Business

Ed Drake

Ripple on a mission to distance company from ‘Ripple’ token

Ripple has unveiled plans for a new logo for its XRP token, as part of a wider effort to separate Ripple the token from Ripple the company, according to reports emerging this week.

The company, which issues the Ripple (XRP) token, is keen to establish distance between its corporate identity and the name of the cryptocurrency it issues, and has announced they intend to rebrand their XRP token as a symbol.

The change has been accompanied by a new Twitter account, curiously registered as @xrpsymbol, and the decision is already leading to some raised eyebrows across the cryptocurrency community.

XRP is the ticker symbol for Ripple, and undeniably derived from the word ‘ripple’. Monero, for example, follows a similar convention, with its ticker symbol, XMR. So it’s unsurprising that investors regularly make the connection. Then there’s also the fact that the Ripple company issues the token, and holds a majority stake in it—again, a state of affairs likely to lead to the kind of assumption they are now attempting to avoid.

Interestingly, the new logo concepts look nothing like the company’s corporate identity, and while the design has not yet been finalised, this is already leading to speculation about the motives behind the decision.

The new XRP symbol GitHub attempts to shed some light, explaining that “in order for XRP to be perceived as a ‘currency,’ it needs its own symbol. Just like the dollar sign ‘$,’ XRP needs a universal sign that denotes units of XRP. The current logo being used works great when referencing the company, and it should not be changed, but a character should be created to represent actual units of the digital asset.”

Here’s an XRP symbol proposal submitted by Claire Arthurs Kart, head of community at Ripple.

Ripple on a mission to distance company from ‘Ripple’ token

Some analysts, however, have suggested there could be more pressing issues at play—namely concerning regulation in the United States.

With Ripple the majority holder of XRP tokens, the currency likely falls under the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) definition of a security, a distinction that really matters for the prospects of XRP. If the SEC were to confirm Ripple as a security, this would impact on where and how it could be traded, with securities laws applying to any trading.

This would likely hit the availability of Ripple, not to mention the price of the currency, and some have been quick to call this out as an attempt to ‘desecuritize’ XRP.

While Ripple’s Wikipedia page claims “the network can operate without the Ripple company,” there is compelling evidence to suggest the opposite. It remains to be seen how the SEC might eventually interpret what many in the crypto community already known to be true—that Ripple the company and Ripple the currency are in fact very closely related.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

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