Since the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against Ripple alleging illegal securities offerings, the questions of who and when have been hanging over many in the crypto-community. After all, for an industry that has tried hard to leave the dark history of the Silk Road behind it, the need to desert or distance itself from anything that might be deemed as illegal is paramount.
While Bitstamp, OSL, and Beaxy were among the first to take a call and suspend XRP trading services on their platforms, they were never going to be the last. While that may be the case, the idea of the United States-based Coinbase taking a step in this direction is what is keeping many in the crypto-community awake. According to what can be best described as ‘inside information’ given by Adam Cochran, Partner at Cinneamhain Ventures, the popular exchange is in a “holding pattern,” on the topic of suspending/delisting XRP.
“Call was expected as early as today (26 December), but sources suggest the team has been put on standby as open questions remain even after SEC calls and interactions with counsel,” Cochran said, adding that there is a degree of pressure from “investors who see this as a regulatory risk and risk to the IPO.”
This isn’t unexpected, however, especially since Coinbase has now filed a draft registration for an Initial Public Offering. An IPO, at its most basic, is a sign of the entity going public and going mainstream. With Messari claiming that Coinbase might be valued at somewhere around $28 billion, the platform’s efforts to play this carefully are understandable.
In fact, Coinbase is one of those exchanges that has always been proud of embracing regulations, rather than averting them. This is the reason why some are actually surprised that Coinbase hasn’t suspended or delisted XRP yet.
If the exchange does go ahead with such a course of action, a series of repercussions can be expected. Not only will XRP’s value fall, but a major chunk of Coinbase’s business might be affected too. When the lawsuit was first filed, XRP accounted for over 8% of Coinbase’s volumes. That’s a really big chunk. And while one might argue that the likes of Bitstamp were more pro-active about suspending XRP trading, despite the cryptocurrency accounting for 18% of its volumes, the truth is Coinbase is the institutional investor’s favorite.
To give you a sense of who stands to lose business if XRP is delisted from major exchanges, XRP is:
+ 18% of Bitstamp volumes
+ 8% of Coinbase volumes
+ 5.5% of Kraken volumes
+ Only 4% of Binance volumes
That's just the major Western venues, of course.
— Ryan Bitcorn Selkis (@twobitidiot) December 23, 2020
With Cochran suggesting that the platform might just wait the festive period out on the grounds of “checking with counsel,” it may take a while before we know what Coinbase will do.