Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (12/25/2020)

The price of Bitcoin set a new all-time high of $24,667.63 although it has since drifted back to the low $24,000s. XRP was up about 50% from its Friday low of around $0.25, but it gave up most of those gains after Bitstamp announced that it would halt XRP trading of XRP due to the U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC) lawsuit launched earlier in the week. Immediately after that it traded in the $0.30 area after hitting about $0.38 earlier in the morning (NY time). 

Historical Echoes: Santa Claus as Legal Tender

During the unregulated 19th century, a variety of U.S. banks issued their own holiday-themed currency. One popular figure featured on many bills was Santa Claus. These became very popular as keepsakes, because denominations were typically small. However, one motivation for the banks to release these and other collectible currencies was to dissuade people from redeeming the bills for their underlying gold value. Banks stopped releasing Santa Claus currency once the U.S. Treasury took over the production of legal tender. After that, these currencies became known as obsolete bank notes and lost all value outside of their worth as collectibles. 

SEC legal papers reveal R3-Ripple settlement was more than $240 million

In September 2016 Ripple and R3 entered into an agreement whereby R3 would promote Ripple to its consortium of banks in return for an option to buy 5 billion XRPs at $0.0085 until September 2019. In June 2017, Ripple tried to terminate the agreement on the basis that R3 had not upheld its side of the bargain. In September 2017, R3 sued Ripple to re-instated the option, when its value would have been about $1 billion. According to legal papers filed by the U.S. SEC in its lawsuit against Ripple, a September 2018 settlement reduced the option amount 1.04 billion XRP that R3 exercised in September 2019, when it was worth between $240 and $480 million. 

Six Firms Test Offline Retail Payment Services in the RBI Regulatory Sandbox

There are now six firms testing offline retail payment services in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulatory sandbox.