A licensed Hong-Kong exchange OSL halted all trading and payment services related to XRP.
The exchange announced that it was taking the decision in light of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing a suit against Ripple and two of its principals – CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder and Chairman Chris Larsen.
OSL halts XRP trading
The exchange said it was suspending XRP trading with immediate effect until further notice.
The SEC filed a complaint and charged Ripple and its two executives with raising more than $1.3 billion in an ongoing and unregistered sale of XRP tokens. The securities regulator sees XRP as a security.
In its press statement, the SEC alleges that “Ripple raised funds beginning in 2013, through the sale of digital assets known as XRP in an unregistered securities offering to investors in the U.S. and worldwide.”
Though Ripple’s focus is on getting the SEC’s enforcement action out of the way, it has to be wary of exchanges delisting its cryptocurrency.
Two crypto exchanges, CrossTower and Beaxy have followed in the footsteps of OSL in suspending the trading of XRP tokens.
In its defense, Ripple claims that XRP is a currency – just like Bitcoin and Ether – and not a security as alleged by the SEC.
Garlinghouse wrote a letter, which he called the SEC’s attack in the United States, to Ripple employees asking them not to worry because they “will get through this.”
“The SEC is completely wrong on the facts and law and we are confident we will ultimately prevail before a neutral fact-finder,” wrote Garlinghouse.
XRP’s price tanks
Ripple, which was previously the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has dropped to the fourth position after being overtaken by the stablecoin Tether (USDT).
Ripple is down 35% in the last 24 hours and nosedived 34% in the past 7 days. Each XRP token was trading at $0.649 on December 17.