Business 27 February 2019

Steve Kaaru

Analytics firm Diar says XRP violates Coinbase listing criteria

Two days after Coinbase listed XRP on its professional trading platform, the crypto community is still buzzing with discussion. And now, Diar says that XRP is in violation of Coinbase listing rules. Diar, a highly regarded crypto analytics firm, further alluded to interference from the Digital Currency Group (DCG) in the listing. DCG is one of the major investors in Coinbase, and t also has a sizable investment in Ripple Labs.

In its report, Diar referred to Coinbase’s Digital Asset Framework. The framework outlines the requirements that a crypto needs to meet in order to list on Coinbase. In XRP’s case, the contentious requirement is the ownership stake by the team behind a crypto. The framework clearly states that “the ownership stake retained by the team is a minority stake.”

According to Diar, this isn’t the case with XRP. Ripple Labs, the company behind XRP “holds nearly 60% of the supply in escrow with a release schedule.” 

The report also alluded that the DCG had a big influence on the listing of XRP, seeing that the VC firm has invested in both companies. DCG is one of the biggest crypto-focused VC firms in the world. It has invested in almost every other crypto startup, from wallet providers such as Ledger and Abra to exchanges such as Kraken and Shapeshift.

This isn’t the first time the crypto community has accused DCG of influencing a listing on Coinbase. Last year, Diar accused the firm of being behind the listing of Ethereum Classic, one of its pet investment projects. A relatively young project, Ethereum Classic curiously leapfrogged other notable and worthy contenders to the listing.

The much-talked-about XRP listing has also resurrected the age-old debate on whether XRP is a security. Many have long seen this as the reason Coinbase hadn’t listed XRP, to begin with. Should the SEC classify XRP as a security, Coinbase could be looking at severe legal implications. 

Interestingly, a source at Coinbase told Coindesk that the San Francisco-based exchange is ready to back XRP no matter the SEC classification.

Another debate point has been whether Ripple Labs paid for the listing. Last year, sources disclosed to Bloomberg that Ripple had offered Coinbase $100 million worth of XRP to influence listing. It had also offered Gemini $1 million for the same. 

One person who is convinced that the listing was paid for is Alistair Milne, a venture capitalist with Altana Digital Fund. Quoting the director of communications at Coinbase, Milne tweeted:

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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