Ripple CEO says US regulators’ claim that there is clarity in crypto is like that of an addict in denial

Ripple
Ripple Nurphoto/ Getty Images
  • Ripple boss Bradley Garlinghouse said US regulators were in denial about the clarity around rules for crypto.
  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler said this week it was clear cryptocurrencies fell into the regulator’s territory.
  • The SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple in December over how it marketed the XRP token.
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Ripple chief executive Bradley Garlinghouse said US regulators’ belief that there is already a lot of clarity around cryptocurrencies was like an addict’s belief that they don’t have a problem.

Garlinghouse, whose company’s XRP token is at the center of a lawsuit launched by the Securities and Exchange Commission, made the comments at the Aspen Security Forum on Wednesday.

“You know, to say that we have certainty, we have clarity, is like the alcoholic saying ‘I don’t have a problem’,” Garlinghouse said.

Gary Gensler, Chairman of the SEC, said earlier in the week it was clear that most crypto tokens were securities and needed to be treated as such.

Gensler told Bloomberg separately that cryptocurrencies fell under the regulator’s purview.

“It’s only with bringing things inside – and sort of clearly within our public policy goals – that a technology has a chance of broader adoption,” he said.

The SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple late last year over how the company marketed the XRP token. The regulator said it is a security and should be subject to the same kind of rules that govern stock trading, but the company has said repeatedly it is a currency and therefore is exempt.

“To me, one of the elephants in the room is, we can’t keep saying ‘it is clear’ and then trying to make it clear through enforcement,” Ripple’s Garlinghouse said.

The XRP token is the sixth largest cryptocurrency by market value, with a capitalization of around $US33 ($AU45) billion, according to Coinmarketcap.com. This compares with a market cap of closer to $US714 ($AU974) billion for bitcoin, the most widely traded digital coin.

It’s gained well over 200% so far this year, trading around $US0.714 on Thursday, compared with a gain of around 32% for bitcoin.