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New petition asks SEC chair nominee Gary Gensler to drop Ripple lawsuit

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The Ripple community has launched a new petition to “stop the war” on XRP.

Crypto & Policy founder Thomas Hodge has started a Change.org petition directed at Securities and Exchange Commission chair nominee Gary Gensler, asking him to end the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple once he’s confirmed as chairman of the commission.

Announcing the news Wednesday, Crypto & Policy called on Gensler to investigate the potential motives of former SEC chair Jay Clayton and his SEC Director of Corporate Finance William Hinman for “favoring” Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) while harming XRP. The petition alleges that Clayton and Hinman could have had financial interests in Bitcoin and Ether:

“While Clayton and Hinman were in office, they were asked if Bitcoin and Ether were securities. They said very clearly, on the record: no they are not securities so keep trading them. They both took money from companies with direct or clear indirect interest in those public statements.”

Hodge further alleged that Hinman “received millions of dollars in payments” from the law firm of Simpson Thacher, which is a member of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance. The petition claims that Hinman “collected checks from the firm” while the firm earned fees supporting the initial public offering of Chinese crypto mining giant Canaan.

The XRP advocate outlined the uncertain regulatory status of the altcoin, stating that Clayton spent four years of his tenure without providing a clear response on whether XRP was a security. Hodge continued:

“But on his final day in office, Clayton had his SEC file a massive lawsuit against Ripple, claiming it had sold XRP as an illegal unregistered security for seven years. […] The SEC alleged that Ripple and all holders of XRP should have known for the last seven years that XRP was a security when the SEC itself repeatedly said it didn’t know it until the day it filed the lawsuit in December 2020.”

At the time of writing, the online petition has collected about 1,600 signatures.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple Labs, as well as its CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Christian Larsen on Dec. 22, 2020, alleging that XRP was a “$1.3 billion unregistered securities offering.”

Amid the ongoing legal battle, a U.S. court granted Ripple Labs access to the SEC’s documents on defining crypto assets as securities in early April. 

Earlier this week, the price of XRP crossed the $1 mark for the first time since March 2018. The latest price milestone is still far from its all-time high of above $3 recorded in January 2018.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/new-petition-asks-sec-chair-nominee-gary-gensler-to-drop-ripple-lawsuit

Blockchain

Real Estate Giant Teams up with Gemini to Buy Bitcoin and Allow BTC Rent Payments

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Caruso, one of the largest estate companies in the US, has entered the BTC space with an undisclosed investment. The organization also revealed it will begin accepting bitcoin as payment for rent following a partnership with Gemini – the cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins.

Pay Rent with Bitcoin

Without specifying the precise amount, Caruso announced earlier that it had made a “significant initial investment” in the primary cryptocurrency as part of its treasury management strategy. The move has made the company “the first to adopt the technology in the real estate industry.”

The firm completed the purchase through a partnership with Gemini, a US-based cryptocurrency exchange and custodian. The innovation reinforced the company’s confidence in the digitizing space.

Additionally, the firm enabled its tenants to pay rent with bitcoin, should they choose to do so.

Rick Caruso, founder, and CEO of the company weighed in on the topic:


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”We believe that cryptocurrency is here to stay. We believe that bitcoin is the right investment for us. We’ve allocated a percentage of what would normally go into the capital market into bitcoin.”

The billionaire went further and stated crypto is a long-term resolution and ”it’s not about the next year or five years”.

”We are thrilled to partner with Caruso as they continue to push the real estate sector to new heights by embracing cryptocurrency for the benefit of both their customer experience and their own business operations. We are excited to help them execute their digital asset treasury strategy and advise them more broadly throughout their cryptocurrency journey.” – commented Gemini’s CEO Tyler Winklevoss.

The Los Angeles-based company has become a part of the growing institutional adoption of bitcoin around the globe. According to experts, companies like MicroStrategy, MassMutual, Tesla, and more are a vital factor behind BTC’s recent price increase.

Bitcoin as a Form of Payment

While Caruso may be the first firm from the real estate industry to adopt BTC as a payment method, companies from other sectors have well preceded it. Most recently, the popular NBA team Sacramento Kings said it will give the option to its players to receive their salaries in the primary cryptocurrency.

