Payments-focused cryptocurrency XRP jumped to an over two-month high on Monday.
The move more than reversed the late-December price slide triggered by legal troubles at the San Francisco-based payment protocol developer Ripple Labs, which has close ties to the digital asset.
XRP rose to a high of $0.6836 during European trading hours, its highest level since Nov. 25, extending the weekend’s rally from $0.27 to $0.50, according to CoinDesk 20 data. As a result, the cryptocurrency has replaced the tether stablecoin as the third-largest cryptocurrency by market value.
XRP prices fell from $0.55 to $0.20 after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced a lawsuit against Ripple Labs on Dec. 22, triggering a number of exchange delistings of the cryptocurrency. The regulator charged the company with violating securities laws by raising $1.3 billion over seven years from retail investors through its sales of XRP.
Ripple Labs pushed back against the SEC’s allegations on Friday, arguing the functionality and liquidity of XRP are wholly incompatible with securities regulation, and its registration as a security would impair its main utility in faster, cheaper and more transparent global payments.
The cryptocurrency picked up a strong bid on Saturday, rising 56% to register its biggest single-day gain in three years, and has remained on the offensive ever since.
A coordinated effort by the members of the two-day-old Telegram group called “Buy & Hold XRP” alongside calls to buy XRP by the r/SatoshiStreetBets group seems to have helped push the cryptocurrency to multi-month highs. At press time, the Telegram pump group had 200,000 members.
However, some observers are of the opinion the Telegram traders may not be the sole drivers of the price rise. “24H volume on XRP on Sunday was over $26 billion. Even if each of the groups’ members dropped $5,000 on XRP, that equates to 2% of total daily volume. Let’s be rational here – no Telegram group is pumping the 5th largest coin in the space,” popular Twitter-based analyst Credible Crypto tweeted Sunday.
The cryptocurrency is trading near $0.66 at press time, representing a nearly 30% gain on the day.
“XRP’s next target is $0.80, which, if breached, would allow a rally to $1 and higher,” Alex Melikhov, CEO and founder of cryptocurrency framework Equilibrium and the EOSDT stablecoin, told CoinDesk.
As Melikhov said, there are no resistance levels between $0.80 and $1.00. A convincing move above the $1 mark would shift the focus to record highs above $3.00 reached in December 2017.