Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, anticipates that the company's lengthy legal battle with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) will be resolved in "single-digit months" and is still optimistic about achieving a favorable decision.
While Garlinghouse and the investors are certain that Ripple will win on the merits, law, and in court, the Ripple CEO also used the occasion to mock the SEC's "embarrassing" conduct throughout the lawsuit.
"The SEC's behavior in some of it has been embarrassing as a U.S. citizen," he told CNBC on Jan. 18 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "Just some of the things that have been happening, like you've got to be kidding."
Garlinghouse said that the decision, now that both sides had "fully filled and fully briefed" their arguments before the U.S. District Court, might be reached as early as June:
"We expect a decision from a judge certainly in 2023. You don't really have control over when a judge makes their decisions. But I'm optimistic that sometime in the coming single-digit months we'll have closure there."
Garlinghouse further asserted the regulator betrayed them by filing the complaint despite their efforts to meet with them on three different occasions to obtain regulatory clarity.
"Not once did they say to me we think XRP may be a security," he explained. "So to later go back and say hey the whole time we thought XRP was a security we just didn't tell you... that doesn't feel like a genuine partnership between public sector and private sector."
Garlinghouse maintained that Ripple would only settle if it was made clear that XRP is not a security while also pointing out that the outcome of the lawsuit will have significant ramifications for the cryptocurrency sector.
However, Garlinghouse highlighted that "the SEC and Gary Gensler has very outwardly said he views almost all crypto as a security," leaving very little room in the Venn diagram for settlement.
The SEC filed the case in December 2020, alleging that Ripple sold its XRP coin as an unregistered security without authorization.
Ripple has long challenged the assertion, saying that it doesn't meet the Howey test's definition of an investment contract.
If the two parties cannot reach an agreement, the New York-based district court will either issue a stand-alone judgement or put the case before a jury in a trial.
The SEC, according to Garlinghouse, should take heed of some of the more crypto-friendly countries that are stitching together more "positive" regulation that does not restrict innovation.
Among the countries he praised were the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.