Ripple considers Japan for relocation plans

Ripple’s chief executive revealed that the East Asian island nation could be the next home for the blockchain firm after a US departure

The future of Ripple on US soil remains uncertain since company executives made contentious remarks about two weeks ago. Ripple chiefs said that the firm could move to a new market outside the US if cryptocurrency regulations were not reviewed. According to a Bloomberg interview yesterday, it appears executives are keeping their word.

The San Francisco-based tech company is seemingly advancing with its plan, as US regulations have remained the same. During the interview, CEO Brad Garlinghouse disclosed that they had chosen Japan and Singapore as the potential destinations to relocate to.

Of the two, Japan is the most probable choice; considering it is one of the largest markets for the blockchain company. Ripple has enjoyed a good relationship with Japan, owing to the long-standing partnership with Tokyo-based Strategic Business Innovator Group. The partnership with the Group, commonly referred to as SBI Holdings, was forged back in 2016.

The two jointly built a blockchain venture called SBI Ripple Asia in May that year, with Ripple Labs controlling 40% and SBI Group, the larger 60% piece.

“We have a very successful partnership there [Japan] with a group called SBI. They are actually our largest outside investor, and the CEO there, Kitao-san, has been an innovator and pioneer in a lot of things around finance and technology,” Garlinghouse explained.

He added that Ripple was already in talks with SBI Holding about a possible move. Garlinghouse asserted that Japan has always been at the forefront in terms of blockchain technology, highlighting the much friendlier regulations.

SBI Holding’s President & CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao, was added to the board of directors of Ripple last year. It is also reported that Japan’s new Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, appointed Kitao to serve as his economic advisor last month.

Beyond Japan, Ripple is also considering Singapore where it built a new office late last year to facilitate its expansion plans in the Asia-Pacific market. Other destinations are the UK, the UAE and Switzerland.

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