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Ripple CEO Brad Garlinhouse Fires At SEC Over Crypto Noncompliance Comments

Source: Adobe/Kristina Blokhin

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has lashed out at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Gensler, accusing him of “stunning hypocrisy” in the crypto industry. 

Garlinghouse’s criticism comes in response to Gensler’s recent comments about widespread noncompliance within the crypto space, emphasizing the negative impact on individuals and the difficulty for legitimate actors to compete. 

“There is a lot of noncompliance in the crypto space,” Gensler said. 

“It undermines confidence when so many people have been hurt and all they can do is stand in line in the bankruptcy court. Further, this can make it hard for the good faith actors to compete.”

However, Garlinghouse pointed out that Gensler had “cozied up to the biggest fraud in recent memory” and accused him of harming consumers while maintaining close ties with Wall Street.

Stunning hypocrisy from the person who cozied up to the biggest fraud in recent memory.

Gensler is a political liability whose actions have decimated consumers and destroyed the integrity of the SEC, while remaining buddy-buddy with Wall Street.

— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) December 21, 2023

This is not the first time Garlinghouse has expressed his disapproval of Gensler’s actions. 

Previously, he had likened Gensler’s approach to that of an autocrat and urged Congress to pay attention to his conduct. 

The broader crypto community has rallied behind Garlinghouse’s criticism, viewing Gensler as a primary adversary to the emerging industry. 

Many stakeholders have criticized Gensler’s strict regulatory approach, arguing that the SEC is applying outdated securities laws to innovative crypto finance models like decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols. 

Some prominent figures, including Dogecoin founder Billy Markus, have echoed these concerns, highlighting the lack of clear rules for the evolving sector.

Gensler Continues to Stick to His Stance

However, Gensler has consistently defended his stance, claiming that the current securities laws are sufficient for the crypto industry. 

The SEC under Gensler’s leadership has taken legal action against major crypto firms like Coinbase and Binance, alleging violations of securities law. 

Additionally, the regulator has classified cryptocurrencies such as Solana, Cardano, and Polygon as crypto securities tokens in many of its legal actions.

Back in September, he acknowledged that while not all tokens can be prejudged, a significant portion of the crypto industry falls under securities laws but remains non-compliant.

“This crypto space that much of it, without prejudging any one token, much of it is under the securities laws, but unfortunately, much of it is also non-compliant,” he said.

He claimed that crypto has had a destructive impact on millions of investors who have suffered losses, emphasizing that these problems could potentially extend beyond the crypto industry and affect the broader financial system.

More recently, he issued another warning about the prevalence of fraud in crypto, stating that there are multiple “notorious fraudsters” operating in the space.

“It’s not just about one circumstance and one notorious fraudster, it’s multiple notorious fraudsters,” Gensler said.

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