Hostile Regulatory Environment
Chairman of San Francisco-based payments company Ripple, Chris Larsen, told Fortune that they were getting close to moving their headquarters overseas due to the regulatory environment in the US. They view the federal government’s attitude towards cryptocurrencies to be hostile, especially the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Ripple has been battling lawsuits claiming that XRP is an unregistered security having caused losses for uninformed investors for a very long time. This lawsuit, which dates back years ago, is yet to be closed and the battle keeps on dragging. Ripple owns a major chunk of the XRP supply but they argue it is just like Bitcoin and Ether, two assets that the SEC concluded are not securities.
US Risking its Global Spot
According to Larsen, the US will have to still overview many of Ripple’s operations even if they move overseas, however a more welcoming regulatory body may ease their process. He believes that the current regulatory environment held in the US against cryptocurrencies and digital assets such as Facebook’s project which keeps getting delayed may give the upper hand to China whom is more welcoming to innovation and accelerating to launch their CBDC.
Singapore or Japan
In an interview with Bloomberg, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, stated that they will probably move their offices to Japan or Singapore should they decide to leave the US over regulatory issues. Other potential options are: United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Switzerland. The reason being according to the CEO that “The common denominator between all of them is that their governments have created a clarity about how they would regulate different digital assets, different cryptocurrencies.“