Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse says the cost of his firm’s lawsuit with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will be well above the nine-figure mark.
In an interview with Ryan Selkis, CEO of crypto analytics firm Messari, Garlinghouse says Ripple Labs is, in a way, representing the whole industry by taking on the SEC.
In late 2020, the SEC sued Ripple Labs for allegedly issuing XRP as an unregistered security, a case that has raised implications for the rest of the digital asset space.
“Now I do think the SEC has been a bit of a bully in the whole industry. We will spend – and I’ve publicly already shared this – well into the over $100 million defending ourselves against the SEC. And there are not a lot of projects that can actually afford. I mean the companies that can afford to do that, it’s not a long list. And so I do think it’s not just important for Ripple, it’s important for the industry that somebody kind of stand up to this.”
Garlinghouse says it’s unreasonable for a precedent to be set where SEC chair Gary Gensler can arbitrarily declare any digital asset an unregistered security.
“This is a federal government agency that works for us. It’s part of the government, we should feel outraged, like the idea that now everything under Gary Gensler’s view is a security is crazy talk.”
The crypto billionaire says that one silver lining of Ripple’s lawsuit is that it’s forcing the crypto space to seriously contemplate the scope of the SEC’s authority over the industry.
“I do think the SEC has kind of gone ‘coo-coo for coco puffs’ and I do think in some positive way it’s catalyzing all of us to write to our legislatures to donate to people we want to get elected and I think maybe the pendulum may swing a little bit to a smackdown to the SEC.”