Crypto Startup Ripple Seeks VASP License in Ireland Amidst EU Expansion: What Happens to SEC Lawsuit?

U.S.-based crypto company Ripple is looking to expand its reach in Europe following reports of seeking a VASP license in Ireland.

XRP was once the third-largest cryptocurrency, with a market value of $120 billion in early 2018. However, due to regulatory scrutiny in the U.S. and a general decline in bitcoin and other digital currencies, it has fallen significantly subsequently.

Now, the crypto startup aims to secure a license to operate in Ireland while expanding in Europe. The news comes after a controversial lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

However, despite its tense dispute with the SEC, is said to be still working very closely with policymakers in the U.S., and here’s what they are doing to expand its domain.

Ripple Reportedly Seeking VASP License To Operate in Ireland

NBC New York reports that Ripple aims to grow its foothold in Europe.

Currently, the crypto startup has two workers working there in the Republic of Ireland and is looking to obtain a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from the Irish central bank to use a local firm to “passport” its services across the European Union.

Despite a severe decline in cryptocurrency markets dubbed “crypto winter,” Ripple still aims to invest in Europe and will “shortly” apply for a VASP license in Ireland.

In a recent interview with CNBC, Ripple General Counsel Stuart Alderoty confirmed that Ripple is already operating outside of the U.S. due to the fallout from its extensive legal fight with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Essentially, its customers and its revenue are all driven outside of the U.S., even though we still have a lot of employees inside of the U.S.,” General Counsel Stuart Alderoty stated.

Read Also: Ripple Rises To Become Second Most Valuable Cryptocurrency

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Lawsuit Against Ripple

According to a 2020 report from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the government agency has filed a lawsuit against Ripple, alleging that the company and its executives illegally sold XRP, a cryptocurrency that Ripple founders created in 2012, to investors without first registering it as a security.

However, Ripple disputed the allegations by arguing that the cryptocurrency was used in its business to allow international transactions between banks and other financial institutions and should not be viewed as an investment contract.

Ripple General Counsel Alderoty expects that the ruling on the case will come during the first half of 2023. Final legal briefs must be submitted by November 30 in order for the court to make a decision, according to CNBC.

“We are at the beginning of the end of the process in our case,” Alderoty said regarding the lawsuit.

In the course of the proceedings, Ripple sought to secure documents from June 2018, particularly a lecture given by former SEC official Bill Hinman where he stated that sales of ether, a competing token, were not “securities transactions.”

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Written by: Andi C.

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