Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, who recently commented that he’s worried regulators will impede the crypto space because of their challenges with and distrust of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and the Libra project, says Zuckerberg’s testimony on the Hill today exposes his trust deficit.
While US policymakers both berate and praise Zuckerberg during his latest appearance before the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, Garlinghouse is attempting to clarify that the concepts brought forth by Facebook’s project Libra are not new.
In a new interview on Fox News, Garlinghouse says while he can agree with some of Zuckerberg’s statements, he disagrees on the novelty of Libra.
“The difference is the technologies he’s talking about are already on the market today. Ripple’s a US company that’s been deploying these technologies for years. We have over 200 customers globally.”
While Garlinghouse is putting a spotlight on Ripple’s innovations, Facebook put a spotlight on cryptocurrencies. With over two billion users worldwide, regulators around the world who may have overlooked Ripple’s advancements quickly woke up.
“The good news is we agree with the vision. I think we disagree with how do we get there.”
Garlinghouse also questions how Facebook can regain its footing in the eyes of Congress.
“How they got here and whether or not it’s fair, the reality is, and they acknowledge it, there’s a trust deficit. And I think for any financial service, you have to have that foundation of trust. So I think the timing is interesting to see Facebook lead on this. I thought another interesting nugget of Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony was that they’re helping America’s leadership. Yet they set Libra up in Switzerland.”
Always a good time chatting with @MariaBartiromo – while others in crypto are moving overseas, Ripple is committed to working proactively with US regulators on blockchain/crypto. We just opened an office in DC, and we're here for the long haul https://t.co/kJFoscVDZf
— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) October 23, 2019
Senators are also disagreeing. At today’s hearing, while several asked Zuckerberg pointed questions about Libra and its goal of transforming global payments, US Rep Andy Barr praised Zuckerberg and insisted on shifting the onus of policing bad actors (aka the terrorists who might try to use new technologies like Libra to fund their operations) onto Congress.
“Some politicians on this committee are opening embracing socialism and central planning. It seems like the presumption is always that private sector innovation is a bad thing. I think that presumption should be reversed. We in Congress should view innovation for its potential opportunities in promoting financial inclusion, reducing friction in transactions, aiding small business and bringing the financial system to unbanked and underbanked communities.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t ask questions, which is of course what we’re doing here today, but in America, a country built on free enterprise and capitalism, it’s always better to be on the side of innovation and we should always place the burden on the government to justify regulation and intervention.”
Blockchain and crypto developers and entrepreneurs who are building new platforms and offering revolutionary services are taking different approaches in their efforts to cope with a regulatory framework in the US that is fragmented, unclear and slow to show strong signs of support.
Boston-based Circle, the peer-to-peer payments technology company founded by Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville, for example, recently spun off its acquisition of US-based, global crypto exchange Poloniex, handing it to Asian investors. The company cited issues with US regulators as a determining factor in their decision.
Garlinghouse says Ripple is committed to building strong alliances with regulators in Washington. It recently opened a new office in Washington that’s strictly addressing compliance issues in the cryptosphere.
“While others in crypto are moving overseas, Ripple is committed to working proactively with US regulators on blockchain/crypto. We just opened an office in DC, and we’re here for the long haul.”