Crypto Weekly: Elon Musk, Ripple, and Coinbase Make Headlines

Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has been revealed to be a major funder of the Dogecoin Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports the development and adoption of the meme-inspired cryptocurrency. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Musk has provided financial and technical assistance to the foundation, which was relaunched in August 2023 after being dormant for years. The foundation’s board of advisors includes Musk’s representative Jared Birchall, as well as Dogecoin co-creator Billy Markus and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

Musk has also shown his support for Dogecoin by changing his Twitter logo to the DOGE symbol, a Shiba Inu dog. This is not the first time that Musk has used his social media influence to boost the popularity of Dogecoin. In 2022, he tweeted several times about the cryptocurrency, causing its price to surge and attract new investors. However, he also faced a $258 billion lawsuit from some crypto investors who accused him of manipulating the market and making false claims about Dogecoin.

Crypto Weekly: Elon Musk, Ripple, and Coinbase Make Headlines
Crypto Weekly: Elon Musk, Ripple, and Coinbase Make Headlines

Despite the legal troubles, Musk seems to be unfazed by his involvement with Dogecoin. He recently said that he owns some DOGE and that he plans to send a satellite named DOGE-1 to the moon in 2024. He also joked that Dogecoin is his favorite cryptocurrency and that it is “pretty cool”.

SEC vs Ripple Case Heats Up as Both Sides File Motions

The ongoing legal battle between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ripple, the company behind the XRP cryptocurrency, has reached a new level of intensity as both sides filed motions in response to each other’s arguments. The SEC is suing Ripple for allegedly selling unregistered securities in the form of XRP tokens, while Ripple is defending itself by claiming that XRP is not a security but a digital asset that facilitates cross-border payments.

On Friday, the SEC filed a reply memorandum to Ripple’s opposition to the SEC’s motion for interlocutory appeal. The SEC is seeking to appeal a ruling by Judge Sarah Netburn that granted Ripple access to the SEC’s internal documents regarding its views on Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP. The SEC argues that these documents are irrelevant and privileged, and that Ripple is trying to prolong the case and continue selling XRP into public markets. The SEC also accuses Ripple of engaging in “gamesmanship” and “forum shopping” by seeking discovery from foreign regulators.

Ripple, on the other hand, filed a motion to compel the SEC to produce documents related to its employees’ personal trading activities involving cryptocurrencies. Ripple claims that these documents are relevant to show whether the SEC had a clear policy on whether XRP and other digital assets are securities, and whether its employees followed such policy. Ripple also argues that the SEC has failed to comply with its discovery obligations and has withheld or redacted thousands of documents.

The outcome of these motions could have a significant impact on the direction and duration of the case, which is expected to go to trial in early 2024. The case could also set a precedent for how other cryptocurrencies are regulated in the U.S.

Coinbase Faces Regulatory Scrutiny Over Lend Program

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S., is facing regulatory pressure over its planned launch of a lending program that would allow users to earn interest on their crypto holdings. The program, called Coinbase Lend, would offer users a 4% annual percentage yield (APY) on their USDC stablecoins, which are pegged to the U.S. dollar.

However, the SEC has warned Coinbase that it considers the Lend program to be a security offering that requires registration and approval from the agency. The SEC has also issued a Wells notice to Coinbase, indicating its intention to sue the company if it proceeds with the launch of the program. Coinbase has challenged the SEC’s position, arguing that its Lend program is not a security but a consumer product that is similar to other existing products in the market.

Coinbase has also filed a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed by some customers who allege that the company misled them about the Lend program. The plaintiffs claim that Coinbase falsely advertised that the program would launch in June 2023, when it was actually delayed due to regulatory issues. They also claim that Coinbase failed to disclose the risks and uncertainties associated with the program. Coinbase denies these allegations and asserts that it acted in good faith and in compliance with the law.

The dispute between Coinbase and the SEC reflects the broader uncertainty and confusion over how cryptocurrencies are regulated in the U.S. Many crypto industry players have called for more clarity and guidance from regulators, while some lawmakers have proposed bills to create a more favorable legal framework for innovation and growth in the crypto space.

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