Ripple Labs considers Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, UAE, and the UK as possible jurisdictions should the blockchain patent services company leave the US amidst a lack of regulatory clarity, said Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse. In an interview with Bloomberg, he said,
“The common denominator between all of them is that their governments have created a clarity about how they would regulate different digital assets, different cryptocurrencies.”
When it comes to the US, authorities here are unclear on the status of cryptocurrencies, said Garlinghouse adding that there are different opinions on whether crypto is a currency, commodity, property, or security. “Regulation shouldn’t be a guessing game,” he said.
“Ripple is definitely a proud U.S. company, and we’d like to stay in the U.S. if that was possible, but we also need regulatory clarity in order for us to invest and grow the business.”
In “contrast” to the US, Garlinghouse said Japan had created an “environment for a very healthy market to develop.”
The country has already introduced a registration system for crypto exchanges about three years back. Moreover, Ripple has close ties with Japanese financial conglomerate SBI Holdings, and its CEO Yoshikata Kitao also sits on Ripple’s board since last year.
“Japan is one of our fastest-growing markets, in part because we have key partners like SBI,” he said. “I have spoken to the SBI team about the fact we are looking at” Japan as a potential destination, Garlinghouse said.
In terms of a central bank digital currency, China has moved further ahead in its digital currency trial as it distributed 200 digital yuan to 50,000 people spendable at 3,000 retail outlets. Other central banks, including the Federal Reserve, meanwhile are still in the research phase.
The playing field won’t level until a country established a lead in “the internet of value,” he said.
The pandemic raised the interest in digital currencies and not just for CBDC. According to Garlinghouse, the coronavirus pandemic has given a “tailwind” to crypto markets because of all the money printing central banks have been doing.
While the monetary stimulus, which is “inflationary on some level,” drives the demand for crypto, a move away from cash is also helping, he said.