Fintech

Ripple’s CEO threatens to leave the US if it loses SEC case

CEO Brad Garlinghouse said a few countries have reached out to Ripple about relocating.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse on stage at Collision 2022 at Enercare Centre in Toronto

"There's no doubt that if the SEC doesn't win their case against us that that is good for crypto in the United States,” Brad Garlinghouse told Protocol.

Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile for Collision via Getty Images

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said the crypto company will move to another country if it loses in its legal battle with the SEC.

Garlinghouse said he’s confident that Ripple will prevail against the federal regulator, which accused the company of failing to register roughly $1.4 billion in XRP tokens as securities.

“We think the law is on our side and the facts are on our side,” he told Protocol. But “we will move to another jurisdiction if we lose the case in the United States. We still have an immense business to build. Why do it in a regulatory jurisdiction that’s not going to be friendly towards us?”

The SEC declined to comment.

The case, which is expected to drag on until early next year, could have far-reaching implications for the crypto industry. The SEC, led by Chair Gary Gensler, has argued that many cryptocurrencies should be subject to the strict reporting and registration rules that apply to securities.

The crypto industry has pushed back on that argument. A Ripple victory would be a major boost to the industry.

“This isn't just important for Ripple,” Garlinghouse said. “This is important for the whole industry. There's no doubt that if the SEC doesn't win their case against us that that is good for crypto in the United States.”

But, he said, startups have a hard time in the United States where “we don’t have clear rules” and “they’re not consistently applied.”

“Entrepreneurs who are starting businesses today who ask me, I encourage them to look at markets like the U.K.,” Garlinghouse said. “Go start your company in London. Go to Singapore.”

Garlinghouse said the “economic development offices” of “more than one or two countries” that are looking to bring tech companies and entrepreneurs to their markets have reached out to Ripple about possible relocation.

“They look at what's happening in crypto, they understand something about Ripple, they’re aware of the lawsuit and they're like, ‘Hey, maybe we should talk,’” he said.

He declined to name the countries, but Garlinghouse cited the U.K., Singapore and Switzerland as countries that “are friendly towards crypto.”

Garlinghouse has expressed optimism that Ripple will prevail in the SEC legal battle and that the company would eventually go public — presumably in the U.S. In an interview with Protocol earlier this year, he noted that the U.S. “does have the most liquid, the most vibrant, the largest capital market in the world.”

Alex Johnson, author of the Fintech Takes newsletter, said moving to another country makes sense for Ripple since a big chunk of its business and “the vast majority of its recent growth have come outside the U.S.”

“There doesn’t seem to be, from my perspective, a super compelling reason for them to continue operating out of the U.S., win or lose,” he told Protocol.

Like other crypto companies, Ripple has felt the impact of the market downturn. The market value of XRP, the cryptocurrency used in Ripple’s payments ecosystem, has fallen about 60% this year, according to CoinMarketCap.

But Ripple is one of the crypto powerhouses that continues to expand in the face of crypto winter. Garlinghouse announced last month that the company was “hiring for hundreds of roles around the globe.”

Entertainment

Google TV will gain fitness tracker support, wireless audio features

A closer integration with fitness trackers is part of the company’s goal to make TVs a key pillar of the Android ecosystem.

Making TVs more capable comes with increasing hardware and software requirements, leading Google to advise its partners to build more-capable devices.

Photo: Google

Google wants TV viewers to get off the couch: The company is working on plans to closely integrate its Android TV platform with fitness trackers, which will allow developers to build interactive workout services for the living room.

Google representatives shared those plans at a closed-door partner event last month, where they painted them as part of the company’s “Better Together” efforts to build an ecosystem of closely integrated Android devices. As part of those efforts, Google is also looking to improve the way Android TV and Google TV devices work with third-party audio hardware. (Google launched Android TV as an Android-based smart TV platform in 2014; in 2020, it introduced Google TV as a more content-centric smart TV experience based on Android TV.)

Keep Reading Show less
Janko Roettgers

Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety's first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland.

Sponsored Content

How Global ecommerce benefits American workers and the U.S. economy

New research shows Alibaba’s ecommerce platforms positively impact U.S. employment.

