The SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple Labs and execs Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen has been a game-changer in many ways. Not only because it is one of those rare cases where the defendants’ execs have been personally charged, but also because Ripple and the altcoin at the center of the lawsuit, XRP, remain two of the industry’s most prominent faces.
Soon after the lawsuit was first filed back in December, there was a lot of skepticism doing the rounds. “Ripple will lose all its volumes,” some said. “XRP will tank and fall to zero,” claimed others. However, contrary to expectations, XRP has done well for itself on the price charts despite the delisting spree that followed. Before the latest corrections set in, XRP was trading at a price level that was unseen for over 3 years.
What about Ripple though? Did the San Francisco-based blockchain firm lose any customers or run into any roadblocks thanks to the said lawsuit? This was the question answered by Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse during a recent interview.
Again, contrary to expectations, Garlinghouse revealed that there’s “mostly good news on this front,” with the exec adding that the firm has onboarded 20+ customers since the SEC filed the aforementioned lawsuit. Here, it’s worth noting that the exec was quick to point out that all of these customers are based abroad, just like 90% of Ripple’s user base. Demographically, Garlinghouse went on to imply, most of Ripple’s existing customers were unaffected by regulatory concerns in the United States.
Ripple has been in the news lately thanks to its association with the likes of Trengo and Azimo recently. While the blockchain firm acquired a 40% ownership stake in the former a few weeks ago, the latter is going to be tapping up Ripple’s ODL services.
Garlinghouse also went on to highlight that despite the said lawsuit, 2020 was RippleNet’s biggest year ever, with the same processing over 3 million transactions. In fact, the same was expanded upon by Ripple’s Q4 report which was released in February. However, the report also found that over 12% of XRP volumes were affected thanks to the aforementioned lawsuit.
Just like the aforementioned lawsuit, Coinbase’s listing has also been seen by many as a game-changer for the industry. Will a Ripple IPO be next, however? Commenting that the listing was the “Netscape moment” for crypto, Garlinghouse clarified that any such IPO will require the SEC’s green light. Any such plans will have to wait until the present case is resolved, he added.
The exec also expanded on other spaces the firm has been dabbling in recently. CBDCs, for one, is one nascent sector Ripple has sought to be part of, with the blockchain firm recently piloting a private XRP ledger for central banks launching CBDCs back in March. According to Garlinghouse, over 80 central banks are looking into the potential impact of CBDCs, with the exec adding,
“We [Ripple] haven’t been shy about having these conversations with central banks.”
Finally, and perhaps most “controversially,” Garlinghouse also touched upon his distaste for Proof of Work. The exec asserted that while he is very bullish on Bitcoin, the community needs to be “intellectually honest” and look to a better mechanism for transaction validation.
Curiously, Garlinghouse also called out the irony of Tesla’s Elon Musk, someone who has been at the forefront of educating the masses about global carbon emissions, so openly embracing and adopting Bitcoin, an asset associated with significant energy consumption.
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