It is no surprise that Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of the crypto exchange whose own digital coin, XRP, is regularly the fourth largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization, is bullish on the future of the cryptocurrency business. Garlinghouse, who spoke at the recent virtual Collision conference, believes that digital currencies are here to stay, and regulators ought to be working to make sure the U.S. isn’t left out of crypto’s global future. He says that now is a crucial moment for the U.S. to establish itself as a leader in the crypto business.
Ripple currently finds itself under the mircroscope of regulators. The company is being sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for not registering XRP as a securities offering. The SEC is arguing that XRP is actually an investment contract, and not a cryptocurrency like bitcoin and ether.
The other claim is that Garlinghouse and other Ripple execs have made millions in profit from XRP, while failing to prove that the digital token has any practical use. This lawsuit has caused the price of XRP to drop significantly (the current price of $1.31 is roughly 60 percent below its 2018 high of $3.31). Many crypto exchanges decided to boot the token from their platforms.
Ripple is fighting this lawsuit with the help of former Obama administration SEC chair Mary Jo White. The company is arguing that the U.S. is one of the only countries that classifies XRP as a securities offering and not cryptocurrency.
Here are three takeaways for what’s next in the future of crypto from Garlinghouse’s point of view:
Cross-border payments and global partnerships will be essential
For years, crypto has been a popular way for migrant workers to send payments to their families in their home countries without having to deal with exorbitant transaction fees. Because of its dispute with the SEC, Ripple lost the partnership with MoneyGram.
Since the SEC dispute, all of XRP’s clients are located outside the U.S. Ripple’s client base is now largest in Southeast Asia, because regulators in Singapore and Thailand classified XRP as a digital asset. Middle East and North Africa are also booming markets, as well as Saudi Arabia and India. Daily cross-border payments account for billions of dollars worth of transactions.
NFTS are here to stay.
Garlinghouse believes NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have more staying power than many believe.They have many use cases, particularly when it comes to digital collectibles. XRP is now working to make sure its platform will be able to support NFTs.
Central banks should get involved in crypto.
Some countries such as China, Cambodia, the Bahamas, and others have launched digital currencies through their central banks in recent months. The American Federal Reserve is currently working with MIT to explore the feasibility of a digital coin based in the U.S.
Uptake of digital coins by the world’s governments will help the cause of independent cryptos such as XRP. If central banks choose digital currency, there would be more demand for more efficient cross-border transactions.