Litigation Before Profits in Blockchain

On Oct 17th, a Delaware judge dismissed the $1B case R3 filed against Ripple. This isn’t the end of the litigation; the judge simply dismissed the case because it doesn’t fall under the Delaware court’s jurisdiction. The case will still be decided in either New York or California.

The lawsuit was triggered by Ripple terminating an options contract which gave R3 the option to purchase 5 billion units of Ripple’s cryptocurrency. As the value of Ripple’s currency surged 3000%, R3’s options allowed it to purchase $1.2B of Ripple’s currency for $42.5M. Ripple’s justification for terminating was nebulous, claiming that R3 had misrepresented its banking consortium.

What’s surprising isn’t the scale of the lawsuit, but that it’s occurring now. I can’t think of another technology that has generated these kinds of lawsuits this early in its lifecycle. Outside of bitcoin, blockchain technologies aren’t in production – anywhere. Yet there’s a billion dollar lawsuit of a make-believe asset? This speaks more to the bubble in cryptocurrencies than to the potentially transformative effects of blockchain on value networks.

 

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