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Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse Says U.S. Is Only Country Crypto Startups Should Avoid

Brad Garlinghouse
Brad Garlinghouse

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The US is the worst place in the world for crypto startups and it must learn how to regulate from nations including Singapore, the UK, the United Arab Emirates, and Switzerland, said Ripple Labs CEO Brad Garlinghouse.

“The only country I would not encourage you to start a company right now is in the U.S.,” he said, speaking at a conference in Singapore on Sept. 12

As Ripple focusses its expansion on overseas markets including Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and the UK, 80% of its new hires this year will be recruited from outside the US, he told Bloomberg Television in an interview.

Ripple is focussing on those markets because their governments are providing “leadership and clear rules,” and partnering with the crypto industry, he said, while criticising the US for lacking regulatory clarity.

Garlinghouse Says US Is “Super Frustrating”

“Frankly, that’s why ripple is hiring there,” he told Bloomberg. He said it’s ”super frustrating” in the US, and described SEC chair Gary Gensler as a hammer who sees everything as looking like a nail.

“Confusion masquerades as power to the SEC,” he said. “The more confusion the more power they feel they have because they’re just going to keep filing lawsuits.”

Ripple has been in a legal battle with the SEC since 2020 for allegedly selling $1.3 billion worth of XRP without registering it as a security. Garlinghouse expressed his frustration with the SEC’s approach to regulating the industry, and said it’s spent more than $100 million fighting lawsuits.

But he said he remains confident about the company’s chances of winning. Ripple had a partial legal win against the SEC in July and Grayscale Investments scored a more decisive victory against the regulator over spot Bitcoin ETFs last month.

“I think you’re seeing the momentum shift,” he told Bloomberg. “I think that it used to be that a lot of judges were like: ‘Well, the SEC is always right,’ and they weren’t fighting that. I think you’re starting to see the pattern change.”

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