Ripple CEO says the U.S. lacks regulatory clarity on cryptocurrency

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, said the lack of clarity in regulating cryptocurrencies in the US was “frustrating.”

The fintech company, known for the cryptocurrency XRP, has been embroiled in a legal dispute with the US Securities and Exchange Commission since last year.

In December, the SEC filed charges against Garlinghouse and a co-founder of Ripple. They claimed they raised more than $ 1.3 billion through an unregistered securities offering.

Garlinghouse said that unlike countries in Asia, the US does not yet have to come up with clear guidelines for cryptocurrencies.

“I give credit to markets like Singapore and even parts of Korea, where really thoughtful efforts have been made by the government to define and have clear regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies,” he told CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia on Friday.

He cited the company’s ongoing litigation with the SEC as an example of where the regulatory framework remains unclear.

“Ironically, they haven’t created the same clarity here in the United States. It’s the only country on the planet that has said XRP is anything but a currency,” he noted. “The SEC said … XRP is a security. So we’re now having a court discussion. So far I have a good feeling how this went, but it’s certainly frustrating.”

In a complaint filed in December, the SEC said Ripple “created an information vacuum” by failing to disclose the offer to investors. The agency argues that the company was required to provide this type of material information to investors because XRP can be viewed as an “investment contract” and “therefore security under federal securities laws” “in certain circumstances”.

Financial regulators around the world are examining how to regulate the cryptocurrency industry.

Garlinghouse downplayed the current review of cryptocurrencies, saying the industry should continue to focus on what these technologies offer customers.

“I think at the end of the day the industry should focus on the utility. And these technologies solve real problems for real customers,” he said, adding that Ripple will continue to use its XRP ledger and tokens to make payments more efficient to design.

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