Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen and CEO Brad Garlinghouse have considered relocation to a new country – and SBI Holdings CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao, believes that Japan is most likely “leading candidate” for the new Ripple headquarters. Earlier this month, the blockchain-based payments firm expressed intent to move Ripple’s headquarters overseas due to the lack of clarity within the US regulation. Japan and Singapore have been reportedly shortlisted as the next potential destination for Ripple. Garlinghouse commented, “Japan is one of our fastest-growing markets, in part because we have key partners like SBI.” Given the support that Ripple has found in Japan, Kitao may be correct in his prediction.
Why it matters: The United States has created a bad situation for any company that wants to move away from the Wall St./US Fed payments model. Ripple has been harassed by lawsuits and held back by a lack of investment by banking interests that clearly want to support their own platforms. It is probably a very good idea for Ripple to leave the US, and find a country where its ideas can take root. Both Japan and Singapore would be great choices, as both have supportive regulations and highly skilled people in the workforce. By protecting its ailing financial system from real competition, the US is eliminating its chance to participate in the next phase of financial innovation.