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Ripple makes a contrarian move in the face of the crypto meltdown

It was another wild day for the markets, but Brad Garlinghouse is shrugging off volatility — and even making a very counterintuitive move at a time when most investors are urging startups to hoard cash. Read on for more of what the Ripple CEO’s thinking. Protocol Fintech is all about connecting you to interesting people: On Wednesdays, you can expect a to-the-point, one-question interview with an industry figure you’ll want to get to know.

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Ripple became the most visible target of the U.S. government’s efforts to regulate crypto when the SEC sued the company in late 2020.

But the besieged crypto payments powerhouse did some muscle flexing this week, sending a strong message to the crypto world: The SEC suit hasn’t slowed Ripple down.

Ripple’s move to buy back shares from a $200 million series C round in 2019 was unusual and even surprising. After all, there’s growing fears of another market slump, which would push startups to buckle down for a rougher ride.

Business is good “despite these crazy headwinds,” CEO Brad Garlinghouse told Protocol. Ripple has been growing rapidly over the past two years when “a lot has changed in the crypto world.”

  • Yes, the SEC suit hurt, causing the price of XRP to fall and leading to the loss of some business, Garlinghouse said. And there are more regulatory hurdles ahead likely to affect the entire industry.
  • But Ripple has been growing rapidly, expanding into the NFT market and forming central bank partnerships with monetary authorities in countries like Palau and Bhutan, Garlinghouse said.
  • Ripple has been bulking up financially as a result. The company has “a strong balance sheet” and “more than a billion dollars in cash,” Garlinghouse said.


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