Ripple just bought back a huge chunk of its shares this week, which CEO Brad Garlinghouse touted as a sign of the crypto company’s momentum.
But he also used the opportunity to hit back at the agency that the crypto powerhouse considers its nemesis: the SEC.
“Despite these crazy headwinds with the SEC — and frankly, losing some customers because of the SEC lawsuit — we grew very quickly, and we feel like we’re starting 2022 in a great position of strength,” Garlinghouse told Protocol.
The company is embroiled in a lawsuit, filed in 2020, in which the agency accused Ripple of raising $1.3 billion in unregistered digital-asset securities by issuing XRP tokens. The SEC’s key claim is that XRP is not a currency, but a security, and therefore subject to strict securities laws. Ripple has argued that XRP is a virtual currency, not an investment contract.
In an interview with Protocol, Garlinghouse discussed why the share buyback makes sense, the growing worries about another crypto winter and why the SEC and crypto critics are wrong to portray the industry as the “Wild West.”
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.