Ripple Labs Inc. has shortlisted Japan and Singapore as countries the blockchain payment services company could move to if it leaves the U.S. due to a lack of regulatory clarity, its top executive said. It also added Switzerland and UAE ( United Arab Emirates) as potential destinations as well. The statement came in a Bloomberg interview carried out by CEO Brad Garlinghouse. As he stated, “The common denominator between all of them is that their governments have created a clarity about how they would regulate different digital assets, different cryptocurrencies.” The move to UAE could even be more probable after the UAE Securities and Commdoties Authority has finalized its crypto legislation.
Garling also stated that the US authories are unclear on the status of cryptocurrencies with different opinions as to if they are a commodity, a currency, a property or a security. He adds, “Regulation shouldn’t be a guessing game. Ripple is definitely a proud U.S. company and we’d like to stay in the U.S. if that was possible, but we also need regulatory clarity in order for us to invest and grow the business.”
Japan has been a “contrast” to the U.S., creating an “environment for a very healthy market to develop,” he said. The country introduced a registration system for cryptocurrency exchange operators in 2017 — a move widely seen as an official acknowledgment of digital coins as a financial asset.
Garlinghouse highlighted Ripple’s ties with Japanese financial conglomerate SBI Holdings Inc., including their Tokyo-based joint venture offering global payment services driven by blockchain technology. SBI CEO Yoshitaka Kitao, known for his push to create a hub for international financial business in western Japan, joined Ripple’s board last year.
“Japan is one of our fastest-growing markets, in part because we have key partners like SBI,” Garlinghouse said. “I have spoken to the SBI team about the fact we are looking at” the country as a potential destination, he said.