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Ripple CEO: “The U.S. is the only country in the world to have viewed XRP as a security”

  • The Ripple CEO blasted the SEC for its case against the company, claiming that it stands alone globally in its view of XRP as a security.
  • Garlinghouse further dismissed claims that Ripple was engaging in harassment, while also stating he has a “good feeling” about the case.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has taken a fresh swipe at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over its controversial lawsuit that seeks to brand XRP as a security.

Speaking to Liz Clapman during an April 27 interview on Fox Business, Garlinghouse flayed the SEC for apparent double standards and lack of clarity. In his view, the SEC’s position on XRP under the leadership of chair Jay Clayton has created regulatory contradictions and hurt the very consumers it purports to protect.

“Only the SEC calls XRP a security”

Answering a question about his general impression of the SEC’s legal case, Garlinghouse offered a withering assessment. According to him, after 9 years of active trading, with a total traded value exceeding $1 trillion, the SEC decision to classify XRP as a security and hold Ripple responsible is unjustifiable. Even worse he said, was the fact that the Department of Justice and the Treasury Department have both previously called XRP a currency.

Giving an update on the ongoing court process, Garlinghouse revealed that Ripple is seeking clarity regarding apparent regulatory double standards. In his words, Ripple wants to know how come the SEC classifies bitcoin and ether as currencies, but not XRP. He said:

We had sought discovery around why bitcoin and ether are not securities. [SEC Chair] Jay Clayton came out and said that bitcoin is not a security. Bill Hinman came out as Director of Corporate Finance at the SEC and said that ether is not a security.

We had sought this information even before the lawsuit – how were those determinations made? Given the similarities between XRP as an open-source, decentralised technology, how is it that one can be determined to not be a security and the other is a security?

He further accused the SEC of harming the investors it is supposed to protect by causing a market panic. According to him, over $15bn worth of investment left the XRP ecosystem on the day the SEC filed its lawsuit against Ripple.

“U.S. stands alone in its categorization of XRP”

Going further, Garlinghouse stated that the SEC is in fact the only regulator in the world that classifies XRP as a security. He listed Japan, the UK, Switzerland and Singapore as examples of major financial jurisdictions that view XRP as a currency.

Responding to accusations of “harassment” from the SEC, Garlinghouse slipped in a word of praise for SEC Commissioner and so-called “Crypto Mom” Hester Peirce for her stance on regulatory clarity. In his words:

It’s hard for me to imagine a small company like Ripple against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission can be described as harassing. Jay Clayton…decided to bring this lawsuit and we are going to defend ourselves. We think it is so important as Commissioner Peirce said for the industry to have clarity.

About Author

David is a writer, investigative journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared on CNN, The Africa Report, The New Yorker Magazine and The Washington Post. His work as a satirist on 'The Other News,' Nigeria's answer to The Daily Show has featured in the New Yorker Magazine and in the Netflix documentary 'Larry Charles' Dangerous World of Comedy.' In 2018, he was nominated by the US State Department for the 2019 Edward Murrow program for journalists under the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). In February 2021, he won the People Journalism Prize for Africa 2020. He tweets at @DavidHundeyin

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