Ripple, a $10bn crypto firm based in San Francisco, is reportedly weighing a move of its headquarters to London due to its frustration with the US regulators over XRP cryptocurrency’s legal status.
The firm’s main hindrance in its home turf is whether XRP should be treated as a security or a currency, CNBC reported.
Ripple has locked horns with investors in the US who claim that XRP qualifies as a security.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has not made its stance clear on the status of XRP though it has said that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities.
Having a security status would subject XRP to strict new rules and have repurcussions for Ripple, noted the report.
Speaking to CNBC, Ripple chief Brad Garlinghouse said that the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority’s does not consider XRP as a security.
Garlinghouse noted: “What you see in the U.K. is a clear taxonomy, and the U.K.’s FCA took a leadership role in characterising how we should think about these different assets and their use cases.
“The outcome of that was clarity that XRP is not a security and is used as a currency. With that clarity, it would be advantageous for Ripple to operate in the U.K.”
Switzerland, Singapore, Japan, and the UAE are also being considered for Ripple’s relocation, noted Garlinghouse.
“The U.S. is out of sync with other G20 markets and how some of them think about these regulations,” he stated.
The firm has been in the news on several occasions recently.
In November last year, Ripple made a $50m investment in remittance firm MoneyGram.
In October 2019, Ripple led an investment round in Mexican crypto exchange Bitso.
Last September, Ripple’s investment arm, Xpring, snapped up payments platform Logos Network to develop decentralised financial (DeFi) products.
In August last year, UK-based remittance firm Xendpay tapped Ripple’s enterprise blockchain network RippleNet to expand into new markets.