Ripple expands further into Asia Pacific as US remains minefield for XRP

Rick Steves

Ripple’s success in Asia Pacific is contrasted by the strong regulatory resistance it is facing back home.

Ripple has announced that SBI Ripple Asia — a joint venture between SBI Holdings and Ripple – has added Global Money Express Co. Ltd (GME Remittance) to its existing roster of clients from South Korea, which includes CROSS ENF and Sentbe.

GME, one of the largest non-bank remittance service providers in Korea, has joined RippleNet in order to connect to Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Thailand’s largest bank in terms of market capital. This should accelerate and scale payments between the two countries.

Remittance services are a great necessity as there are 184,000 Thai nationals residing in South Korea, the third-largest diaspora after Chinese and Vietnamese nationals. According to Ripple, the number of transactions sent via RippleNet for this corridor (South Korea-Thailand) has doubled year-over-year.

Subash Chandra Poudel, Director and COO at GME Remittance, said: “We chose Ripple as our partner because with RippleNet we can launch into new countries with new partners within 1-2 weeks. This has drastically reduced the time to market and provides us with an edge compared to our competitors-

Emi Yoshikawa, Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Operations at Ripple, added: “The remittance corridors requiring high-performance payments to this region are growing exponentially — with people needing to send money round the clock, even on holidays or weekends.”

The blockchain firm is heavily invested in the APAC region, with transactions growing 130% year-over-year driven by existing RippleNet customers and new connections.

Ripple’s success in Asia Pacific is contrasted by the strong regulatory resistance it is facing back home, in the United States, particularly in the form of the SEC’s complaint that Ripple and two individuals, CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Co-founder Chris Larsen, have engaged in the sale of unregistered securities.

The SEC v. Ripple lawsuit has gained much popularity for its potential to help clarify the regulatory framework for the digital asset ecosystem.

In the meantime, crypto asset exchanges operating in the United States have delisted XRP in order to avoid a complaint from the financial watchdog.

Still, that initiative might be in vain. A recent letter from SEC Chair Gary Gensler to Senator Warren explicitly states that “the probability is quite remote that, with 50 or 100 tokens, any given platform has zero securities”.

How clearer can it be for Ripple’s XRP? SEC tells Sen. Warren that Howie Test works for crypto

Last week, CEO Brad Garlinghouse implicitly raised his tone against the SEC by comparing the agency to an alcoholic in denial. That comment followed a speech from SEC’s Gensler stating that “there’s actually a lot of clarity” for the crypto industry in terms of regulation.

That opinion is neither shared by the majority of market participants in the space nor two SEC Commissioners, Hester Peirce and Elad Roisman.

As to why doesn’t the company move outside the United States, Mr. Garlinghouse said Ripple already has, to some degree. The blockchain specialist has been expanding its footprint in the Asia Pacific. The firm has recently announced the go-live of its On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) product in Japan.

“Being a company based here in the United States, I want to see the United States thrive in this area. I want to work with the U.S. government to provide the clarity, to provide the certainty. But trying to provide that clarity through enforcement action is not, I think, the right answer”, he said, adding that the firm is not willing to fully give up on the United States yet.

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