Japan – According to SBI Holdings CEO Yoshitaka Kitao, Japan is most likely the leading candidate for Ripple’s relocation. At an October 28 press briefing, Kitao claimed that the blockchain-based payment system has made Japan the perfect and most competitive candidate for Ripple. Since SBI Holdings is a Ripple investor, Japan has a higher chance than other countries, like Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Both Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen have expressed disappointment and frustration towards the United States’ new regulatory for cryptocurrencies.
According to the two executives, they are now planning to move to European countries, like Switzerland and the United Kingdom, or Asia countries, like Japan or Singapore. A recent report says that Garlinghouse has shortlisted Japan and Singapore for the potential Ripple’s new headquarters location. Since Japan is the faster-growing market that uses Ripple, they want to take advantage of the opportunity.
Last October 21, SBI Holdings announced Ripple’s investments in Japan’s popular payment company called MoneyTap. The partnership aims to integrate Ripple-powered settlements across ATMs in Japan. SBI claimed that this integration could help tons of consumers since it will give easier access to funds at any Japanese ATM, regardless of its banking affiliation.
The San Francisco-based firm’s CEO, Garlinghouse, says he visited Japan, which provided assurances for the company. Japan has a clear taxonomy and does not consider XRP as a security but as a currency. With that point-of-view, it would be advantageous for Ripple to operate in Japan.
Since the beginning of October, Ripple has been locked in a legal battle with many digital asset investors who accuse the company of selling unregistered securities and promoting misleading XRP statements. The issues frustrate the executives, and continue to dispute all allegations.
The “security” label matters since it could bring Ripple’s XRP under the strict US regulations, which will surely impact its reputation and investors. Though Ripple claims to be crypto independent, Ripple currently owns almost 55 billion of the 100 billion XRP tokens that exist. According to the company, they are not a threat to security. Instead, people can use Ripple’s XRP as a “bridge currency” for sending money overseas quickly and less costly.
Since 2019, the company has been working with some of the world’s largest financial institutions, and none of them encountered security issues. Garlinghouse shared that if the United States continues to implement Ripple’s unfavorable regulations, they will surely build Ripple’s new headquarters in another country, much likely Japan.