Being the biggest cryptocurrency in the world means that Bitcoin has a target on its back. In the past, we’ve seen Roger Ver and his pro-Bitcoin Cash (BCH) crowd take countless shots at Bitcoin, but now it appears that another supposed-rival coin is following a similar path. Ripple (XRP), a coin that seems to divide market opinion in a similar fashion to BCH, is also taking aim at Bitcoin. Brad Garlinghouse (Ripple CEO) has said that Bitcoin’s future could end up like Napster, in the sense that it shows the world a sign of things to come but doesn’t have the legs to stay the course.
Bitcoin’s Stamina Called Into Question
With the cryptocurrency market currently experiencing a downturn, there is arguably a need for the community to pull together. What’s happening appears to be the opposite. Garlinghouse has gone on the attack, stating that Bitcoin will eventually be made redundant like the once famed pirate music platform Napster. “[Napster] showed us what’s possible, but in the end, it was Spotify and iTunes and Pandora that won the day because they engaged with regulators,” he said. At a time when the crypto market is looking for positive PR, Garlinghouse’s comments aren’t helping the cause.
Dodging Unregistered Security Claims
Regulation is another topic that Garlinghouse is more than happy to discuss. Last month both Ripple and Ethereum were criticized by a former US government regulator, who labeled both commodities as “unregistered securities”. Firing back, Garlinghouse declared that Ripple isn’t a security under US law, as it’s not comparable to taking stock or ownership in a company. Garlinghouse said, “If you own XRP, you don’t own rights to the profits or any dividends to the company. XRP is a real utility.” Garlinghouse did reveal that he was pro-government involvement within the cryptocurrency sector, “[I’m] an advocate of ‘yes, the government should get involved.” In particular, he feels that the SEC should be doing more to protect investors, “The SEC is getting involved as they should because there have been frauds committed, the government should be protecting investors and companies but there’s also examples of real utility.”
Showing that governmental involvement – or intrusion depending on your perspective – is on the way, the SEC recently launched the questionably named “Operation Cryptosweep.” Working side by side with Canadian police authorities, it will investigate potentially fraudulent ICOs and crypto-based companies. Many will argue that this operation has come too late, given the current “Wild West” state of the ICO market.
Confusing Words From Ripple’s CEO
Referring to the cryptocurrency market as a “nascent industry,” before stating that “over time, you’ll see a more rational market and behaviors that reflect that,” Garlinghouse’s comments have left many confused. Garlinghouse isn’t considered to be an outspoken member of the crypto community, while he’s certainly nowhere near the level of Roger Ver when it comes to out-and-out controversy. This makes his attack on Bitcoin all the more surprising. However, given Bitcoin’s market-leading position, it’s expected that Garlinghouse’s words will reflect more on Ripple as a coin than anything else.