Ripple's executive chairman, Chris Larsen
Ripple's executive chairman, Chris Larsen, speaking at Fortune Brainstorm TECH on July 16th, 2014 in Aspen, Colorado. Fortune Brainstorm TECH/Flickr

The firm behind the XRP digital asset, Ripple, has threatened to leave the U.S. if the country does not change its “hostile attitude” towards cryptocurrency, Fortune reported on 6 October.

According to the publication, the comment was made by Chris Larsen, a senior executive in the firm, during a virtual interview at the LA Blockchain Summit. He noted that the firm was close to moving its headquarters to a different country as a result of the seemingly “hostile” attitude the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has had towards the cryptocurrency industry.

Larsen further claimed that almost every other country had a better regulatory climate for crypto than the U.S., and named Singapore and the United Kingdom as a possible choice for the San Francisco-based company. He further acknowledged that moving the firm’s headquarters would do little to stop the U.S. regulatory oversight, but would at least help to have another country, with a softer stance on crypto, as the chief regulator of the firm.

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The Ripple executive made the comments amidst a long-running battle with the SEC and investors, who have made allegations that XRP is a security. While the payments company has claimed that its network is decentralized, just like Bitcoin and Ethereum, it is still uncertain if XRP is a security, as the company owns a large amount of the cryptocurrency.

The executive chairman of Ripple further voiced his concerns over the “excessive regulation” of cryptocurrency in the U.S., and that this approach could lead to China taking the lead when it comes to innovation in the space. The Asian country is already close to releasing its own Central Bank Digital Currency, and is already the home of miners that control around 65% of the world’s Bitcoin hashrate output.

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