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Defending against SEC to cost Ripple $200M, CEO Brad Garlinghouse says


Ripple’s CEO reveals $200 million spent defending the SEC lawsuit, and laments about U.S. crypto regulation and a politics-first policy, advising entrepreneurs to avoid the United States.

Ripple has spent $200 million defending the case brought against it by the United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), according to CEO Brad Garlinghouse. 

Garlinghouse dropped the figure during a fireside chat at the Dubai Fintech Summit on May 8. He stated that the U.S. is stuck compared with the regulatory progress of the United Arab Emirates virtual asset regulatory authority and the recent Markets in Crypto-Assets (MICA) bill in the European Union. He went on to share that by the time the case is decided, Ripple will have spent $200 million defending itself against a lawsuit which, from its very beginning, doesn’t make a lot of sense.

In a message to SEC chair Gary Gensler, Garlinghouse expressed regret about the U.S. falling behind significantly as Ripple expands to the United Arab Emirates. According to him, the tough thing about the situation is having a country that has put politics ahead of policy. Garlinghouse said one of the first pieces of advice he gives entrepreneurs when they ask him about getting something started is,” If I were you, I would not start in the United States.” He believes many U.S.-based companies and U.S. public companies would agree.

Brad Garlinghouse during the fireside chat at the Dubai Fintech Summit.

When asked about the U.S. needing a clear regulatory framework for crypto, Garlinghouse said the SEC must understand that the vast majority of people working in crypto and blockchain are good actors who want to stay within the rules of the road but need them defined.

Related: SEC argues recent court case weakens Ripple Labs’ ‘fair notice’ defense

Ripple, a cryptocurrency payment platform, was sued by the SEC in December 2020, which claimed Ripple illegally sold XRP (XRP) tokens as an unregistered security. Ripple has long disputed the claim, arguing that it doesn’t constitute an investment contract under the Howey test.

The case has been going on for two and a half years and has created headwinds in the U.S. market. A decision is expected from the judge sometime in the next three to six months, according to Garlinghouse.

Magazine: Crypto regulation: Does SEC Chair Gary Gensler have the final say?

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