Regulators Now Taking Holistic Approach to Blockchain, Ripple Says

A Ripple executive has noted a shift in policy among regulators to accept cryptocurrencies like they embrace blockchain.


The head of Ripple’s regulatory relations for the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, Sagar Sarbhai, noted a significant shift in regulators’ approaches to handling blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and that policymakers across the world are now taking a more holistic approach.

Speaking to CNBC Market, Sarbhai said that globally, regulators are starting to look at digital assets as having the same importance as distributed ledger technology and have moved away from a compartmentalized approach.

“A couple of years ago the narrative was blockchain good, crypto bad,” he said. “But I think what we’re now seeing is more and more regulators, policymakers, taking the whole space in one conjunction. So you cannot have runways built without the airplanes … That narrative is thankfully changing because policymakers, regulators see that there is a strong benefit that digital assets and cryptocurrencies bring in.”

Among the most critical contributions of blockchain and cryptocurrencies is they improve financial inclusion as well removing barriers to commerce, he said.

He noted that government financial policymakers are now more receptive to cryptocurrencies from their previous hardline stand and creating an apparent separation between digital assets and blockchain. Traditionally, regulators are hostile to digital currencies but accept their underlying technology.

Indeed, institutions see blockchain’s potential to revolutionize the financial system but are hesitant to embrace crypto assets.

According to Sarbhai, Thailand’s new policy framework for cryptocurrencies is seen as a significant development in the industry.

At the same time, he expressed concern over sentiments by US regulators to classify Ripple’s native token, XRP, as a security. He pointed out the XRP Ledger operates as an independent entity from Ripple, with the company owning only seven percent of the validator nodes on the network.

But more importantly, Sarbhai said XRP is open source, which means the participation of the community and developers are sustaining the platform. In addition, XRP holders do not own a stake in the Ripple portfolio. This is the reason why the Philippines, Thailand, and Australian have classified XRP as a commodity.

Early today, XRP and Stellar (XLM) recorded sudden surges on the fresh news about an XRP use case. Rumors that YouTube will allow tipping crypto coin is said to be responsible for the latest price increases. XRP and XLM are coins for social media use.

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