Ripple, the blockchain company closely associated with digital currency XRP, has found itself dealing with mounting legal expenses as it wrestles the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a high-stakes courtroom showdown.
The firm is bracing itself to weather a $200 million storm in legal costs, according to CEO Brad Garlinghouse, who unveiled the figure at the Dubai Fintech Summit on May 8.
The SEC's accusation that Ripple orchestrated an unregistered securities offering by selling XRP lies at the core of this legal battle. The formidable regulator views the token as a security.
The controversial San Francisco-headquartered company has been fighting these allegations, arguing that XRP is a digital currency and not a security. As a result, the legal battle has not only become costly but has also impacted the overall cryptocurrency industry.
Garlinghouse previously remarked in a July 2022 interview at Consensus in Austin, Texas, that Ripple's legal fees would have ballooned over $100 million by the time the dust settles. He underscored that the struggle was not just for Ripple but for the entire sector, as the lawsuit's outcome could forge a path for future digital currency cases.
The towering cost of this legal skirmish can be traced back to the intricate nature of the case and the presence of high-profile law firms championing Ripple's cause. With a wealth of experience and proficiency under their belts, these legal titans demand hefty fees for their services.
Garlinghouse has consistently forecast that the lawsuit would reach its denouement in the first half of this year.