Thursday, December 24, 2020

XRP Token Plunges Nearly 40% Following the Announcement of SEC Charges Against Ripple


Ripple's XRP has lost almost 40% of its value after the token price dropped from $0.51 on December 21 to $0.31 at the time of writing. The token's plunge appears to be the result of legal proceedings initiated against Ripple by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). At the time of writing, the fourth-ranked crypto token had seen traded volumes of $4.85 billion recorded in 24 hours.

$1.3 Billion Lawsuit
As data on suggests, the sell-off of the XRP token appears to have been sparked by Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse's warning that the SEC was about to launch legal proceedings against the company. A day later, the SEC announced the $1.3 billion legal action against Ripple and two of its executives for allegedly conducting an unregistered security offering.

Meanwhile, as the XRP token continues to plummet, an angry Garlinghouse has accused the US regulator of being biased against Ripple while appearing to give a free pass to BTC and ETH. In its determination, the SEC says the XRP is a security and therefore is subject to the dictates of the US Securities Act. Garlinghouse, who has previously threatened to exit the United States due to its regulatory approach, rejects the characterization of XRP as a security.

In his many very public attempts to push back against the SEC, Garlinghouse says the XRP token is a fully functional currency that offers a better alternative. He adds that alongside bitcoin and ether, "the two Chinese controlled virtual currencies" according to the company, XRP ranks as one of the most capitalized cryptos.

Crypto Community Reacts
However, the latter comment appears to have prompted a swift response by some bitcoiners and the ETH creator Vitalik Buterin. In his tweet, Buterin accuses Garlinghouse and his team of "sinking to new levels of strangeness." The ETH creator adds:
They're claiming that their shitcoin should not be called a security for *public policy reasons*, namely because Bitcoin and Ethereum are 'Chinese-controlled.'

Also weighing in on the controversy is Mike Novogratz, the CEO of Galaxy who says he "finds it strange that Clayton waited years to do this."

On the other hand, Ryan Selkis thinks the SEC is going to lose this case because it is "outclassed on legal." He adds that the classification of XRP as a security "further hurts the U.S. businesses while global companies will continue to make these markets."

Meanwhile, at the time of writing reports emerged that the Hong Kong trading platform OSL had suspended XRP services as a result of the SEC lawsuit.

Trezor warns of phishing attack targeting users


Trezor has warned users of its hardware wallet about a phishing scam it said was related to an earlier hack on one of its competitors. The company said the attackers claim a user's wallet has been disabled, before redirecting to a clone site to steal their credentials.

In a blog post, Trezor revealed that the attackers have been sending its users emails claiming they need to pass verification due to new KYC regulations. It then provided a website that's a replica of on which the users can supposedly verify their identity. This site requests the users to key in their recovery seed, giving the attackers full control of the wallet.

Trezor reminded its users that they "will not be asked to enter their seed anywhere other than on their Trezor device." It also assured its users that all their funds are safe and that no Trezor customer data has been leaked.

"We continue to operate under a policy where we anonymize all customer data from e-commerce within 90 days, once it is no longer needed to complete the order, and will even remove customer data manually if requested before that," the firm stated.

Trezor believes that the recent wave of phishing attacks was a result of a hack on its hardware wallet competitor Ledger. The French company was hacked in late June, with the attackers accessing one million emails. They also accessed additional details such as postal addresses, first and last names and phone numbers for close 9,500 of the users.

Trezor believes that this is the data the attackers in the latest phishing attack are relying on.

"The timing and scope of this phishing scheme suggests it is a second wave of attacks resulting from a breach of our competitor's e-commerce database. Malicious actors who acquired the data from that attack are blindly targeting Ledger customers whom they presume may also own a Trezor wallet."

Trezor advised its users against ever digitizing their recovery seed or sharing them. They should also ensure they perform every important action using their hardware wallets.

This is not the first phishing campaign that has relied on data from the July Ledger hack. In October, thousands of Ledger users were targeted by a phishing attack that many described as "really legit-looking." The attackers told the targets that Ledger had found several of its servers to be infected with malware.

One user described the attack on Reddit, "Wow this looked really legit, so much so I used Contact Us form to ask Ledger if it was real. I am normally pretty good at sniffing things like this out – this was by far the most convincing attempt I have ever seen."

See also: CoinGeek Live presentation, Custody Changes Everything: How BSV Opens a New World for Digital Asset Custodians