In a scathing critique of the Biden administration’s handling of cryptocurrency regulations, Ripple Labs Chair and co-founder, Chris Larsen, has accused the government of having “screwed up” its approach to the crypto industry. Larsen’s comments come in the wake of recent legal battles involving Ripple, Grayscale, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as he calls for Congress to take the reins on cryptocurrency policy.
Speaking with Bloomberg on September 7, Larsen highlighted Ripple Labs’ partial victory over the SEC in July and asserted that the regulator had failed on “everything that was important to [it] and important in the regulation of the industry.”
Larsen also commented on a recent court judgment favoring Grayscale’s application to convert its Bitcoin trust into a spot Bitcoin ETF, characterizing it as a stern rebuke to the SEC. He noted that the judgment “really admonished the SEC […] in a way that you don’t really see very often.”
Furthermore, Larsen argued that SEC Chair Gary Gensler knowingly exploits the lack of clarity in crypto laws to “make up the rules as he goes along through bullying.” Gensler has previously labeled the crypto market as rife with “fraudsters” and “Ponzi schemes” and expressed the belief that the SEC’s securities laws would help clean it up.
Larsen didn’t stop at criticizing the SEC; he also took aim at President Biden’s approach to cryptocurrency policy, stating that Biden’s policies have effectively “killed” San Francisco’s aspirations of becoming the “blockchain capital of the world,” despite its reputation as a tech hub in Silicon Valley.
“We owned it, and we don’t anymore because the Biden administration, for whatever reason, decided they wanted to push this industry offshore,” Larsen asserted.
He contrasted this with other global financial hubs such as London, Singapore, and Dubai, which have clear regulations that protect consumers while also fostering innovation. Larsen challenged the United States to return to its historical role as a leader in innovation and blockchain technology, asking, “Why isn’t America leading that call? That’s what we’ve always been, and we’ve got to get back to it.”
Larsen’s comments underscore the growing frustration within the crypto industry regarding the regulatory environment in the United States and the need for a more coherent and forward-thinking approach to cryptocurrency policy.
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