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Ripple sees “good progress” in the SEC case over XRP cryptocurrency

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Fintech firm Ripple is making great strides in its legal feud with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, CEO Brad Garlinghouse told CNBC on Monday.

Garlinghouse said he expects the case, which revolves around XRP, the world’s seventh largest cryptocurrency, is likely to close in the next year.

“We’re seeing pretty good progress despite a slow legal process,” he told CNBC’s Dan Murphy.

“We are obviously seeing good questions from the judge. And I think the judge realizes that this is not just about Ripple, it will have wider implications. “

Garlinghouse said he hoped there would be a closure next year.

San Francisco-based Ripple caused quite a stir during the crypto frenzy in late 2017 and 2018 when the prices of Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptocurrencies soared to record highs.

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XRP, a token that Ripple is closely associated with, benefited from this rally, reaching an all-time high of over $ 3. It has fallen dramatically from that price since then, but is riding the latest crypto wave, up more than 370% year-to-date

Ripple’s technology was developed to enable banks and other financial services companies to send money across borders faster and at lower cost. The company also markets another product called On-Demand Liquidity that uses XRP for cross-border payments.

The SEC is concerned about Ripple’s links with XRP, alleging the company and its executives sold the $ 1.3 billion tokens in an unregistered securities offering. However, Ripple claims that XRP should not be viewed as a security, a classification that would place it under much tighter regulatory scrutiny.

In addition, regulators around the world are scrutinizing crypto, a market that is still largely unregulated but has been booming over the past year.

Garlinghouse said the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Singapore and Switzerland are examples of countries showing “leadership” in regulating crypto, while China and India have cracked down on the industry.

“In general the direction of travel is very positive,” said Garlinghouse.

Brady Dougan, former CEO of Credit Suisse, said regulation is a key area in cryptocurrency that is likely to evolve over time.

“It’s a market that is still at the beginning of its development,” Dougan, who now runs fintech company Exos, told CNBC. “I think it’s a healthy market that will continue to develop positively.”

Ripple, a privately held company, was last valued at $ 10 billion and has investors in the GV venture capital arm of Alphabet, Andreessen Horowitz and Japan’s SBI Holdings.

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