In a new Bloomberg report, four sources testified that the Ripple team offered “financial incentives” in an attempt to ascertain listings on the United States’ top cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase and Gemini. These incentives ranged from helping to pay for listing costs to a proposed loan of XRP equivalent to $100 million USD.
… Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game?
Getting listed on Coinbase and Gemini is like the Super Bowl for cryptocurrency projects. Few have done it, many want it.
To that end, you can’t blame the Ripple team for wanting these listings bad. Real bad. So do most other projects in the space, no matter how big or trivial.
Apparently, though, Ripple made efforts in 2017 to make that dream a reality. That’s per new reports derived from four separate anonymous sources privy to knowledge of Ripple’s negotiations with the two top American exchanges last year.
The sources claim Ripple leadership pressed to have XRP listed on Gemini in Q3 2017 in exchange for a payment of $1 million USD, along with other miscellaneous but lesser incentives. They also said Ripple offered $100 million USD worth of XRP to Coinbase as a loan that the exchange could “pay back … in XRP or dollars.” The sources noted the exchanges didn’t accept the offers.
In response to the reports, Ripple spokeswoman Emmalee Kremer commented to the press:
“Regardless, Ripple has always been transparent about our focus on building and growing a strong XRP ecosystem. We want XRP to be the most liquid digital asset possible to enable faster, cheaper global payments.”
Of note is that paying for listings is not altogether uncommon in the cryptoverse. More significant, it seems, is that both Gemini and Coinbase declined the offers.
Everyday detractors of Ripple charge the play with being the most centralized of the big-cap cryptocurrencies due to the Ripple team’s tight control over the project.
As such, it could be that America’s heavyweight exchanges declined Ripple’s incentives because the project’s centralization, i.e. being under the direct purview of a single company, makes it seem like a target for eventually being classified as a security under U.S. law.
And, with all the talk of unlicensed securities lately in America’s corner of the crypto space, it’s a no-brainer that Coinbase and Gemini would err on the side of caution. Or decentralization, rather.
What do you think? Are these actions fair play or sketchy? Sound off in the comments below.
Images via New Scientist, Imgur