On August 24, 2022, the World Economic Forum (“WEF”) officially welcomed Ripple as a partner of the organization. This much-anticipated union came shortly after Brad Garlinghouse—the CEO of the cross-border, international payments company, Ripple—spoke at a WEF panel in the Spring 2022. Addressing numerous issues including U.S. crypto regulation, Garlinghouse planted the seeds that led to Ripple´s partnership with the WEF.
WEF´s Role in the Crypto/Blockchain Realm
The WEF is an independent international lobbying organization with the objective of optimizing the world through leadership and collaboration with various actors including politicians, academics, and business entities. The WEF uniquely devotes itself to fostering digital ledger technology and is “committed to helping ensure that blockchain securely decentralizes the transfer of information in ways that reduce corruption, increase trust, and empower users.”
Its mission in the blockchain industry is to work with a broad range of people to guarantee that everyone “can benefit from both blockchain and the cryptocurrencies that are potential gateways to new wealth creation.”
CEO Garlinghouse at the Spring WEF 2022
Ripple CEO Garlinghouse attended the spring WEF panel and discussed his involvement from day one in this area. At this panel, Garlinghouse revealed that the individuals in the crypto industry are “good actors that want to do right by regulators” but suffer from unclear standards and rules.
Garlinghouse personally sought to be proactive and cooperative and had even gone to the office of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on several occasions in an attempt to get this much-needed clarity. In return, the SEC soon filed its lawsuit against Ripple Labs, alleging that its asset, XRP, is a security offered and sold in an unregistered offering.
Garlinghouse praised other nations such as Switzerland, Singapore, the UK, and Japan for their favorable regulatory environments that aim to “ciltivat[e] technological innovation,” while also criticizing the inconsistent approach currently used by the United States in the crypto industry.
The Ripple and WEF Union
Ripple´s recent induction to the WEF serves to add legitimacy and prominence to Ripple as a partner to an international, non-governmental entity focused on harmonizing rules through collaboration. This union came as no surprise to many as a result of Garlinghouse´s remarks at the WEF and the increased alliances with Ripple by many banks and financial institutions who praise Ripple as delivering the much-needed solution for “instantaneous cross-border payments.”
Ripple´s new and unsurprising praise comes at the chagrin of the SEC who continues to wage its battle against Ripple. Adding fuel to the fire, the front page of the WEF´s website provides the following commendation for Ripple:
Ripple is doing for value what the internet did for information: enabling its instant and seamless flow around the world. Ripple calls this the Internet of Value (IoV). Using blockchain and cryptocurrency technology, Ripple is dedicated to creating powerful gains in financial efficiency, equity and inclusion. In addition, Ripple is developing and enabling the future use cases that will catalyse the new digital economy for governments, businesses and consumers.
What This Means for Ripple´s Future
The WEF-Ripple partnership stands for the proposition that Ripple is still a “reliable crypto company despite the ongoing XRP lawsuit” headed by SEC Chair Gary Gensler.
In mid-August 2022, data collected by TimesTabloid from Whale Alert reports significant transfers of XRP—almost 400 million XRP tokens transferred in one day, singling that XRP whales are taking action.
As for Ripple´s union with financial institutions, over 50 countries are using Ripple´s technology to embrace new applications of blockchain technology and speed up its processes. Such success landed Ripple among the 50 best medium workplaces in August 2022 by Fortune Magazine.
To say that Ripple´s recent official partnership with the WEF stands to make a significant impact for the crypto industry on a global scale is an understatement. This union—prompted by the proactive steps by Ripple CEO Garlinghouse—is an important step in furthering the WEF´s mission of nurturing the blockchain´s development internationally with the hopes of turning the tables on the SEC´s lawsuit against Ripple. Only time will tell.