Ripple News Update
At a recent conference in South Korea, leaders of the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges—which account for more than 47% of XRP trading activity—said they were considering self-regulating before government officials can take a more aggressive approach.
This development is incredibly important for Ripple.
Earlier in the year, rumors about a cryptocurrency ban drove XRP prices down by more than 50%, starting the months-long bear market in which we are still trapped.
Korean regulators ultimately refrained from a full-scale ban, choosing instead to halt initial coin offerings (ICOs), enforce anti-money laundering laws, and stamp out anonymous cryptocurrency trading. But the message to exchanges was loud and clear: Clean up your act or we’ll do it for you.
Panelists at the “Deconomy” conference tried to put that government action in a positive light, arguing that it helped combat the “very, very speculative” mindset of South Korean investors.
But the real bombshell from the conference was a casual line by Korbit CEO Tony Lyu. (Source: “Korea’s Crypto Exchanges Pledge Market Cleanup,” CoinDesk, April 3, 2018.)
“We need to create a healthy market first, ” said Lyu. “If exchanges can’t do that on our own, we will have to turn to the government.”
Notice the hierarchy of options. First, Lyu says, the exchanges must try to foster a crypto market that helps place value where it belongs. If they fail, and only if they fail, should the government step in. I read this as a coded response to regulators: Message received.
You might be wondering why I’m taking a conference so seriously.
Panel discussions typically don’t make our Ripple news updates because, well, they are simply discussions. They carry no legal force, no binding power in the real world, and no penalty for non-compliance.
While this remains true of most panels, Deconomy was packed to the brim with power brokers. Just look at the panelists themselves.
You have Tony Lyu, CEO of Korbit; Myunghun Cha, CEO of Coinone; and Junhaeng Lee, CEO of Gopax. The three of them are a force to be reckoned with. Each one of them can direct internal shifts at their respective exchanges, which in reality would change the market without relying on government intervention to do the heavy lifting.
Having this private-sector solution to Korea’s runaway crypto market is soothing. It means that XRP is carrying less political risk today than it was last week. As these conditions continue to ease, we could see XRP prices accelerate toward our $10.00 Ripple price prediction.