The CEO of Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse, has slammed the chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, as a “political liability.” Emphasizing that Gensler is not acting in the interests of the people or the long-term growth of the economy, the Ripple executive said: “I think at some point there will be a new chair of the SEC, and I think that will be a good thing for the American people.”
Garlinghouse Calls SEC Chair a ‘Political Liability’
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse directed strong criticism towards U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler in Davos on Tuesday. Calling Gensler a “political liability” due to his approach to the crypto industry, Garlinghouse said:
I do think the chair of the SEC, Gary Gensler, is a political liability in the United States. And I think he’s not acting in the interests of the citizenry, he’s not acting in the interests of the long-term growth of the economy, and I don’t understand it.
“I think at some point there will be a new chair of the SEC, and I think that will be a good thing for the American people,” the Ripple executive opined.
Despite approving 11 spot bitcoin ETFs last week, SEC Chair Gary Gensler clarified that this does not constitute an endorsement of bitcoin. He reiterated his warnings about the risks associated with crypto investments. Furthermore, Gensler sees an irony in the approval, noting that it has led to the centralization of what’s supposed to be a decentralized system.
The SEC’s legal journey in the cryptocurrency space was fraught with challenges last year. After filing a lawsuit against Ripple, Garlinghouse, and Chris Larsen in December 2020, the agency faced a partial victory for Ripple from Judge Analisa Torres. The SEC’s attempt to appeal was rejected, and the agency later dropped the charges against Garlinghouse and Larsen. Further, the regulator lost a court case against Grayscale Investments as the asset manager attempted to convert its bitcoin trust (GBTC) into a spot bitcoin ETF.
Garlinghouse further said on Tuesday: “One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.” The Ripple executive opined:
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.
Crypto investors and lawmakers are increasingly critical of Gensler’s regulatory approach. There is currently a bill introduced in Congress by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) seeking to remove Gensler as the chairman of the SEC.