People are (sigh) again buying bitcoin again. The CEO of America’s fifth-largest company is spitballing about how to get Tesla’s balance sheet converted into the intangible stuff—even though it’s bullshit—and people are listening. The Mooch is getting involved. Seems like a good time for a reminder about what it is that all of the above and more are potentially getting into.

The [SEC] charged Ripple Chief Executive Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen with engaging in an illegal securities offering. In its complaint, the SEC said the defendants had sold more than 14.6 billion XRP tokens since 2013 worth $1.38 billion in an unregistered offering…. “Ripple created an information vacuum such that Ripple and the two insiders with the most control over it—Larsen and Garlinghouse—could sell XRP into a market that possessed only the information [the] defendants chose to share about Ripple and XRP,” the SEC alleged in its lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court….

“XRP, the third-largest virtual currency with billions of dollars in trading every day, is a currency like the SEC has deemed Bitcoin and Ether, and is not an investment contract,” Mr. Ceresney said. “This case bears no resemblance to the initial coin offering cases the SEC has previously brought.”

Garlinghouse also blasted the SEC’s decision to sue right before the holidays, and said Ripple will fight the case. “It’s not just Grinch-worthy, it’s shocking,” said Garlinghouse. “It’s an attack on the entire crypto industry and American innovation.”

Not that the crypto industry is particularly American, according to Garlinghouse. At least, not the parts of it bigger than his own.

“The SEC - out of step with other G20 countries & the rest of the US govt - should not be able to cherry-pick what innovation looks like (especially when their decision directly benefits China). Make no mistake, we are ready to fight and win - this battle is just beginning,” Garlinghouse tweeted…. “XRP consistently ranks among the top three virtual currencies by market capitalization—alongside bitcoin and ether, the two Chinese-controlled virtual currencies that the SEC has stated are not securities,” Ripple said in a six-page defense posted online.

SEC Sues Ripple Over XRP Cryptocurrency [WSJ]
Ripple says it will be sued by the SEC, in what the company calls a parting shot at the crypto industry [Fortune]
Ripple Claims Bitcoin Is ‘Chinese-Controlled’ While Announcing New Lawsuit From SEC [Gizmodo]
Why Investors Are Piling Into Bitcoin Despite the Risks [WSJ]
Tesla’s Elon Musk asks about converting ‘large transactions’ to bitcoin [Reuters]
Elon Musk calls Bitcoin ‘bs,’ sends rival Dogecoin up 20 percent [N.Y. Post]
Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge hedge fund just invested $25 million in a bitcoin fund as it sees an ‘avalanche of institutional investors’ buying crypto in 2021 [BI]

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