Crypto exchange Coinbase is launching support for XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
The exchange announced Monday it would be listing XRP on its professional trading platform, Coinbase Pro, in “transfer-only” mode, meaning customers can only deposit tokens to begin with. After a minimum of 12 hours, the company plans to activate other trading services, though this timeline is variable.
Initially, Coinbase Pro customers in the U.S. (excluding New York state), the UK, some EU nations, Canada, Singapore and Australia will be able to access XRP, with support for other jurisdictions possibly being added in the future.
While no firm timeline for launching support on Coinbase’s retail platforms (coinbase.com, as well as its Android and iOS apps) was given, the exchange typically launches cryptocurrencies for its non-professional users within a few weeks of launching support on Coinbase Pro.
“The [XRP] ledger is powered by a network of peer-to-peer servers. All accounts on this network can send or receive XRP to/from each other, while XRP can be used to send underlying fiat currencies between two parties,” a Coinbase blog post said, adding:
“In this way, XRP can function as a bridge currency in transactions involving different currencies such as US dollars, Japanese yen, Euros, Francs, and others in use on the XRP network.”
An individual familiar with Coinbase’s internal decision-making process said the company “is prepared to support the asset however it’s classified by regulators,” referring to the open question of whether XRP qualifies as a security.
Ripple Labs, its subsidiary XRP II and a number of individuals affiliated with the XRP cryptocurrency are currently defendants in a federal class-action lawsuit alleging that XRP is a security issued by the payments startup, a claim that Ripple has denied.
Brian Armstrong onstage at Techcrunch Disrupt London in 2014 interviewed by Alex Wilhelm.