Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of financial technology company Ripple Labs, has urged cryptocurrency startups to avoid the United States, as the country is currently one of the worst places to launch digital asset operations due to its lack of clear crypto regulations.
The Ripple CEO stated his opinion during a panel with Hong Fang, the president of crypto exchange OKX, and other industry leaders at TOKEN2049, an annual crypto event hosted in Singapore.
Crypto Startups Should Avoid the U.S.
In addition to advising crypto startups to avoid the U.S., Garlinghouse urged the country to learn from nations like the U.K., Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates that have implemented clear rules, encouraging innovation and protecting investors.
Garlinghouse blamed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the unfavorable crypto environment, insisting that the regulator had instigated a political war with the industry through its lawsuits.
Since the start of the year, the Commission has sued several digital asset platforms and imposed settlements running into millions of dollars on companies, including crypto exchanges Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken, adding to ongoing legal spats with firms like Ripple Labs. In all the lawsuits and charges, the agency has tagged many crypto tokens securities, demanding that they be registered.
But the Ripple CEO said the Commission’s lawsuit strategy is no longer working, as the American judiciary system has begun to favor the crypto industry. This is evident in the recent Ripple and Grayscale court victories against the SEC.
“The only country I would not encourage you to start a company right now is in the U.S… I think you’re seeing the momentum shift. 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, but I think you’re starting to see the pattern change,” Garlinghouse stated.
Ripple to Focus on Offshore Regions
Fang echoed Garlinghouse’s claims and encouraged crypto firms to focus on what they can control – building the right technology and product and supporting responsible regulation.
Although the CEO believes the latest court victories provide a level of clarity for the U.S. crypto industry, Ripple has decided to shift its focus to offshore regions. The firm has disclosed that 80% of its staff hiring this year will be outside the U.S.