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"Opportunity But Actually an Obligation": Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse on Social Activism

Brad Garlinghouse of Ripple Inc. believes that leading companies have a key role to play in tackling social challenges

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Cover image via twitter.com

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple Inc. and veteran of technical entrepreneurship, has shared with CNBC's Beyind the Valley his views on the social responsibility of high-tech companies.

Crypto for social good

According to CNBC, Ripple's CEO is sure that top-tier companies cannot just ignore social and political challenges. Moreover, participation in the processes that target social issues is not voluntary for companies at all:

I think tech companies have an opportunity—but actually an obligation—to lean into being part of the solution.

Ripple Inc. is a company that follows these principles, in fact, and not only in words. For instance, every employee of Ripple Inc. has paid time off to vote. Also, if an officer of Mr. Garlinghouse's company decides to assist in a U.S. presidential election campaign as a volunteer, he/she is also eligible for this program.

Mr. Garlinghouse himself often shares his views on social and political processes. As covered by CryptoComes, he recommended that the U.S. abandon Chinese technologies, offering Facebook's Libra as an example.

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This position of Garlinghouse is in contrast to the much-overhyped manifesto by Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. Armstrong stressed that there is no room for political discussions and activism within Coinbase since the company has an "apolitical culture." It is solely focused on advancing the crypto segment.

Time to pay the piper

This recent blog post by the Coinbase CEO created a stir, though it was accepted with understanding in general. Armstrong emphasized that anyone who would like to leave the company because of its "politics ban" will receive severance packages.

According to a follow-up by Armstrong, 5 percent of his employees decided to take this generous package from the company. Given the actual number of staff, 60 officers left the team.

Meanwhile, the Ripple CEO highlights that corporations have no moral right to avoid social activism, as they are responsible for many social and political problems:

The sad reality is—and I say this as a long-time veteran of Silicon Valley—some of these problems are, at a minimum, exacerbated by the tech platforms themselves.

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Vladislav Sopov

Blockchain Analyst & Writer with scientific background. 5+ years in IT-analytics, 2+ years in blockchain.

Worked in independent analysis as well as in start-ups (Swap.online, Monoreto, Attic Lab etc.)