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Ripple's Brad Garlinghouse Foresees XRP, Solana, Cardano ETFs: Consensus 2024

Suzanne Cordiero/Shutterstock for Consensus
  • Brad Garlinghouse predicts the inevitable approval of XRP, Solana and Cardano ETFs, despite significant regulatory hurdles.

  • Garlinghouse criticized the SEC's unclear crypto regulations, highlighting the need for better regulatory clarity in the U.S.

AUSTIN, TEXAS — More crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are coming – following approval of spot bitcoin {{BTC}} ETFs and progress on ones designed to hold Ethereum's ether {{ETH}} – predicts the CEO of Ripple.

"I think it's just a matter of time, and it's inevitable there's gonna be an XRP ETF, there's gonna be a Solana {{SOL}} ETF, there's gonna be a Cardano {{ADA}} ETF, and that's great," he said. Ripple is closely linked to XRP.

Recently, ether ETFs made abrupt and unexpected progress, with key filings being approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Final approval is needed before they can begin trading.

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Cathie Wood, the CEO of ARK Invest, also said during Consensus that these ether ETFs were approved because crypto is now an election issue.

Garlinghouse said that there will be a significant regulatory approval process before these are approved, but in the end these will be "speed bumps."

Garlinghouse also railed against what he perceives as a lack of regulatory clarity from Washington.

"[SEC Chair] Gary Gensler has been called to Congress, and when asked if ether is a security, he won't answer the question. Yet, he insists that the rules are very clear and don't need updating," he said.

In 2022, the SEC kept confidential emails and notes from William Hinman's 2018 speech, which declared ether not a security. Ripple, sued by the SEC, obtained access to these redacted documents, revealing extensive internal SEC discussions about ether's status as a security.

The U.S., the world's largest economy, represents, in Garlinghouse's opinion, the "bottom decile of regulatory clarity."

"Somehow, [Gensler] believes that the Orange Grove tests from 70-80 years ago provide clear rules for crypto," he said, referring to the Howey Test's Floridian roots. "It makes no sense and is a travesty because the SEC's stance has become such a political liability, affecting even the presidential race."

Garlinghouse also mentioned that last year 75% of Rippple's hiring was outside the U.S., and this year it's about 60%, with major offices in London, Geneva and Singapore.

The hiring trends reflect Ripple's focus on regulatory clarity and customer locations, he said.

"Getting the regulatory posture right in the United States is just critical," he concluded.