Ripple Claims Early Victory in Court Fight With Blockchain Rival R3
Ripple, a company that supplies blockchain technology to banks, announced on Friday it won an important court ruling in a fight over who can keep millions of dollars worth of the digital currency known as XRP.
The ruling comes in a dispute between Ripple and R3, a startup backed by a consortium of banks that is also vying to build blockchain tools—which create a tamper-proof record of transactions—to improve money transfers.
R3 sued Ripple in July, claiming its rival had reneged on an agreement in which R3 could exercise options until 2019 to purchase up to 5 billion XRPs at a price of $0.0085 per unit.
Ripple then countersued, claiming it had terminated the agreement after R3 failed to fulfill a number of promises, and that R3 sought to exercise the options in a spirt of opportunism after the price of XRP had soared. Currently, one unit of XRP is trading at $0.25 per unit, which is nearly a 30-fold increase on the option price in the contract.
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Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, who announced the news on Twitter, told Fortune the Delaware Chancery Court decision came as an oral ruling, and a written one would soon follow. Here’s the tweet:
A source familiar with the litigation, however, challenged the significance of the ruling, claiming the Delaware court had declined jurisdiction to hear the case, and that a legal fight would continue in New York or California.
Garlinghouse disputed this assessment, saying today’s Delaware ruling amounts to a significant victory, and confirmed the matter would continue in California, where Ripple is accusing R3 of misleading it about the terms of the contract.
Fortune was not immediately able to locate a copy of the Delaware ruling. California state court records show Ripple has sued R3 in San Francisco, and that the case there is in a preliminary state.
R3 declined to comment on the Delaware ruling, saying the company does not comment on ongoing litigation.
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