Amid SEC lawsuit, cryptocurrency startup Ripple hires new CFO

Dive Brief:

  • As it fights the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) claims of investor protection law violations, San Francisco, Calif.-based Ripple Labs has hired a new CFO, Kristina Campbell, it announced Tuesday

  • Ripple uses blockchain technology to send money across borders for banks, CNBC said, and also uses XRP, a digital asset it claims “can act as a bridge currency for converting one currency to another in a matter of seconds.”

  • In December, the SEC charged Ripple co-founder Christian Larsen and CEO Brad Garlinghouse with conducting an illegal securities offering that allegedly raised more than $1.3 billion through XRP sales. Ripple denies the allegations, claiming XRP is a currency, not an investment contract, according to CNBC.

Dive Insight:

Campbell spent the past five years as CFO of billing and payments firm PayNearMe. Prior to that, she served in various operations and management roles at fintech Green Dot Corporation. 

Ron Will, who had been Ripple’s CFO since 2017, left the company in February for a finance chief role at San Francisco-based Hinge Health, a digital clinic.

Analysts view the SEC’s case against Ripple as a test of its approach to regulating cryptocurrencies, The Wall Street Journal said.

As CFO, Campbell will be responsible for setting Ripple’s financial strategy, the company said in a statement. “Ripple is uniquely positioned to improve global payments in ways that have yet to be defined and I’m excited to be a part of that solution,” she said. 

Also on Tuesday, Ripple named former U.S. Treasurer Rosa Gumataotao Rios to its board of directors. Rios, who President Obama appointed to the Treasury, held the role for seven years, overseeing the U.S. Mint and advising the Treasury Secretary.  

“These two exceptional leaders join Ripple at a pivotal time for the company,” Garlinghouse said in a statement. “We are extremely fortunate to have them on the team as we continue our rapid international growth and to champion for regulatory clarity in the U.S.” 

“Blockchain and digital assets will underpin our future global financial systems,” Rios said in a statement. “Cryptocurrency is the what. Ripple is the how.”

“Digital asset technology allows us to rethink and improve the systems and infrastructure around how money moves,” Campbell added. “With this technology, we will make the global financial system accessible to all.”