For all the positive signs that cryptocurrency represents a new normal, we are still seeing some roadblocks to mainstreaming and adoption. A Bloomberg report Tuesday said Ripple is unable to get its XRP cryptocurrency (third in market cap behind bitcoin and ether) listed on new exchanges, even when it offers those exchanges significant financial incentives.
Bloomberg cites “four people with direct knowledge” that Ripple has tried and failed to get XRP listed on crypto exchanges Coinbase and Gemini, despite offering financial incentives to do so. From these anonymous sources, Bloomberg’s three reporters determined that a Ripple executive last year asked Gemini leadership if $1 million in cash would make it easier to list XRP. They also reported that Ripple management offered Coinbase a loan of more $100 million in XRP to let its users start trading it, payable back in dollars or XRP.
Ripple is just about as mainstream as you can get within the cryptocurrency niche, even to the point of integrating with mainstream financial infrastructure. Banks have implemented its technology to move money around the world more easily. Ripple even powers a Walmart-to-Walmart money transfer service called, well, Walmart2Walmart. There’s even rumor that this transfer service will support XRP to boot.
Ripple says Bloomberg isn’t getting the story straight, but declines to straighten it: “We are not going to discuss specifics, but there are inaccuracies in Bloomberg’s reporting,” a company spokesperson said to Modern Consensus. “Regardless, Ripple has always been transparent about our focus on building and growing a strong XRP ecosystem. We want XRP to be the most liquid digital asset possible to enable faster, cheaper global payments.”
The more people use XRP, the more liquid and accessible it becomes, so Ripple is motivated to see its currency listed on as many exchanges as it can to grow mindshare. But despite being no small fish in the crypto-pond, Ripple still can’t get love from more exchanges, and $100 million apparently wasn’t enough to get XRP listed.
Perhaps predictably, there are legal reasons for this. American financial regulators have warned unlicensed exchanges against listing crypto-tokens that could be deemed securities. If a crypto-token can be categorized as a security (as some already have been), then it is a specific type of asset that is subject to special rules when it is traded. The concern is that because XRP is controlled by one business entity, it might be deemed a security.
An influx of $100 million can be great news for your company, but if the government shuts you down for accepting it, then it does you no good at all.