Crypto exchange Gemini today announced support for Ripple (XRP), allowing customers to deposit—but not custody—the asset on its platform.
The New York-based exchange said Thursday it was adding support for the blockchain because it was “an important step on our mission to unlock the next era of financial, creative, and personal freedom.”
Users can right now just deposit the cryptocurrency but trading will follow, Gemini said, first with dollars and later with a number of other currencies including pound sterling, euro, Canadian dollars.
XRP is the fifth largest digital asset with a market cap of $33.2 billion. The company behind the asset, Ripple Labs, launched to help banks and other financial institutions move money fast and with very low fees.
Gemini’s announcement comes after a partial victory in a long-running battle with regulators.
In 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hit Ripple with a $1.3 billion lawsuit, alleging that the company misled investors and sold unregistered securities in the form of XRP.
But a federal district judge last month wrote in a partial ruling that programmatic sales of XRP to retail investors did not qualify as securities.
Investors interpreted the news as positive—despite the judge adding that $728 million worth of contracts for institutional sales did constitute unregistered securities sales—and the price of XRP soared.
Ripple’s blockchain XRP Ledger has recently been used by Colombia’s central bank for land distribution efforts in the country. And the fintech firm’s attorney said last month that he expected American banks to use its On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) product.
The SEC said yesterday that it plans to appeal the judge’s decision that found the cryptocurrency XRP is not necessarily a security.