Ripple CEO: No Clarity on Cryptocurrency Regulation in US

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by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Ripple CEO: No Clarity on Cryptocurrency Regulation in US
Photo: TechCrunch / Flickr

The Ripple CEO has decried the lack of proper crypto regulation as the company fights the SEC about the classification of XRP as a security.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has said that authorities in the US do not have clarity on cryptocurrency regulation in the country. The CEO describes the situation as “frustrating” amid legal battles between Ripple and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

In a recent conversation with CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia, Garlinghouse compared the crypto regulatory clime in the US with what is obtainable in other countries. He went ahead to praise other governments who have been more accommodating of the sector: 

“I give credit to markets like Singapore and even parts of Korea where there really has been a thoughtful government-led effort to define and have clear regulatory frameworks around cryptocurrencies.” 

Ripple is Optimistic Regardless of US Lack of Regulation Clarity

Delving into the comparison, the Ripple CEO said the US regulation has maintained that XRP is not a currency, a position that certainly stands out. According to Garlinghouse, the US is the only country with this view. 

“The SEC has said … XRP is a security. And so we’re now engaged in a court discussion. So far, I feel good about how that’s been going, but it’s certainly frustrating,” said he.

Ripple has been in the middle of a lawsuit with the SEC all year long. The Commission alleged that Ripple deliberately manipulated the XRP price to feed its own purposes. The SEC also said that Ripple intentionally “created an information vacuum” which it used to deceive investors, since 2013. According to the SEC’s amended complaint filed on February 18, Ripple received legal advice in 2012 about the possible classification of XRP as a security instead of a currency. The SEC says Ripple ignored this advice, going on to raise nearly $1.4 billion. 

Garlinghouse went on to talk about regulation, suggesting that probing the crypto sector might be unnecessary. According to him, the functions of crypto offerings, as well as their advantages, should be more important. 

“I think at the end of the day, the industry should focus on utility. And are these technologies solving real problems for real customers,” added he. 

Ripple to Go Public When Lawsuit Is Over 

At the moment, Ripple is planning to go public when it concludes the current lawsuit. According to SBI Holdings INC (TYO: 8473) CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao, the company might simply be waiting for the end of the legal battle. Kitao said this during a recent earning presentation call, adding that Garlinghouse and Ripple Chairman Chris Larsen, are aware: 

“After the current lawsuit, Ripple will go public. The current CEO wants to do that. Chris wants to do that.” 

The news came as a bit of a surprise to people who generally thought Ripple might be keeling over because of the lawsuit. SBI Holdings is a Japanese financial behemoth, and Ripple’s biggest outside shareholder. 

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