Bitcoin tribalism stifles the crypto sector, Ripple CEO

He says that tribalism is holding back innovation in the crypto space.

Bitcoin remains the number one cryptocurrency by market cap and accounts for more than 40% of the total crypto market cap.

Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, recently tells CNBC that tribalism surrounding Bitcoin; and other cryptocurrencies is currently stifling cryptocurrency progress. 

Bitcoin and Ripple are two of the most well-known cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency, while Ripple is a newer entrant.

Garlinghouse says that there is “a lot of talk about Bitcoin maximalism,” but that Bitcoin cannot be the only cryptocurrency. He said that tribalism is holding back innovation in the crypto space.

According to Garlinghouse, the cryptocurrency market is valued at around $2 trillion today, but it has room for even more development. According to Garlinghouse:

“I believe that polarization is bad in my opinion. Because I own bitcoin, ether, and other cryptocurrencies. I am a firm believer that the sector will continue to grow.”

On the subject of Bitcoin’s energy usage, Garlinghouse said that it is “a real issue,” but that it is being addressed by the industry.

He also said that Bitcoin could be used as a reserve currency, similar to gold.

In terms of regulation, Garlinghouse said that the US needs to take a “light touch” approach to allow innovation to flourish.

Garlinghouse claims that all major cryptocurrencies can continue to develop without affecting one another.

He compares the present cryptocurrency market to the dot-com era of the late 1990s and early 2000s. He says:

“Yahoo and eBay might do well,” he continued. “They’re addressing different issues. There are many use cases and audiences; each market has a distinct set of customers. I consider that there are similarities between them today.”

Despite the industry’s expansion, certain cryptocurrencies have developed a devoted following.

Bitcoin maximalists and Ether maximalists abound, as do maximalists for other cryptocurrencies such as Solana.

However, Garlinghouse thinks that this segmentation is hurting the cryptocurrency sector more than it is helping it.

He stated that fractionalisation has had an impact on Washington’s lobbying with lawmakers on the industry. Garlinghouse adds that:

“The lack of coordination among the crypto sector in Washington, D.C., I find to be incredible.”

The United States President, Joe Biden, signs an executive order in March asking the government to study cryptocurrencies’ dangers and benefits.

The order also called on federal agencies to submit a report on the matter within 180 days.

There has been a legal tussle between the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Ripple since 2020.

When the regulatory agency accuses the firm of issuing unregistered securities through the sale of XRP tokens.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had sued Ripple and some of its executives; for selling almost $1 billion worth of XRP in an unregistered securities sale.

The SEC has also taken action against several high-profile Bitcoin and Ethereum projects in recent months.

These actions lead some to believe that the US regulator is singling out crypto projects built on other blockchains besides Bitcoin.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse now speaks out against this Bitcoin tribalism in the crypto space, saying that it is stifling innovation.

In another interview, Garlinghouse says that Bitcoin tribalism is “one of the biggest problems” facing the crypto industry today.

He adds that this tribalism is preventing people from working together to solve common problems; and is instead leading to a lot of “infighting” within the sector.

Garlinghouse also called on Bitcoin and Ethereum projects to come together and work on solutions for the greater good of the industry, rather than compete against each other.

Do you think Bitcoin tribalism is a problem for the crypto industry?

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