Ripple has been forced to build quickly outside the U.S. due to regulatory headwinds.
Ripple Senior Vice President and Managing Director for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions, Brook Entwistle, has let slip that the enterprise blockchain giant is working with over 20 countries on the development of central bank digital currencies.
Entwistle disclosed this in a recent interview with Forkast. The Ripple executive noted that while countries like China were ahead in the CBDC race, smaller countries with fewer resources and unique issues turned to private companies like Ripple for help.
“There are certain countries that are far down the road – the digital yuan in China, others. But there are many emerging countries that are maybe smaller, that may have fewer resources, that may have different issues they’re solving for, where Ripple and others like us can come in,” Entwistle said, speaking with Forkast’s Angie Lau. “… we are in dialogue with not ten, not twenty, but a bunch more central banks around the world on these discussions.“
Entwistle touted CBDCs as one of the best use cases of blockchain technology, asserting its ability to drive economic growth and financial inclusion.
At the same time, Entwistle also hailed the willingness of regulators around the world to offer industry participants a seat at the table, recognizing that crypto is here to stay. While he shared U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce’s view that it was up to the industry to prove its worth, he expressed fears that the current regulatory climate in the country could hurt its innovation in the long run.
“Regulators welcome that interaction here in Singapore, up in Tokyo, in Switzerland, in the UK – we’re part of that dialog,” he said. “That’s clearly not the case in the U.S. right now as it relates to our ability to be part of that process. That does impact the U.S. long-term for sure on the innovation front.“
The Impact of the SEC’s Lawsuit on Ripple
Weighing in on the impact of the SEC’s case against Ripple over whether XRP is a security, Entwistle pointed out that it has forced the company to grow quickly abroad.
“The bulk of our business is outside the U.S. right now,” the Ripple executive said, reiterating thoughts previously shared by Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s chief executive officer.
According to Entwistle, the firm hired about 300 persons last year, with the bulk of them outside the U.S.
In addition, Entwistle tapping Asia as the leader in crypto regulations, noted that most of the company’s business is now from the APAC region. The Ripple executive pointed out that it was unusual for a Silicon Valley company.
Like Garlinghouse, Entwistle expects a ruling in the SEC case against Ripple in the year’s first half.