Ripple eyes overseas IPOs over 'hostile' U.S. regulator

Ripple has explored undertaking an initial public offering (IPO) outside of the U.S. due to an unfavourable regulatory environment domestically, the blockchain firm’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse told CNBC.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Garlinghouse revealed Ripple has examined alternative jurisdictions with “clear rules of the road” for a potential floatation, but has currently put any IPO plans on ice.

He blamed hostility from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which filed a lawsuit against Ripple in 2020 over allegedly illegal XRP cryptocurrency sales. That case is still ongoing.

Garlinghouse argued the regulator’s combative approach makes listing in the U.S. unappealing. “In the United States, trying to go public with a very hostile regulator that’s approved your S-1, that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me,” he stated.

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The CEO again criticised SEC chair Gary Gensler as a “political liability”, suggesting Ripple may revisit a U.S. IPO once new leadership is in place at the regulator.

Ripple provides infrastructure for international payments using XRP and other digital assets. Its technology is used by banks and financial institutions around the world.

The firm had previously signalled intentions to go public after the resolution of the high-stakes SEC lawsuit, which alleges Ripple and its executives raised over $1.3 billion through an unregistered securities offering. Ripple denies the charges.