Ripple achieved a significant legal victory against the Securities and Exchange Commission this summer when a federal judge determined that, in the majority of instances, the sale of XRP tokens did not constitute a securities offering. The decision was a significant win for the business and the cryptocurrency sector, but it wasn’t free.
On Wednesday, I met with Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse in New York, and he informed me that the company’s legal costs, which he had estimated at more than $100 million in July 2022, have now increased to roughly double that amount. The startling sum reflects the exorbitant cost of litigation as well as the reality that the crypto industry is engaged in a life-or-death battle with the SEC, whose chairman has taken an unrelentingly negative stance against the sector.
Before our conversation, Garlinghouse made a statement on stage at the Mainnet conference, saying, “You have to stand up to a bully.”” [Chair Gary Gensler] is after politics and after power. a bad course of action.
The rest of the cryptocurrency industry, which formerly derided Ripple for being highly corporate, has now come to support the company as a champion in the struggle against a common foe as a result of its brazen approach. It’s unclear how long this battle will last—and how much Ripple’s ultimate legal costs will be—as the SEC tries to overturn the company’s recent success and Gensler intensifies his aggressive enforcement tactics.
In the interim, Ripple claims that it sees Asia as a more hospitable region for the company’s long-term growth goals. This week, attendees at conferences have been longingly comparing New York to countries like Singapore and Korea, where blockchain events have drawn sizable crowds and the support of public authorities.
While American businesses like Coinbase and Ripple have hinted that they may completely transfer their operations to escape the unfavourable regulatory environment, this is likely simply posturing. Because of the magnitude of the American market, New York’s status as the world’s financial centre, and the personal links their executives have to the nation, it is impractical for the corporations to up and leave these shores. However, it is clear why they are frustrated by the lack of a regulatory framework. Imagine if Ripple had chosen to invest $200 million in product development rather than legal fees.