Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse on SEC and the future of Bitcoin ETF


On December 18, Brad Garlinghouse, the Chief Executive Officer of the leading blockchain fintech firm Ripple, conducted the last AMA [Ask Me Anything] session of the year with Ripple’s SVP of Marketing, Monica Long. One of the most significant questions asked in the AMA was regarding the Bitcoin [BTC] ETF approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC].

Garlinghouse was asked to predict the decision of the regulatory body, where he admitted that this is a hard topic for making predictions. He propagated that the SEC in the United States has a difficult job and the regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency space depends a lot upon the risk of manipulation of a BTC ETF. In his words:

“I’m gonna probably dodge this question a little bit only because I think it’s a hard one. I think the SEC in the United States has a really hard job and what they’ve said so far seems to hinge upon the risk of manipulation of a Bitcoin ETF.”

He also stated that the risk-factor in the space has not been resolved in 2018 as more concentration of mining power amongst a few miners was seen in the Bitcoin ecosystem, which contributes to the threat of manipulation. Therefore, Instruments such as ETFs will help the case as it would enable institutions to participate.

“…but I think the SEC’s got a hard job on this one and so because I think it’s a hard topic and I don’t really have a strong point of view on where it’s going to play out, I’m not gonna make a prediction.”

When asked about the state of 2019, Garlinghouse mentioned that transparency is a huge plus for the blockchain industry to mature. According to the Ripple official, a lot of factors in the industry are still clandestine and a lot of people operate in the space without transparency, solely due to the origin of cryptocurrencies. Transparency is the key to the institutional participation in crypto-markets, Garlinghouse implied.

Regarding the predictions in 2019, the veteran businessman shared that the cryptocurrency and blockchain space might see increased transparency in the systems. Furthermore, he speculated that the end of 2019 might see the banks defy the traditional methods as they are concerned with profits and opportunities to grow business.

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