Blockchain startup Ripple’s cryptocurrency, XRP, is not a security, said one of its top executives in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday. This announcement comes after a series of speculations that XRP has not been added to Coinbase, a popular exchange platform, due to questions over its status.
“We are absolutely not a security. We don’t meet the standards for what a security is, based on the history of court law,” said Cory Johnson, Ripple’s chief market strategist.
The statement comes after growing debate over whether U.S. securities laws apply to cryptocurrencies. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has specifically implied that the laws apply to them. It has also issued subpoenas and requests for information on the sale of new digital coins.
Bitcoin and Ethereum, two of the biggest cryptocurrencies based on market capitalization are not generally considered as securities. For now, Coinbase has only four coins listed in its system: bitcoin, bitcash, litecoin and Ethereum. Coinbase had more than 13 million users from November last year and is predicted to bring in more users with the addition of a new coin.
U.S. officials have sent out warnings to exchanges not to list unregistered tokens.
Ripple, the San Francisco-based startup, is currently developing payments networks for financial institutions. XRP, which most people call ripple, is the name of the token/coin participants can use transactions. Ripple owns roughly 60 billion of the 100 billion XRP tokens in existence.
According to Johnson, Ripple was in talks to add its cryptocurrency to Coinbase. He added that the issue of XRP’s status with regulators was never discussed.
“Coinbase never ever raised the issue of whether or not XRP is a security in our discussions about listing XRP,” He said. “We are 100% clear, it’s not a security. We don’t meet the standards,” he added.
A Coinbase spokesperson confirmed it did not discuss regulation with Ripple, and that their conversations were more on the criteria for adding assets broadly, which was updated in March.
Coinbase declined to comment any further on other details of their discussions with Ripple.
Ripple’s XRP hit a record high of $3.84 in January, has dropped significantly to around 56 cents on Thursday, based on data from CoinMarketCap.com.