Ripple CEO likens SEC to a drunk in denial after SEC Gary Gensler speech

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“Trying to provide that clarity through enforcement action is not, I think, the right answer”

Brad Garlinghouse, Chief Executive Officer at Ripple, addressed the same public as SEC Chair Gary Gensler at the Aspen Security Forum.

His remarks were directed at the lack of clarity issues regarding the digital asset space in a time when he and his firm are fighting a lawsuit with the Securities and Exchange Commission on an alleged sale of unregistered securities.

Earlier this week, SEC Chair Gary Gensler stated “there’s actually a lot of clarity” in his speech. Yesterday, Mr. Garlinghouse took the opportunity to say otherwise.

“In my judgment, if you’re dealing with an alcoholic that doesn’t want to admit they have an alcohol problem, to say that we have certainty, we have clarity, is like the alcoholic saying ‘I don’t have a problem’. This is the elephant in the room.”

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The Ripple chief executive then explained the frustration his firm and others in the space have experienced on account of the lack of regulatory initiative.

“For years I think the crypto industry has asked for that clarity, and yesterday we heard ‘it is clear’. Yet a few weeks ago we had two (SEC) Commissioners Peirce and Roisman saying (in) a letter, I’ll quote, they said “a decided lack of clarity for market participants around the application of the securities laws to digital assets and their trading.’”

“We can’t keep saying it is clear and then trying to make it clear through enforcement. You see other G20 markets like the UK, like Japan, like Switzerland, like Singapore who have been proactive and engaged. And that has helped these markets thrive in those countries. If the U.S. wants to be a leader in this space, then we need to provide that clarity and not act like there is clarity.”

As to why doesn’t the company move outside the United States, Mr. Garlinghouse said Ripple already has, to some degree. The blockchain specialist has been expanding its footprint the Asia Pacific. The firm has recently announced the go-live of its On Demand Liquidity (ODL) product in Japan.

“Being a company based here in the United States, I want to see the United States thrive in this area. I want to work with the U.S. government to provide the clarity, to provide the certainty. But trying to provide that clarity through enforcement action is not, I think, the right answer”, he said, adding that the firm is not willing to fully give up on the United States yet.

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