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Ripple eyes potential IPO

Photo of: Joseph Stone
by Joseph Stone

The XRP issuer still sees itself on the stock market according to the CEO of financial giant SBI. However, this step will only be possible once the dispute with the SEC is finally resolved.

Coinbase has made a splash on the stock market. With its direct listing on Nasdaq, the exchange raised several billion dollars and triggered a sharp rise in the price of cryptocurrencies – followed by a correction.

Ripple Labs, the issuer of XRP, is also keen to imagine a stock market destiny as a listed company. However, this plan predates Coinbase’s IPO. But this prospect is not on the agenda at the moment.

However, Ripple Labs executives reportedly haven’t drawn a final line. And it’s the CEO of Japanese financial giant SBI who is bringing this topic back to the forefront. SBI is indeed a key partner for Ripple.

And unlike US exchanges and other crypto players, SBI has not cut ties with the blockchain firm following its run-ins with the SEC. According to Yoshitaka Kitao, Ripple still plans to go public.

The executive addressed the issue during the presentation of the first quarter financial results. However, the listing will only happen after the conclusion of the legal case in the US. “After the ongoing court case, Ripple will go public. The current CEO wants to do it. Chris wants to do it,” says Kitao.

He is referring here to Ripple’s two founders, Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen, both of whom have been indicted by the SEC. The regulator accused them of manipulating XRP prices for personal gain.

Why is SBI so interested in Ripple and an IPO? For the simple reason that the Japanese group has a stake in the company. The value of its investment would therefore increase in the event of an IPO.

SBI is indeed the largest external shareholder of Ripple, says the boss of the financial giant. The latter hopes to make its investments bear fruit, just like SoftBank, which is involved in many startups.

SBI is also counting on the future listing of the R3 blockchain consortium, in which it also participates. “We have invested in fintech companies and we are adopting this technology in our group and also spreading it in the sector,” Kitao emphasizes.

As for Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse mentioned in 2020 a possible IPO, without setting a timeline though. “Over the next 12 months, you will see IPOs in the crypto/blockchain space. We won’t be the first or the last, but I expect us to be on the leading side. This is a natural evolution for our company.”