Ripple has been searching for a ‘headline’ exchange to offer its $XRP token for nearly a year. And when we say ‘headline’ exchange we are essentially talking about Coinbase. Ripple and Coinbase have had a ‘frenemy’ relationship for nearly a year and both organizations aren’t in any hurry to lock arms and walk down the aisle together.
But Ripple just may have found their knight in shining armor. Nasdaq.
We’ve been chasing this particular story for a month and finally have enough sources on background to print the growing relationship between Ripple and Nasdaq executives. The back and forth has been ongoing for better than four months and $XRP is set to be one of the initial coins listed when Nasdaq launches its crypto initiative in early 2019.
Yes, lovers and haters, Ripple has found its ‘match made in heaven’ and are ecstatic about it.
The foundation for the partnership really gets down to one issue for the Nasdaq – market cap. Executives at Nasdaq are significantly removed from the crypto bubble that remains polarized concerning $XRP and are more interested in listing the largest market cap coins, no matter the narrative that may or may not surround them.
In conversations with two individuals familiar with the Nasdaq crypto talks and one source at Ripple the dialogue largely focused on market capitalization and $XRP’s position as nearly as large as Ethereum.
One source at Nasdaq had this to say:
“We aren’t interested in the noise. We are interested in scale. If we start this initiative with the top five or seven “security coins” by market capitalization, why would we exclude $XRP? There is no good reason to exclude them, at least the way that we are evaluating our work. Look at it this way – there is just as much noise around Bitcoin Cash as there ever has or ever will be around Ripple’s cryptocurrency. And Bitcoin Cash is listed almost ubiquitously across all exchanges. So we see no reason to exclude $XRP. Instead, we’ve leaned in and embraced what they bring to the table. You really can’t argue that the firm has a top-notch executive team and is as buttoned up as you will find in crypto.”
A second source at Nasdaq further developed the market cap thesis:
“Market cap is just about everything here. Ripple and $XRP could be the second largest cryptocurrency at any moment. So the decision to include them in our initial offerings is an absolute no-brainer. Easy to do based on the firms’ management team and their continued execution within the banking sector. And we’ve largely eschewed the ‘security token’ debate. Market cap is what plays for us as we develop these solutions. Ripple checks that box and then some. Not to mention they’ve been extremely forthcoming from a due diligence standpoint and made several different members of their management team available to us at a moments notice. Adding that to the scale of their coin makes it an easy decision at launch.”
A conversation with a Ripple employee confirmed their Nasdaq discussions:
“Yes, we’ve been in discussions with Nasdaq around their exchange initiative and have been willing to answer any and all due diligence questions. We believe in what we are doing here, our products and services, and $XRP as well. Nasdaq will ultimately be the final arbiter of who gets listed next year, but we believe we will be firmly in that group. Without giving too much away, the excitement around here for where this is headed is pretty fun to watch. The Nasdaq exchange and custody product is going to be something special.”
You can imagine that a development such as this would set aside any and all concern regarding Ripple’s ongoing frustration with Coinbase. Being listed on a forthcoming global exchange and brand such as Nasdaq would remove any need to be placed into a more closed ecosystem such as Coinbase.
And that particular line of thinking was verbalized by another Ripple employee yesterday:
“This inclusion justified I might add, gives us less interest in taking whatever unnecessary steps Coinbase would have us take to meet any listing standards they deem relevant. So while it would be welcome to finalize a $XRP listing on Coinbase we simply aren’t interested in moving heaven and earth to do so.”
While engaged in these discussions it was obvious that the overall message from both parties was market capitalization. Very limited talking points were given to issues surrounding the ongoing questions concerning $XRP as a security token or equity tool for Ripple at large. It simply wasn’t discussed as an issue for our Nasdaq sources.
Whether or not it takes on more relevance should US regulators throw a wrench into the crypto movement later this year remains to be seen. But as of now, Rippler’s should embrace Nasdaq and what is to come.