In brief

  • Litecoin has overtaken XRP as the fourth-largest crypto by market cap.
  • XRP's price has been hit by a lawsuit.
  • Several exchanges have suspended trading of XRP.

XRP is no longer the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. The coin, which just a few weeks ago was surpassed in market cap by Bitcoin and Ethereum, today slid to fifth place as an SEC lawsuit drives its price further into the ground.

Litecoin, a Bitcoin spinoff, is now the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. This isn't due to hype around Litecoin—the coin fell in price by 10% today to $121—but rather that XRP has fared even worse. XRP fell in price by a further 40% today, pegging its total losses since the SEC filed a lawsuit against XRP's creators at well over 60%.


Litecoin's market capitalization today stands at $8.2 billion; XRP's is $8.1. XRP's market cap would have to fall by a further $2.8 billion to fall behind Bitcoin Cash, another Bitcoin spinoff that comprises decentralization in favor of speed and cheap transactions, Bitcoin Cash's market cap is $2.8 billion.

XRP's price started to drop after Ripple spread news of the SEC lawsuit last Monday.

The suit, filed on Tuesday, alleges that Ripple has raised $1.3 billion worth of XRP in unregistered securities sales since 2013—and continues to do so. Ripple maintains a large amount of XRP in escrow wallets, which it sells periodically to manipulate the supply of XRP in circulation, a little like a central bank. The SEC alleges that such activities are illegal. The suit also named Ripple's co-founder Christian Larsen and incumbent CEO Brad Garlinghouse as defendants.

Ripple disputes the case. "We are right and will aggressively fight - and win - this battle in the courts to get clear rules of the road for the entire industry in the U.S. We are on the right side of the law, the right side of policy and will absolutely be on the right side of history," said Garlinghouse in a statement shared with Decrypt.

"In the meantime, it’s business as usual for Ripple," he said. However, several exchanges, among them OKCoin, Coinbase and Bitstamp, will suspend trading of the coin next month.


The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.

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