Ripple CEO tells cryptocurrency industry to 'work with the regulators'

  • "It's incredibly important that the entire industry recognizes that we have to work with the regulators, we have to work with the system," Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse says.
  • Bitcoin dropped below $10,000 level Wednesday after the SEC said it will require digital asset exchanges to register with the agency.
  • Garlinghouse predicts even more consolidation as the cryptocurrency asset class grows and "the Fidelitys of the world" enter the space.

The CEO of widely-followed payment network Ripple has a request for everyone in the cryptocurrency industry: Cooperate with regulators.

"It's incredibly important that the entire industry recognizes that we have to work with the regulators, we have to work with the system, " Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said in an interview that aired Wednesday on CNBC's "Fast Money." "The blockchain revolution is happening from within the system it's not going to happen from outside the system."

Bitcoin dropped below the key $10,000 level Wednesday after the Securities and Exchange Commission said it will require digital asset exchanges to register with the agency. The SEC statement follows weeks of subpoenas to rein in control over the growing number of exchanges.

"There are some within the bitcoin community that really advocated not just down with banks but down with governments, we have been a contrarian relatively speaking in that regard," said Garlinghouse, who has an estimated net worth of $3.7 billion and ranked 210 on Forbes' list of richest Americans.

San Francisco-based Ripple is developing a network for fast, global financial payments. XRP is the name of the digital token that financial institutions on the network can use to transact quickly.

The digital currency, which was trading near 88 cents Wednesday according to Coinmarketcap data, is listed on more than 60 exchanges but is not yet available on popular U.S. exchange Coinbase.

A CoinDesk article and some Twitter users speculated earlier this week that Garlinghouses's appearance on "Fast Money" the same day as Coinbase President and Chief Operating Officer Asiff Hirji signaled an announcement was coming soon.

"Coinbase will have to decide what they want to do and make the announcements that are appropriate for them," Garlinghouse said, adding that he would not "comment on the status of those sort of things."

Garlinghouse highlighted Cirlcle's acquisition of Poloniex in late February and predicted more deals as the asset class grows.

"I think there's going to more consolidation and I think they will grow in size," Garlinghouse said. "The Fidelitys of the world will be in this space."

Ripple the company has about $60 billion worth of the digital currency XRP, Garlinghouse said, which it plans to use as an asset to invest back into XRP development.

In the last half year, Ripple has announced a handful of financial firms are at least testing the use of XRP for cross-border payments.

Just Thursday, global payments company Fleetcor and its subsidiary Cambridge Global Payments will test the use of XRP. The announcement follows news in January that MoneyGram will test XRP, as will MercuryFX and IDT.