Ripple CEO Walks Back Threat to Leave US

  • Ripple used to position itself as the regulator-friendly crypto firm.
  • Now the company is threatening to leave the U.S. over regulatory uncertainty.
  • Lack of clarity from the SEC about XRP’s legal status looks to be the sticking point.
  • The company is fighting several private investor lawsuits over the securities question and reportedly eyeing an initial public offering.

Ripple might not move out after all.

Six weeks after announcing he’s looking at potentially relocating Ripple’s headquarters because of the lack of regulatory clarity around the XRP cryptocurrency in the U.S., CEO Brad Garlinghouse is now taking a wait-and-see approach following the election of Joe Biden as U.S. president. Speaking to CNN’s Julia Chatterley on Wednesday, he said the payments firm hadn’t made any decision on the matter.

“We haven’t put a strict timeline on when we’ll make a decision” on relocating, he said. “I think I am waiting to see what dynamics change, associated with the Biden administration beginning their term in office, and I am optimistic that will actually improve where things sit for the XRP community broadly.”

Garlinghouse donated to the Biden for President campaign earlier this year, according to Federal Election Commission records. Last year, he donated to the Kamala Harris for the People campaign when she was a presidential candidate. Harris later dropped out of that race but is now the vice president-elect and will take office with Biden.

Garlinghouse’s remarks diverge from previous comments, when he indicated the prolonged but fruitless efforts to get federal regulators on the firm’s side seem to have exhausted the patience of Ripple’s executives as the company eyes a potential initial public offering (IPO) and fights a lawsuit.

Change of tone

For years, the payments startup, closely associated with the XRP cryptocurrency, held itself up as an example of good behavior. In 2016, for example, Ripple was the second company in the blockchain…

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