Business 14 March 2018

Erik Gibbs

Judges shoot down Ripple’s bid to have lawsuit heard in California

Sorry, Ripple, but it was worth a shot. Ripple Labs Inc. (RLI) is currently involved in a duel with R3 Holdco over who actually owns the Ripple (XRP) cryptocurrency. In an effort to have the dispute heard in Ripple’s backyard in California, RLI launched a lawsuit against R3, only to have it thrown out.  A subsequent appeal of the denial was also rejected, which means the lawsuit will more than likely be decided in R3’s backyard of New York, instead.

RLI and R3 are currently going after each other over a substantial amount of XRP holdings. The two companies worked together on digital-ledger technology, but things fell apart after RLI claimed that R3 joined the agreement under “false pretenses,” stating that R3 misrepresented its ability to deliver on its end of the deal. R3 countered that RLI backed out of a deal that would have seen 5 billion XRP given to the enterprise software firm.

The two are battling over what was at the time a $1.1 billion purse. Now, with the increase in XRP price, that purse has shot up to over $15 billion. Multiple lawsuits have been flying around, with RLI filing a suit in California and R3 filing one each in Delaware and New York. A judge threw out the Delaware lawsuit in October of last year and now the San Francisco appeals court rejected Ripple’s appeal after it unsuccessfully argued that a Manhattan trial would cause permanent damage to the company. The decision forced Ripple executives to argue their case in the Big Apple.

The agreement between the two companies centered on blockchain technology for the financial industry. The technology allows digital information to be exchanged securely while preventing double booking. RLI claims that R3’s only goal was to grab ahold of the technology to use for its own platform.

R3 opened its doors in 2015 and, according to its website, works with more than 100 banks, regulators and financial institutions. The company is currently working on its own distributed ledger platform, Corda, which is specifically designed for the financial industry. Since 2017, however, some of the banks that R3 used to call clients began walking away. For its part, RLI has seen an increase in partnerships, signing deals with over 90 customers around the world.

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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