Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, in a recent talk at the World Economic Forum, suggested that there is a possibility that Ripple might go public via IPO - a move that would no doubt have enormous ramifications for both Ripple and XRP, and the crypto market at large.
The talk, which was sponsored by Ripple, saw much discussion about crypto and its place in the financial industry. Saying that it was a “natural evolution”, Garlinghouse’s remark definitely suggests that Ripple conducting an IPO could be a very real possibility,
“In the next 12 months, you’ll see IPOs in the crypto/blockchain space. We’re not going to be the first and we’re not going to be the last, but I expect us to be on the leading side… it’s a natural evolution for our company.”
Garlinghouse often finds himself in the news, as many of the XRP investors and the wider crypto world keep an ear out for what he has to say - it gives a good indication of what Ripple is trying to do by bridging the traditional finance world with decentralized technologies.
What Does it Mean for Ripple?
Ripple is by no means the first company to announce its intentions to go public, or even suggest it. Should Ripple go public, that would certainly give it legitimacy - if it can actually successfully launch the IPO. Ripple is considered by many to have an air of legitimacy - untainted by the disingenuous air that often plagues crypto projects.
But that is if it manages to go through the IPO.
Famously, Bitmain, the company that manufactures the AntMiner mining hardware, has made multiple attempts to go public, though nothing has materialized so far. The most recent development on that front sees Bitmain experiencing controversy as it has allegedly sold hardware to a Bitcoin ponzi scheme.
Ripple has a Big Year Ahead of It
The XRP token is widely considered to have had a poor 2019. Ripple itself has experienced a tumultuous 2019, with some in the community saying that the network was too centralized, and that Ripple’s method of releasing XRP tokens periodically is bad for the market. This was even the subject of a lawsuit, in which a few early investors filed a case against Ripple saying that this classifies XRP as a security.
Garlinghouse is also no stranger to speaking with the elite of financial industries, having spoken to IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Around the same, Garlinghouse also pitched the RippleNet as “SWIFT 2.0” to industry insiders.
This extensive effort to rope in financial institutions seems to be working, as the RippleNet - Ripple’s global network of financial institutions - has already crossed the 300 member mark. Several institutions have also piloted Ripple’s solutions for cross-border payments.