First Mover: XRP Plunges 20% as Traders Assess SEC’s Ripple Suit

Bitcoin (BTC) was little changed, with prices appearing unable to hold levels above $24,000.

“Bitcoin has moved vertically for a few weeks now and pullbacks will happen,” the Norwegian cryptocurrency-analysis firm Arcane Research wrote Tuesday in a weekly report.

The bigger story Wednesday in digital-asset markets was the steep plunge in prices for the payments token XRP (XRP), down more than 20%, the most for a single day since March, as traders assessed the fallout from the U.S. securities regulators’ case against Ripple. (Read Market Moves below for more on this.)

In traditional markets, European stocks rose as trade and transport connections reopened with the U.K., and U.S. stock futures were higher after President Donald Trump demanded that relief checks stipulated in the just-passed $900B coronavirus aid bill be increased to $2,000 from $600. Gold strengthened 0.2% to $1,864 an ounce.

(Editor’s note: This issue of First Mover will be our last for 2020. We are taking a much-needed break, resuming Monday, Jan. 4. Please allow us this opportunity to thank you, our subscribers, for coming along during a year full of all sorts of unexpected twists. From our perspective, 2020 will in hindsight prove a pivotal year in the development and growth of the crypto industry and digital-asset markets, and more broadly, in monetary history. We are grateful that you have trusted us to help keep you informed. Happy holidays to all, and best wishes in 2021.)

Market Moves

Candle chart of XRP token’s price since mid-November, showing the deepening sell-off on Tuesday and Wednesday as the SEC filed a suit against Ripple.
Source: TradingView/CoinDesk

It’s a case of sell the rumor, sell the fact.

A day after Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse warned that his company might be sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the regulator followed through, accusing the company of violating federal laws in its $1.3 billion of sales of the XRP payments token over a…

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