Ripple has scored a major coup in Japan – a nation where it is one of the most popular altcoins – with the e-commerce giant Rakuten’s exchange announcing that it will resume trading the XRP token.
In an official release, Rakuten Wallet stated that it would begin XRP trading on September 8. The company “temporarily” suspended XRP trading on Christmas Eve last year citing liquidity concerns likely linked to the American Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s legal battle with Ripple.
The SEC claims that Ripple executives sold XRP as an unregistered security, although Japanese regulators have previously stated that the token is “not a security” by their reckoning.
However, less than a year after Rakuten Wallet “temporarily suspended” its XRP services, the firm has decided that “liquidity can be secured” and that it can assure a “stable price delivery” to its XRP customers.
The company went on to add a warning about volatility in the crypto market and advised users to “understand the risks before using” its service.
XRP’s popularity has traditionally been high in Japan, thanks in no small part to Ripple’s partnership with the domestic banking, crypto and securities giant SBI – one of Rakuten’s biggest crypto sector rivals.
As recently as June 2020, the coin ranked second only to bitcoin (BTC) in a Twitter token popularity poll conducted by the Line-run Bitmax exchange. Out of 1,498 respondents, 26% said that BTC is the coin they liked most, with 25% choosing XRP. ethereum (ETH) came a distant third with 9%.
However, a number of Japanese exchanges quickly followed suit with the large group of international exchanges that delisted XRP after the SEC began its legal struggle with the Ripple executives in the United States.
That legal war is still ongoing. But after winning a series of minor victories in recent months, Ripple has suffered something of a setback. The SEC had been pushing for a motion that would force the executives to hand over access to scores of Slack messages sent by company employees.
The defendants had hoped to keep the handover of Slack messages down to a minimum.
But per the legal firm representing a group of XRP holders who have attempted to enter the legal battlefield, the presiding judge has told Ripple to “produce more Slack messages from a wider group of custodians.” Some 22 Ripple employees or former employees are included in this group. Ripple has traditionally used the Slack platform for most of its internal communication.
The SEC had demanded an “emergency conference” on the matter.
But Ripple could well hit back with a question that could strike at the heart of the SEC’s decision-making process. The Hogan & Hogan partner Jeremy Hogan noted that a Ripple-submitted motion could force the regulator to state its position on other major altcoins – including ETH.
At 13:57 UTC, XRP trades at USD 1.28 and is down by less than 1% in a day, trimming its weekly gains to less than 17%. The price is up by 78% in a month.