Cryptocurrency prices jumped on Wednesday, overcoming jitters from an American regulatory complaint against the industry’s largest exchange that held out hope for easier U.S. oversight.
The price of Bitcoin BTC rose 4% over the past 24 hours to $28,434 as of 4:16 p.m. in New York, according to Messari. The token has rallied 71% this quarter to a $549 billion market capitalization.
Ether, which added 1.5% since yesterday, is trading at $1,807. The second-largest cryptocurrency by market value is up 50% this year.
Many investors are closely watching XRPXRP, which surged 7.4%—briefly hitting 58 cents, its highest level since May–amid hopes that Ripple Labs, the company closely associated with the token, will win its legal battle against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
XRP Catches A Wave
The SEC sued the San-Francisco-based firm in late 2020, alleging that Ripple and two of its executives, Chris Larsen and Brad Garlinghouse, raised over $1.3 billion through the sale of XRP in an unregistered securities offering to investors in the U.S. and worldwide. Ripple uses XRP for a money-transfer service but did not create the token.
“We expect a decision to come this year but it could come at any time–it could be weeks, it could be months. Timing is ultimately up to the Judge,” said Stacey Ngo, Ripple’s senior director of communications, in a written comment to Forbes.
The bullish outlook for XRP may also partially stem from the classification of some major crypto assets such as bitcoin, ether and litecoin as commodities in the CFTC complaint against Binance. Although the agency did not mention XRP, Ripple’s chief technology officer David Schwartz has previously made the case for XRP being a commodity.
“XRP is a raw good that trades in commerce and one XRP is treated as equivalent to every other XRP. That’s pretty much the definition of a “commodity,” said Schwartz in a January posting on Twitter.
The SEC and CFTC have been waging a turf war over regulation of digital assets. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has argued that all cryptocurrencies aside from bitcoin should be considered as securities and thus fall under his agency’s oversight. The CFTC, which regulates commodities, is seen as less demanding and has been given greater authority in pending legislation in the Senate, but the White House, federal agencies and some legislators have been taking an increasingly hard line against the crypto industry this year.
The cryptocurrency market stands at $1.2 trillion, up 3.3% since Tuesday.
This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.