The U.S. business community and Chinese consumers are a powerful combination when it comes to American job creation. In addition to more jobs, the economic connection also delivers enhanced wages and a growing GDP contribution on U.S. soil, according to a recent study produced by NDP Analytics.

Alibaba — a leading global ecommerce company — is a particularly powerful engine in helping American businesses of every size sell goods to more than 1 billion consumers on its digital marketplaces in China. In 2020, U.S. companies completed more than $54 billion of sales to consumers in China through Alibaba’s online platforms.

Keep Reading Show less
James Daly
James Daly has a deep knowledge of creating brand voice identity, including understanding various audiences and targeting messaging accordingly. He enjoys commissioning, editing, writing, and business development, particularly in launching new ventures and building passionate audiences. Daly has led teams large and small to multiple awards and quantifiable success through a strategy built on teamwork, passion, fact-checking, intelligence, analytics, and audience growth while meeting budget goals and production deadlines in fast-paced environments. Daly is the Editorial Director of 2030 Media and a contributor at Wired.
Fintech

What the fate of 9 small tokens means for the crypto industry

The SEC says nine tokens in the Coinbase insider trading case are securities, but they are similar to many other tokens that are already trading on exchanges.

While a number of pieces of crypto legislation have been introduced in Congress, the SEC’s moves in court could become precedent until any legislation is passed or broader executive actions are made.

Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

When the SEC accused a former Coinbase employee of insider trading last month, it specifically named nine cryptocurrencies as securities, potentially opening the door to regulation for the rest of the industry.

If a judge agrees with the SEC’s argument, many other similar tokens could be deemed securities — and the companies that trade them could be forced to be regulated as securities exchanges. When Ripple was sued by the SEC in late 2020, for example, Coinbase chose to suspend trading the token rather than risk drawing scrutiny from federal regulators. In this case, however, Coinbase says the nine tokens – seven of which trade on Coinbase — aren’t securities.

Keep Reading Show less
Tomio Geron

Tomio Geron ( @tomiogeron) is a San Francisco-based reporter covering fintech. He was previously a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, covering venture capital and startups. Before that, he worked as a staff writer at Forbes, covering social media and venture capital, and also edited the Midas List of top tech investors. He has also worked at newspapers covering crime, courts, health and other topics. He can be reached at tgeron@protocol.com or tgeron@protonmail.com.

Enterprise

Werner Vogels: Enterprises are more daring than you might think

The longtime chief technology officer talked with Protocol about the AWS customers that first flocked to serverless, how AI and ML are making life easier for developers and his “primitives, not frameworks” stance.

"We knew that if cloud would really be effective, development would change radically."

Photo: Amazon

When AWS unveiled Lambda in 2014, Werner Vogels thought the serverless compute service would be the domain of young, more tech-savvy businesses.

But it was enterprises that flocked to serverless first, Amazon’s longtime chief technology officer told Protocol in an interview last week.

Keep Reading Show less
Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

Climate

Dark money is trying to kill the Inflation Reduction Act from the left

A new campaign is using social media to target voters in progressive districts to ask their representatives to vote against the Inflation Reduction Act. But it appears to be linked to GOP operatives.

United for Clean Power's campaign is a symptom of how quickly and easily social media allows interest groups to reach a targeted audience.

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The social media feeds of progressive voters have been bombarded by a series of ads this past week telling them to urge their Democratic representatives to vote against the Inflation Reduction Act.

The ads aren’t from the Sunrise Movement or other progressive climate stalwarts, though. Instead, they’re being pushed by United for Clean Power, a murky dark money operation that appears to have connections with Republican operatives.

Keep Reading Show less
Lisa Martine Jenkins

Lisa Martine Jenkins is a senior reporter at Protocol covering climate. Lisa previously wrote for Morning Consult, Chemical Watch and the Associated Press. Lisa is currently based in Brooklyn, and is originally from the Bay Area. Find her on Twitter ( @l_m_j_) or reach out via email (ljenkins@protocol.com).

Latest Stories
Bulletins