Coinbase plans to add XRP, one of the world’s most controversial cryptocurrencies, to the list of virtual coins traded on its exchange, the company said Monday.
XRP is a digital asset tied to a blockchain ledger that’s used for cross-border payments. The virtual coin has provoked controversy for its tangled history with Ripple, a startup that owns the vast majority of XRP—a stockpile worth billions of dollars—in reserve.
Coinbase is evidently no longer waiting for regulators to decide whether XRP qualifies as an unregistered security before offering it to the public. XRP skeptics have long noted that authorities such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could bring a hammer down on Ripple and other sellers of cryptocurrency.