R3 Holdco and Ripple Labs are embroiled in a lawsuit. The two U.S. blockchain startups are suing each other over option contracts to purchase XRP, Ripple Lab’s cryptocurrency.
According to a news report in Reuters, citing lawsuits filed late last week, the two blockchain startups entered into a contract last September that gave R3 Holdco the right to buy as much as five billion XRPs for $0.0085 per unit up until September of 2019. In June of this year, Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse tried to end the options contract via an email to R3’s Chief Executive David Rutter, according to the R3 lawsuit. R3 Holdco contends the contract doesn’t provide Ripple Labs with a termination option and wants the court to rule that it is entitled to all the rights under the contract, including buying the XRP cryptocurrency during the course of the next two years.
That prompted Ripple to launch a counter lawsuit, contending the company ended its contract with R3 because it didn’t deliver on a separate technology partnership agreement in which Ripple was able to access R3’s network of banks. Ripple wants the court to rule that the contacts are invalid and that R3 should pay damages.
“Our filing is straightforward — R3 misrepresented their ability and intent to deliver on their commitments,” a Ripple spokeswoman said in a statement to Reuters. “Given XRP’s ~4000 percent increase over the course of the year, R3 suddenly wants to tap into the value of XRP, though the facts are clear that they did not earn any option based on our agreement.”
The two lawsuits come at a time when cryptocurrencies are surging, thanks to the growing popularity of Bitcoin companies. Bitcoin has more than quadrupled since December, recently flirting with an all-time high of nearly $5,000.