Ripple considers acquiring FTX assets, says Brad Garlinghouse

Ripple Labs CEO Garlinghouse reveals conversation with SBF before FTX’s collapse

Representation of the XRP crypto on a computer chip board                                 
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Ripple Labs is interested in buying up some of the assets of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX. 

Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s CEO, speaking to The Sunday Times at Ripple’s Swell conference in London last week,said that FTX’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, contacted him shortly before the crypto company collapsed.

Garlinghouse said: “Part of my conversation was if he needs liquidity, maybe there’s businesses that he has bought or he has that we would want to own.

“Maybe there are investments that we would want own. Would we have bought some of those from him? I think that was on the table.”

Bankman-Fried’s crypto winter acquisitions

In the months leading up to his downfall, Bankman-Fried set out to capitalise on the onset of the so-called crypto winter, acquiring distressed cryptocurrency firms such as the lender Voyager Digital. 

Although some, including Voyager Digital’s own founder, argued that Bankman-Fried was acting in a self-interested manner, others claimed that his actions were helping the cryptocurrency industry survive after substantial losses. 

Prominent CNBC commentator Jim Cramer even argued on Twitter that by doling out credit lines to save crypto institutions, Bankman-Fried, 30, was “the new JP Morgan”. 

With the FTX scandal having knocked $200bn off the capitalisation of the total cryptocurrency market and severely damaging the reputation of the sector in the eyes of the financial mainstream, Bankman-Fried has turned from hero to villain. 

Chapter 11 deal would be ‘very different’

Garlinghouse admitted that as FTX has now filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a possible deal with Ripple will be “very different than it would have been one-to-one.

 “I’m not saying we won’t look at those things – I’m sure we will. But it’s a harder path to transact.”

On 19 November FTX filed documents with the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware revealing that it owed $3.1bn to its 50 largest creditors. The firm previously admitted that it could have more than one million creditors in total. 

The scandal has piled further pressure on the US Securities and Exchange Commission to properly regulate the volatile cryptocurrency sector in order to improve consumer protection. 

Ripple has been in the middle of the battle over how the industry should be regulated, with its protracted lawsuit with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The legal action has centred on whether some cryptocurrencies should be defined as securities. 

Earlier this month, Garlinghouse hailed the 12 crypto organisations and companies that filed amicus briefs in support of Ripple Labs and condemned qwhat he claimed was the “irreparable harm” the SEC may do to every facet of the US crypto economy if it gets its way.

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