The chief technology officer (CTO) of Ripple, David Schwartz, said on CoinDesk TV that “all the evidence” suggests bitcoin (BTC, +1.92%) and XRP (+5.47%) are similar despite allegations XRP is being sold illegally as a security.

Speaking during “First Mover” on Wednesday, Schwartz said: “The market considers them similar. We consider them similar.”

Ripple is in the midst of defending itself against a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) action alleging the company and two of its executives violated U.S. securities laws in selling XRP to retail consumers. The SEC action “came out of nowhere,” said Schwartz, who said XRP and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are “completely different.”

The Ripple CTO also used his television appearance to allay fears XRP holders may have about whether certain outcomes of the lawsuit could result in Ripple ceasing operations.

“The market caps of these systems are in the billions of dollars. People acting in their own self-interest are not going to allow the ecosystem to die if there’s a way to save it,” he said. “That’s all that’s holding these systems together. The governing bodies don’t have any legal authority to control these systems. You have to think that people will be able to come together enough to fix it.”

XRP has enjoyed a price rally in recent days, surging above the $1.00 mark for the first time in three years Tuesday.

Schwartz was hesitant to offer firm reasons for this increase but suggested that rumors of a relisting of XRP by Coinbase “might have triggered some upward movement.”

Another factor, he said: “The hearing in the case where Ripple was granted access to SEC documents … might have impacted the price.” But he admitted that “there’s really no way to know.”

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