Blockchain groups in $1bn cryptocurrency battle. Two of the world’s biggest blockchain companies are locked in a legal battle after R3, a New York software developer owned by a consortium of banks, sued its California-based rival Ripple over cryptocurrency options worth more than $1bn.
The dispute underlines how intensifying interest in the potential of blockchain technology, a shared database system that underpins cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, has raised the stakes in the race to become the leading player in the nascent industry. The lawsuit, which was filed on Friday in a Delaware court, alleged that Ripple’s chief executive had tried to terminate the options granted to R3 last year after they surged in value due to a rise in Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency. R3 said in the complaint that it had been granted an option to purchase 5bn XRP at an exercise price of 0.85 cents in September 2016. At the time, XRP was worth less than the option price. But since then, as the price of many cryptocurrencies have shot up, XRP has surged to 22.3 cents, valuing the options above $1bn.