Ripple’s CEO Announces Dubai Expansion as SEC Case Drags

Ripple said it plans to foray into the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and open an office in Dubai as the Emirate continues to emerge “as a key global financial hub for crypto innovation.” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse announced the plans during the ongoing Dubai Fintech Summit on May 8.

Ripple CEO Applauds UAE’s Crypto Regulations

Brad Garlinghouse, Chief Executive Officer of Ripple, said the company intends to expand into Dubai, praising the UAE’s recent efforts to regulate the crypto sector. Garlinghouse announced the plan during the Dubai Fintech Summit on Monday.

“With 20% of our customers based in MENA and clear regulatory regimes being developed, it’s no surprise that Dubai is emerging as a key global financial hub for crypto innovation to thrive.”

– Garlinhouse said.

The move shouldn’t come as a surprise given that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the key markets for Ripple, with roughly 20% of RippleNet customers based there. Those include Qatar National Bank, Lulu Financial Holdings, Al-Ansari Exchange, and SABB, among others.

Ripple will open a new office location in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as part of the expansion. Further, the crypto solutions firm will also hold the seventh edition of its annual customer conference in Dubai later this year.

DIFC is hosting the first-ever Dubai Fintech Summit on May 8 and May 9, which brought together more than 5,000 global fintech executives and technology professionals to discuss the latest innovations and challenges in the sector. Among others, crypto exchange Coinbase also participated in the summit. Its CEO said the UAE could serve as a hub for the Middle Eastern region and some parts of Africa and Asia.

Ripple Says It Will Cost $200M to Defend Itself in Court

Ripple’s plans to expand into Dubai come despite the company’s never-ending battle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Earlier this month, Garlinghouse said his company will have spent $200 million defending itself in court from the securities regulator.

The dispute emerged in December 2020 when the SEC sued Ripple for breaching US securities laws by selling its native token, XRP, without previously registering it with the regulator. Ripple denied the SEC’s accusations, claiming that XRP should be treated as a digital currency rather than a security.

Similarly, the SEC informed Coinbase of its plans to sue the crypto exchange over an alleged security regulations breach. Coinbase delisted XRP after the SEC unveiled its legal actions against Ripple.

This article originally appeared on The Tokenist

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