XRP Army’s Persistence
Brad Kimes is a professional drummer who has played in various bands for 30 years. He also worked as an aspiring entrepreneur between gigs and invented a baby playpen that could be used on the beach. He found suppliers in China and soon became a global importer. To make cross-border payments, he was forced to use the clunky international banking system called “SWIFT,” which was slow and costly. Kimes believed that there had to be a better solution and discovered XRP, created by Ripple Labs, which he believed to be cheaper, faster, and more efficient than bitcoin. XRP was designed with banks and corporations and the financial system in mind, which is at odds with much of crypto’s prevailing ideology. Kimes thinks that the legacy firms, systems, governments, and central banks of the world aren’t going for any of that anti-establishment shit. He believes that a decentralized currency like bitcoin won’t topple the system, as the government will bring in the tanks and guns before they let anyone come in with no name to run the show. Kimes now preaches on “Digital Perspective,” his daily show about XRP, and believes that XRP and its embrace of the banking system is more likely to flourish than the anti-establishment ethos of bitcoin. Kimes is a central player in the XRP community, aka the “XRP Army,” which much of crypto loves to hate. XRP has long been mocked for not being a “real” cryptocurrency project because it’s not truly decentralized, and Ripple Labs owns a large chunk of the 100 billion XRP in circulation, which it continues to sell on a set schedule on secondary markets.The XRP Army is known for its defense of Ripple and XRP, as well as their celebration of price increases. They have been recognized as a significant force in the crypto community due to their volume, intensity, duration, and consistency. While some members can be hostile on Twitter, the community is also filled with pragmatists who focus on utility, making them the “adults in the room.” The XRP Army believes that XRP will improve the current financial system and become widely adopted, but they are frustrated that the price has not increased significantly. Despite this, they still believe that XRP has the potential to become a global stablecoin that can bridge different currencies.
The reason for the price stagnation of XRP is mainly due to the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple Labs, which was filed in December 2020. It has been a long process, but a resolution seems to be near. However, some members of the XRP community, including Kimes, DAI, and the XRP Army, have another theory for why XRP has not performed as well as Bitcoin and Ethereum. This theory is called “ETHGate” and is rarely discussed outside of the XRP Army. It is such a spicy theory that some assumed blockchain would not allow it to be published.
John Deaton is a former Marine and a plaintiff’s attorney who represents victims of mesothelioma and asbestos cancer. Despite not being a crypto lawyer, he invested in XRP, Ethereum, and Bitcoin (XRP being his smallest holding). In December of 2020, he began to obsess over the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple, which he initially did not consider to be a significant issue. Deaton believed that the lawsuit would be a traditional securities case. However, upon reading the complaint more closely, he realized that it was sweeping and made no sense. He began to wonder if it was a “weapon” meant to cause damage.
Deaton’s theory is that the SEC targeted only Ripple, not Bitcoin or Ethereum, because of a letter from Joseph Grundfest, a law professor who had worked as a liaison between the Ethereum founders and the SEC years earlier. Grundfest had sent a letter to the SEC only days before the lawsuit was filed, cautioning against it and stating that if ether was to be allowed to trade freely in the market, XRP should be treated the same way. However, the SEC ignored Grundfest’s advice, and on January 1, 2021, nine days after the lawsuit against Ripple, Deaton filed his own action against the SEC. He simply asked for the SEC to amend the complaint to only go after Ripple, meaning the scope should just be Ripple Labs the company, not XRP the tokens.
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The SEC’s lawsuit caused the price of XRP to tumble to below 20 cents, and Coinbase and other U.S. exchanges removed XRP from their listings, resulting in a $15 billion loss of market value. Despite this, members of the XRP Army, like James Rule XRP, continue to believe in the project and expect to be XRP-rich.
The article discusses a lawsuit filed by Deaton against the SEC regarding XRP, and how he has gained the support of over 75,000 XRP holders. Deaton is suspicious of the SEC’s motivation behind the lawsuit and digs into the background of Bill Hinman, the SEC’s former Director of Corporate Finance. Hinman had given a speech in 2018 stating that bitcoin and ether were not securities, effectively giving them a “free pass”. Deaton finds that Hinman had ties to a law firm called Simpson Thacher, which was part of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. This has led to allegations of conflicts of interest and hypocrisy, as the XRP Army questions why Ethereum was given a free pass while XRP was not. The article cites evidence found by the XRP Army, including old videos and disclosures made by federal employees. Deaton has created a timeline on his website linking early Ethereum boosters to companies like JP Morgan and Andreessen Horowitz, and suggesting a pattern of coziness between Ethereum allies and the SEC. The article ends with a discussion of a video featuring Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, in which someone asks him if there will be a limit on the amount a person can invest in Ethereum.The article discusses the ongoing legal battle between the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ripple, the company behind the cryptocurrency XRP. The SEC alleges that XRP is a security, and therefore subject to regulation, while Ripple argues that it is a currency like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The article highlights the controversy surrounding the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple, with some members of the XRP community suggesting that it is part of a larger conspiracy against the cryptocurrency. The article also discusses the potential impact of the lawsuit on XRP investors and the wider XRP ecosystem, including its potential to hamper innovation. The article concludes with the news that the judge in the case has ordered the unsealing of documents related to the SEC’s approach to cryptocurrencies, which could shed light on the agency’s thinking and motivations.The article discusses the ongoing legal battle between Ripple and the SEC, and the controversy surrounding the SEC’s actions. Some argue that there is a double standard at play, as other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum engage in similar activities without facing the same consequences. Others believe that Ripple is being singled out for repeat offenses, as the company continues to sell XRP on secondary markets. The article notes that the wider crypto community is now beginning to root for Ripple, as a victory for the company could provide the clarity that the space has long coveted. However, some speculate that the SEC may ultimately treat all cryptocurrencies as securities, rather than just singling out Ripple. Despite differing opinions, many in the XRP Army remain optimistic that Ripple will ultimately emerge victorious.
“I’m just a guy sitting at my kitchen table in Southeast Texas, looking out my window at cows and horses and chickens,” said James. “And I’m sitting here living so frugally, knowing that I’m going to have anything I want in the foreseeable future.”
This statement has been edited by Ben Schiller.