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Ripple CEO Criticizes SEC Head Gensler for ‘Remarkable Hypocrisy’

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The CEO of blockchain startup Ripple has retaliated against the recent public remarks made by US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Gary Gensler, who chastised the cryptocurrency sector for noncompliance.

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In fact, on December 22, Brad Garlinghouse referred to Gensler as “a political liability” and criticized him for his “stunning hypocrisy from the person who cozied up to the biggest fraud in recent memory” in a post on X that included a video of the SEC boss’s address.

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He was making reference to Gensler’s purported tight relationship with Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of the defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX. This connection earned the SEC chairman an appearance before the US House Financial Services Committee, where he was accused of lacking transparency by chair Patrick McHenry.

According to the CEO of Ripple:

“Gensler is a political liability whose actions have decimated consumers and destroyed the integrity of the SEC while remaining buddy-buddy with Wall Street.”

Gensler’s position

In fact, a portion of the SEC chairman’s speech at CNBC’s “Crypto World” on December 14—during which he stated that there was “a lot of non-compliance with the securities laws that are here to… protect you against fraud and manipulation” in the cryptocurrency industry—was previously posted on his X page.

“And there’s been far too much fraud and bad actors in the crypto field. There’s a lot of noncompliance, not only with the securities laws but other laws around anti-money laundering and protecting the public. This is really the Wild West, and it’s around the globe.”

“When so many people have been hurt and all they can do is then stand in line at a bankruptcy court…,” he continued, “it can undermine confidence, and it’s hard for the good faith actors even to compete because there are so many challenges elsewhere.”

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Notably, Ripple and the SEC are engaged in a protracted legal battle, with the regulator charging the blockchain startup of unlawfully selling XRP, which it views as security. But in July, Judge Analisa Torres decided that retail transactions of XRP did not qualify as sales of securities.

Nevertheless, even though Ripple appeared to have won, the legal drama has had a lasting effect on the sector. To date, it has cost the company over $100 million in legal fees, forced it to search for employees outside of the US, and negatively impacted the price of XRP, which resulted in losses for token holders.


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