Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has slammed Wall Street’s biggest regulator, calling the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) “very hostile” in a Tuesday interview. 

Speaking to CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the fintech boss said that SEC Chairman Gary Gensler was a “political liability” and that his way of regulating the crypto industry wasn’t working. 

Ripple, which was behind XRP, the sixth biggest digital asset by market capitalization, locked horns with the SEC back in 2020 after the regulator hit it with a $1.3 billion lawsuit for allegedly selling unregistered securities in the form of XRP. 

“One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome,” Garlinghouse told CNBC. “I think Gary Gensler is doing the same thing over and over again, and he thinks that somehow he’s going to win in court. He has continued to lose in court.”


Ripple scored a win in the courts against the SEC last July after a judge ruled that programmatic sales of XRP to retail investors did not qualify as securities. 

Though the judge said that $728 million worth of contracts for institutional sales did constitute unregistered securities sales, the partial ruling was interpreted by investors—and Ripple—as positive for the crypto industry. 

Garlinghouse further added in Tuesday’s interview that going public with an initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S. wasn’t currently on the cards because of the SEC’s approach to crypto.


“In the United States, trying to go public with a very hostile regulator that has to approve your S-1—that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me,” he said. 

He added: “Why would we want to subject ourselves to an SEC that has been openly hostile to this industry?”

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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