Ripple, a blockchain payments business, went up against the SEC in federal court in one of 2022’s most well-known—and still ongoing—crypto disputes. The company’s XRP token, according to the government, was unlawfully offered as an unregistered security.
The action was filed in one of the most important venues for finance: the United States District Court, Southern District of New York. It put a powerful crypto firm with substantial financial resources against a government agency that had a lot to prove (see above). This court, which lawyers sometimes refer to as the “Mother Court,” regulates all Wall Street activities and has a particularly strong influence on federal finance legislation.
Will the case, which has been pending for nearly two years, be resolved in 2023? What will that decision signify for the entire crypto industry, assuming it does?
Some industry professionals think the SEC is using its action against Ripple to prepare for its eventual prosecution of centralized cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance.US (the heart of the U.S. crypto market), rather than solely to stop the unregistered sale of tokens like XRP.
In its recent triumph over the blockchain-based publishing platform LBRY, the SEC was able to persuade a federal court to take the unprecedented action of classifying some cryptocurrency tokens as securities in and of themselves, rather than only their sale as an unlawful securities offering.
If the SEC is successful in persuading a judge in Manhattan to rule similarly against Ripple, the implications for cryptocurrency may be severe.
Lewis Cohen, a lawyer specialized in cryptocurrency and securities laws, previously stated that
They want to go all the way and say the XRP tokens are the security,” Lewis Cohen, an attorney specializing in crypto and securities regulation. If they got their way, most US token marketplaces could not allow users to buy and sell ‘crypto securities’ without registering as an exchange or getting an exemption.
Unquestionably, such a result would fundamentally alter the role that cryptocurrency exchanges play in American finance, introducing stock exchange-level regulation to any organization attempting to sell cryptocurrency assets.
Such a decision will probably come to pass in 2023, or Ripple will likely win a similarly significant case, which would represent the industry’s major bullet being dodged.
What will Ethereum do next?
Finally, some encouraging news.
According to sources, the historic Ethereum merger in September switched the main cryptocurrency network to a proof-of-stake consensus method, instantly slashing its energy consumption by an astounding 99.99%.
What lies ahead for Ethereum in 2023 after that technical victory?
The network’s update for Shanghai, which is anticipated to debut in March, will come first.
Shanghai will primarily make it possible to withdraw staked ETH. Users have been able to deposit existing ETH with the Ethereum network since the merging went live in September, helping to validate Ethereum transactions and generating new ETH for themselves in the process. However, not all ETH that has been staked or recently created has been made available for withdrawal.
Come March, that will change, and after the network’s Shanghai upgrade, about $20 billion worth of staked ETH will finally be made available to Ethereum users.
The main developers of Ethereum are so focused on quickly implementing staked ETH withdrawals that they are making every effort to make Shanghai as minimal as possible by omitting other eagerly expected network updates.
Proto-danksharding, a preliminary implementation of a method by which enormous amounts of data on Ethereum rollups—a device used to combine many Ethereum transactions and treat them as one quick, inexpensive transaction—will one day be verified by only sampling small pieces of data, is one such improvement that many hoped would be included in Shanghai.
Danksharding will significantly reduce the cost and speed of Ethereum transactions compared to the current method. The update will significantly speed up and simplify the verification of massive volumes of data on Ethereum layer-2 networks like Optimism and Arbitrum.
Many believe that danksharding will be the key to Ethereum’s future supremacy and growth as a trustworthy, secure network that is also tremendously quick and reasonably priced to use.
Ethereum’s developers anticipate that proto-danksharding will still be available by the end of the year, even though it might not happen as soon as March.
According to Marius Van Der Wijden, an Ethereum core engineer,
I’m extremely optimistic that it will be shipped in 2023.
He anticipates that Cancun, Ethereum’s upcoming upgrade after Shanghai, will feature the proto-danksharding tool.
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