Monica Long Discusses Regulatory Challenges and Crypto Adoption at Money 20/20

Monica Long Discusses Regulatory Challenges and Crypto Adoption at Money 20/20

At the recent Money 20/20 conference, Monica Long, President of Ripple, joined Arjun Kharpal, Senior Correspondent for CNBC, to delve into the infrastructure required for widespread crypto implementation. Their discussion, themed “Building Infrastructure Fundamentals,” highlighted the evolving perception and adoption of digital assets by traditional financial institutions.

Shifts in U.S. Legislation and Financial Adoption

Long pointed out significant changes in U.S. legislation and traditional finance, citing the approval of the Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. as a pivotal moment for crypto adoption. “BlackRock’s involvement was a big moment,” Long remarked, noting the gradual embrace of crypto technology by many financial institutions as part of a modern financial framework.

Need for Clearer Regulations

Despite the recent approvals of Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) ETFs, Long stressed the ongoing need for more regulatory clarity. She highlighted the advantages of institutional decentralized finance (DeFi) for basic banking transactions, stating, “Basic financial services like deposits, payments, lending, credit, and capital markets can benefit from a more global, open, and efficient system,” drawing a parallel between blockchain’s potential impact on finance and the internet’s impact on communication.

Long praised the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation as an example of clear regulatory guidelines and mentioned the U.S.’s slow yet progressive relationship with crypto. She expressed cautious optimism about U.S. regulatory clarity, citing stablecoin legislation as a potential positive development. However, she also noted, “Entering the U.S. market through the SEC doesn’t sound like a door that’s going to have a friendly, friendly entryway for us.”

Public vs. Private Blockchains

The conversation also touched on the ongoing debate between private and public blockchains. Long observed that while private blockchains are still utilized for technologies like central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), significant advancements are being made with public ledgers. She cited Société Générale’s issuance of the first euro stablecoin on a public ledger and Ripple’s plans to launch a regulated US dollar stablecoin as examples of progress in public blockchain applications.

Addressing Fraud in the Crypto Industry

When discussing the fallout from scandals such as FTX, Long emphasized the importance of distinguishing fraudulent behavior from the technology itself. “To clarify, as an industry, there’s fraud, which is what happened in the case of FTX finance. There are blatant violations of compliance, violations,” Long explained. “But it’s not that the technology is bad or that all players paint us all with a broad brush of fraudsters and criminals.”

Long underscored that the collapse and fraud associated with FTX do not represent the entire crypto industry. “There’s a hangover from those events, but it’s important to separate fraud from the legitimate applications of the technology,” she asserted, highlighting the positive and legitimate uses of blockchain technology that continue to thrive despite past scandals.

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