In a recent interview with The Block’s Director of Special Projects, Frank Chaparro, for episode 38 of The Scoop podcast, Ripple President Monica Long shared her thoughts on the current state and future of Ripple, crypto regulations, and blockchain technology. The conversation covered a wide range of topics, including Ripple’s ongoing legal battles, the expansion of their business, and the broader landscape of crypto regulation and adoption.

Business Growth and Legal Clarity

Long started by highlighting the significant developments since their last public discussion. She noted that Ripple received a favorable court decision in July 2023 regarding their case with the SEC, which clarified that XRP is not considered a security. She said this decision has provided Ripple with the clarity needed to move forward with their business operations in the United States. Despite the regulatory challenges, she claimed, Ripple’s business continues to grow, expanding beyond cross-border payments to include a broader range of blockchain infrastructure services.

Expanding Beyond Payments

Long also mentioned that Ripple’s focus has shifted from solely serving cross-border payments to becoming a holistic enterprise blockchain infrastructure provider. They have built essential infrastructure to support connectivity between blockchains and traditional financial rails, enabling them to serve over 80 markets globally. The acquisition of Medico, now Ripple Custody, has enhanced their ability to provide custody services, which is crucial for their payment customers and large banks.

Regulatory Environment and Global Expansion

Long addressed the ongoing regulatory environment in the U.S., describing the SEC’s approach as a “war on crypto” driven by enforcement rather than clear rules. Despite this, she noted that Ripple has seen more growth in regions where governments have established clear regulations, such as Europe, Singapore, and Brazil. These regions, she said, have provided regulatory clarity, enabling Ripple to expand their operations and serve a growing number of customers.

The Role of Stablecoins

A significant part of the conversation focused on Ripple’s decision to launch a USD stablecoin. Long explained that stablecoins and XRP are complementary, serving different use cases within their ecosystem. While XRP acts as a bridge asset for cross-currency or cross-token settlements, stablecoins are used for transactions where stability and cost-efficiency are crucial, such as USD to EUR flows. Ripple’s stablecoin will initially target their existing payment customers and banks, leveraging their established relationships and infrastructure.

Tokenization and Real-World Assets

Long discussed the increasing interest in tokenizing real-world assets, such as securities and money market funds. Ripple’s custody product apparently supports these tokenization efforts, enabling customers to tokenize a variety of assets securely and efficiently. Long added that the growing interest from large institutions in tokenizing assets signifies a broader acceptance of blockchain technology in traditional finance.

Future Opportunities and Innovations

Looking ahead, Long expressed excitement about the potential for further innovations and expansions within Ripple. She mentioned the possibility of launching a spot XRP ETF, highlighting the court’s ruling that provided clarity for XRP and Bitcoin as the only two crypto assets in the U.S. with such a status. Long also emphasized the value of the infrastructure Ripple has built over the years, positioning them to serve a wide range of enterprise use cases beyond payments.