2020 hasn’t turned out to be quite the year that Ripple Labs, a top blockchain firm, expected it to be. There have already been new concerns about whether the company would want to stay in the United States, given the lack of clarity surrounding regulation. Now, the company has decided to make another expansionary move, which involves opening an office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. An announcement was made by the company over the weekend in which it disclosed that a new office has been set up at the Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC). The statement revealed that Ripple had opted for Dubai due to its innovative and friendly regulations, as the economic zone serves thousands of companies from all over the globe.
A managing director at Ripple, Navin Gupta explained that the decision was also made due to the company’s desire to remain closer to its customers in the North African and Middle East region, as it is establishing a stronger presence in these areas. Gupta said that the regional office would act as a springboard for introducing their blockchain-based solutions and strengthen their ties with more financial institutions in the area. The DIFC is certainly an interesting option for establishing an office.
Located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), there are zero taxes charged on corporate profits and income by the economic zone for at least 50 years. Ripple will now be able to enjoy this benefit. The move is in accordance with greater efforts from the UAE in becoming a leading FinTech hub in the foreseeable future by adopting blockchain technology. While there is no doubt that no taxes is an incentive, it also appears that Dubai’s regulatory scheme also attracted Ripple to the region because it is quite innovative. The blockchain company has been considering potential locations for shifting its headquarters for quite some time.
So far, their priority list begins with friendly regulations. Last month, chief executive at Ripple Labs, Brad Garlinghouse said that the regulatory structure in the U.S. was inadequate, due to which the company could consider moving entirely. Garlinghouse elaborated that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hadn’t moved quickly where crypto regulation is concerned, despite years of appeals and lobbying from the top players in the industry. One of the co-founders of the firm, Chris Larsen had the same opinion. Larsen said that the U.S. seems to be lagging behind in terms of crypto innovation.
In fact, he had also criticized the regulators for a ‘regulation through enforcement’ strategy, as he believed it can hurt crypto development. When asked about the possibility of choosing a country for new headquarters, both executives suggested different locations. Larsen mentioned countries, such as Switzerland, while it appears that Garlinghouse has his heart set on the UK. Last week, the head of SBI Holdings, Japanese financial services giant, Yoshitaka Kitao, said that Ripple should consider shifting their headquarters to Japan. Kitao has a seat on Ripple’s board as SBI Holdings is an investor in the company.