Another fresh example is the UK private jet company – PrivateFly. The organization revealed that nearly 20% of its yearly payments were paid in bitcoin.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/real-estate-giant-teams-up-with-gemini-to-buy-bitcoin-and-allow-btc-rent-payments/

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Bitcoin Bull Mike Novogratz Predicts Existential Crisis Unless the US Creates a Digital Dollar

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Mike Novogratz, a veteran investor, and a huge Bitcoin supporter noted the U.S. is currently in a good economic position. Still, the nation can face a major competitive disadvantage unless it engineers a digital dollar soon.

The Importance Of An E-Dollar

Novogratz, chief executive of digital merchant bank Galaxy Digital GLXY, underlined the value that a digital dollar could bring to the US. In a Friday interview with MarketWatch, he stated:

”To me it is an existential crisis, we need a digital dollar.”

Furthermore, the investor expressed his view over the current COVID pandemic and the negative impact on the U.S. market and the world, in general. He referred to the trillions of dollars of monetary and fiscal spending done to help eliminate the worst of the economic aftershocks the disease caused:

”If our fiscal and monetary policy starts looking like it’s from a Banana Republic…you are going to run into some Minsky moment where confidence breaks down.”

With his statement, Mike Novogratz referenced Hyman Minsky, who exposed a view in the recent past that a period of distortions in the financial system eventually ends very badly.


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The existence of a digital dollar sounds even more important after some stock-market investors have been warning about a surge in US inflation in the past weeks.

The Competition With China

During the interview, Novgorotz claimed that while in the U.S., the development of an e-dollar is still under question and researches, China has fired the first salvo on the digital currency front.

The biggest economy in Asia conveys great support to its digital yuan. According to some experts in the field, its new currency is a weapon that the country can use to compete with the U.S. and other developed economies.

As CryptoPotato recently reported, PayPal CEO Peter Thiel said that Bitcoin could be used as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.

In the meantime, Novogratz said that there is ”zero evidence of the Chinese government buying Bitcoin” much less weaponizing it, referring to the comments made by Peter Thiel:

”Sometimes he likes to say things that are provocative.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-bull-mike-novogratz-predicts-existential-crisis-unless-the-us-creates-a-digital-dollar/

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Canadian Broker Enables Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple Payments

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The narrative that cryptocurrencies are not used as payment methods continues to be debunked, with numerous companies enabling such transactions lately. One of the largest Canadian brokers, Matrix Mortgage Global, is the latest to introduce payments with Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and some stablecoins.

Mortgage Payments with Crypto

Founded in 2008, Matrix Mortgage Global enables customers to receive financing on housing that has carried out over $1.5 billion in mortgage originations. The company has “championed alternative lending” since its inception, and its latest announcement could be regarded as another step in that direction.

Through a partnership with the US-based crypto service provider BitPay, Matrix Mortgage Global will enable all customers to pay for goods and services with some of the most popular crypto assets. Namely, those Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Ethereum, and several dollar-pegged stablecoins. However, the announcement didn’t specify which stablecoins the firm will implement.

The introduction of digital assets aims to expand the company into international markets where “accepting credit cards is not practical.” Furthermore, the addition will increase payment transparency, speed, and efficiency, while reducing high fees.

Matrix Mortgage Global’s initiative works in line with the Canada Revenue Agency’s views saying that crypto assets “can be used to pay for goods and services and shall be treated as a barter transaction.”


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“As an innovator in the mortgage industry, we decided to accept cryptocurrency to better align ourselves with the shift towards the global adoption of digital currency. Blockchain technology with the use of smart contracts is going to change the way mortgages are processed.” – commented MMG Founder Shawn Allen.

Increased Acceptance

Matrix Mortgage Global’s introduction of crypto payments comes amid a growing trend among other companies to do the same. Perhaps the most well-known name to do so since the start of the year is Elon Musk’s Tesla. After a massive BTC purchase, the electric vehicle giant said it will allow bitcoin payments for its cars.

The US has been at the forefront of this trend, including some of the country’s most popular sports leagues. The National Basketball Association has at least two representatives that accept crypto payments.

The Sacramento Kings do so since 2014, and the club’s chief said earlier this week that all employees could start to receive as much of their salaries as they like in BTC. On the other hand, the Dallas Mavericks went in another direction and enabled merchandise and ticket payments with the popular meme coin – Dogecoin.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/canadian-broker-enables-bitcoin-ethereum-and-ripple-payments/

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