Ripple CTO Pours Grim Irony on Elon Musk’s Approach to Regulatory Compliance with Taliban

Ripple CTO Pours Grim Irony on Elon Musk’s Approach to Regulatory Compliance with Taliban

Ripple’s chief technology officer David Schwartz has taken to Twitter to comment on the recent tweet of the Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk.

Starlink Internet in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan – easy-peasy!

The discussion was about Starlink and Afghanistan, when a former navy intelligence officer Lyla Kohistany wished that Elon Musk would just “flood” the sky above this region with Starlink satellites, thus allowing the US military to keep radio contact with their Afghan partners.

Scott Manley, a popular YouTuber, gamer, programmer, astrophysicist and DJ, commented that to do that Musk would need a country near Afghanistan that would allow building a downlink station for Starlink, thus helping the US against the Taliban.

With that comment, Manley shared a map of the countries around Afghanistan that shows either countries not friendly to the US (such as Iran) or former USSR republics, which are regions included in the sphere of interests of Russia, hinting that a place for a downlink station would be hard to find.

Our satellites launching in next few months have inter-satellite laser links, so no local downlink needed. Probably active in 4 to 6 months.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 1, 2021

What Musk thinks of regulatory compliance with Taliban

Musk responded that he does not need any stations on the ground, since the satellites that Starlink will be launching in four to six months will be equipped with inter-satellite laser links.

Answering a question of a space reporter from CNBC, Michael Sheetz, how that approach works from the regulatory compliance point of view, Musk tweeted that he, basically, does not care about that.

"They can shake their fist at the sky"

Ripple CTO comments on that brave approach

David Schwartz, Ripple CTO, tweeted that he would love to adopt the same approach to regulatory compliance but that is impossible for Ripple.

At the moment, Ripple Labs in in the middle of a legal suit with the US SEC regulatory agency started by the latter in December 2020. The SEC has stated that Ripple has been selling unregistered securities, XRP, to institutional investors and sued Ripple and its two highest-ranking executives – CEO Garlinghouse and co-founder (and a former CEO) Christopher Larsen for doing the same thing.

I wish I could take Elon's approach to regulatory compliance.— David Schwartz (@JoelKatz) September 3, 2021