Five months after Ripple’s resounding legal triumph over U.S. regulators, the company’s cryptocurrency has shed virtually all of its former gains against its digital competitors.
The XRP/BTC price ratio has returned to its level from prior to July 13, after which XRP rallied against the market’s leading crypto asset by ~80% within a week.
Back To Reality For XRP
In mid-July, U.S. district Judge Analisa Torres ruled that XRP sales on the secondary market did not constitute securities transactions, nor did the asset itself meet the legal threshold of an investment contract.
The victory invited a slew of exchanges including Coinbase, Gemini, and others – which aren’t licensed to list securities – to re-enable trading for the asset after nearly three years since the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Ripple for issuing unregistered securities.
Nevertheless, fading hype for XRP coupled with waves of bullish news around Bitcoin (BTC) has brought the price ration between each coin to one of its lowest levels this year, at just 0.00001516 BTC as of Friday.
— Pledditor (@Pledditor) December 8, 2023
In fact, Bitcoin’s dominance over rivals has grown throughout the year. According to TradingView, it now comprises 53.9% of the total crypto market cap, versus 42% as of January 1.
Bitcoin’s success departs with its historical trend of bearing lower volatility than its neighboring, less heavily traded altcoins.
Ethereum (ETH), for example – the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap – outperformed Bitcoin (BTC) during the crypto bull market of 2020 and 2021. In 2023, however, the asset is up 95% year to date, versus Bitcoin’s 163% yearly gains.
Why Is Bitcoin Outperforming
Bitcoin experienced especially outsized gains against rivals back in March, when a series of U.S. bank failures inspired investors to seek safety in assets like Bitcoin and gold.
A similar pattern played out in October after war conflict broke out between Hamas and Israel. Once again, both gold and Bitcoin rallied in the coming weeks in what BlackRock CEO Larry Fink termed a “flight to quality.”
BlackRock itself may be the biggest catalyst for BTC’s performance. The asset manager filed for a Bitcoin spot ETF in June, making investors believe the product could finally be approved in the U.S. given the company’s near-flawless track record with regulators.
The product is expected to invite major institutional capital into BTC that was previously inaccessible through existing investment methods.
Similarly to XRP investors, Bitcoin investors also secured a major legal victory in August when Grayscale won its lawsuit over the SEC for denying its Bitcoin fund’s conversion into a spot ETF.
Given ongoing negotiations between the SEC and ETF applicants, analysts predict that an ETF will be approved before January 10.
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