees and the USA’s unfavorable business environment have prompted the company to consider shifting its operations to Asia. This has been a common narrative in the crypto industry this week as more companies seek to expand their horizons to other favorable jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, Korea, and Singapore.
Institutional adoption of crypto assets is also increasing in Asian countries. Countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, and Korea are now seeking to explore the crypto industry. The regulatory clarity in the region makes it a better operating ground for the industry.
Despite the various events that hit the market last year, such as the collapse of the crypto exchange, FTX, and the collapse of LUNA, market interest in the region has increased, and the change is welcome among crypto circles as companies look for other suitable alternatives.
According to Jason Atkins, Chief Commercial Officer of algorithmic trading, even as the crypto market faces a bear market, the market is responding to the various solutions crypto assets currently offer in the financial landscape.
Asian countries are more willing to embrace the technology, unlike the US and Europe, which have imposed strict policies on them and riddled them with multiple lawsuits. Asian companies seek to educate themselves on the technology rather than shun the movement.
Even as crypto companies express their interest in the East, the shift could be unrealistic given New York’s financial significance and the personal ties most executives in these companies have to the city.
The shift to Asia may just be posturing. However, with the frustration and constant disruptions in their activities by the SEC, it would be understandable if they were to make the decision. The companies now have to raise high legal fees and live in constant panic, thus depleting useful resources that could be more beneficial in other organizational activities.