Ripple releases shortlist of 5 countries it might move to if U.S. regulation remains unclear

Ripple Labs Inc. has formed a shortlist of countries to move to should the blockchain payment services company leave the U.S. amid a lack of regulatory clarity there, its top executive said.

Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the U.K. and the United Arab Emirates are potential destinations, Chief Executive Officer Brad Garlinghouse said in an interview.

“The common denominator between all of them is that their governments have created a clarity about how they would regulate different digital assets, different cryptocurrencies,” he said.

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Speaking in a separate interview with Bloomberg Television, Garlinghouse said U.S. authorities are unclear on the status of cryptocurrencies, with different opinions over whether they are a commodity, a currency, a property or a security.

“Regulation shouldn’t be a guessing game,” he said. “Ripple is definitely a proud U.S. company and we’d like to stay in the U.S. if that was possible, but we also need regulatory clarity in order for us to invest and grow the business.”

Garlinghouse said the coronavirus pandemic has given a “tailwind” to cryptocurrency markets because central banks have been printing fiat currency, which is “inflationary on some level.” A move away from cash is also helping, he said.

Ripple offers payments and settlement services through the virtual currency known as XRP and other platforms.

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