Ripple CEO urges Democrat action on crypto regulation, criticizes SEC chair following roundtable

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse emphasized the need for substantive action in crypto regulation following a pivotal roundtable discussion with key industry and government figures.

The event — hosted by Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) — gathered prominent figures such as entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal, and Circle Chief Strategy Officer Dante Disparte.

From the government side, the event was attended by White House representatives — including Anita Dunn, senior advisor to President Joe Biden  — and influential lawmakers like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO).

Initial reports claim the event left industry participants cautiously hopeful about the regulatory landscape in the coming months.

Ripple CEO criticizes Democrats

Garlinghouse praised Congressman Khanna for engaging with the industry and expressed hope that the roundtable would mark a turning point. However, he also criticized the Democrat party for “enabling” SEC chair Gary Gensler and added that more needs to be done for the sector.

Garlinghouse said:

“Unfortunately, the majority of Dems continue to enable Gensler’s unlawful war on crypto — sabotaging the ability for American innovation to thrive… Gensler will go down as the Luddite of his time.”

His comments reflect a broader frustration within the crypto community over the SEC’s perceived regulatory overreach. Garlinghouse’s characterization of Gensler as a “Luddite” echoes the sentiment that current regulatory measures are hindering innovation in the sector.

The Ripple CEO added that it was “no wonder” the Republican party chose to adopt an openly pro-crypto stance, highlighting that the issue has become a key concern for voters. He said:

“Words are easy, action is hard but necessary. Choose wisely. Voters are paying attention.”

Industry players optimistic

Meanwhile, Blockchain Association CEO Kristin Smith said the roundtable was “a thoughtful step forward for crypto in DC.”

Smith said her talk during the event highlighted that crypto is a key issue for many voters and that the industry is maturing. She expressed optimism about the discussions, stating:

“It’s working. Let’s keep up the momentum.”

Media reports following the event described it roundtable as a productive meeting aimed at fostering open dialogue between the crypto industry and the Biden administration.

Crypto Council for Innovation CEO Sheila Warren told the Block that the session addressed critical issues such as debanking and the SEC’s staff accounting bulletin on the custody of digital assets. She also said Biden’s advisor was a keen participant in the discussions.

As the 2024 elections approach, the political landscape regarding crypto is becoming increasingly polarized. Former President Donald Trump has voiced strong support for the industry, and the GOP has recently followed suit.

Meanwhile, Biden’s re-election campaign has reportedly reached out to the crypto industry for guidance on digital asset policies, marking a significant shift from the administration’s previous stance.

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