Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse says the payments startup is looking into whether to move the company’s headquarters to the UK.
In a new interview with CNBC, Garlinghouse says Ripple is seriously considering moving to the region because the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) specifically names XRP as a crypto asset that falls outside the agency’s regulatory perimeter.
It refers to a press release released by the agency in July 2019, which mentions the fourth largest crypto asset and urges the agency’s efforts to ensure companies know what they need to do to stay compliant.
Garlinghouse says the clear taxonomy in the UK and the leadership the FCA has shown in changing the way the financial community thinks about XRP and other similar cryptocurrencies.
“The result was the clarity that XRP is not a stock and is used as a currency. With this clarity, it would be beneficial for Ripple to operate in the UK. “
As Ripple continues to face legal battles and strict regulatory realities in its home environment, Garlinghouse says it is time for the US to step up and update its regulatory policies to be in line with the global market.
The recent threat to move offshore isn’t the first time Ripple has expressed its favorable view of the UK and other countries whose regulatory frameworks are clear and precise. In late September, Ripple released a blog post highlighting the steps the FCA is taking to flex its regulatory framework to account for evolutions in blockchain technology and digital assets.
“Specifically, the FCA classifies digital assets as one of three types of tokens: exchange, utility, and security. These classifications are critical because they define the use cases for each type of token. For example, XRP is classified as an exchange token due to its role in facilitating cross-border transactions.
By issuing these classifications, the FCA makes it clear to companies which digital assets fall within its “regulatory perimeter”. In other words, the FCA has demonstrated which types of tokens will be regulated as securities and which will not. The FCA has also made the framework flexible to take into account technological evolutions because it recognizes that digital assets can move between classifications over time. “
Ripple owns more than half of XRP’s total offering, with the vast majority of its holdings locked in escrow accounts.
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