Japan Rallies Behind XRP as Ripple Faces US Litigation

“I’m not selling,” Makoto, a Japanese entrepreneur and XRP investor, told CoinDesk.

Makoto first bought the digital token XRP in 2017, a year after its issuer, San Francisco-based Ripple Labs, launched a joint venture with one of Japan’s most respected financial services institutions, SBI Holdings Inc.

Soon after, the popularity of XRP soared in Japan.

“XRP was probably the single most popular token or cryptocurrency in Japan. It was also backed by SBI. It invested in Ripple,” Mike Kayamori, founder and chief executive officer of crypto trading platform Liquid Global, told CoinDesk.

Now, Japan’s love for XRP is being tested after the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) filed suit against Ripple Labs in December 2020. The complaint accuses the firm of violating U.S. securities law, arguing that Ripple failed to register XRP as a security or seek an exemption before the company began selling it seven years ago.

Japan considers XRP to be a cryptocurrency, but this has no bearing on the SEC’s allegation that Ripple sold XRP in unregistered securities transactions. Likewise, the U.S. classification of the cryptocurrency isn’t likely to impact how Japan treats XRP.

Following the filing, a string of prominent crypto exchanges, including Coinbase and Binance, announced they will delist or suspend XRP from their U.S. platforms.

XRP has a strong global fanbase, and a lot of people see this lawsuit as an attack on virtual currencies in general, Kayamori said.

Ripple declined to comment about XRP’s popularity in Japan.

“The crypto community, I feel, sees this as a big blow to them and as kind of a precursor to what could come in the future, that other companies are also vulnerable,” Kayamori added.

Although XRP is still widely available in Japan, some local XRP users appear somewhat shaken by the lawsuit.

“Many people are saddened by the SEC issue these days … I am very worried,” Okurisan, another Japanese XRP investor, told CoinDesk…

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