Ripple chief says bitcoin controlled by China

June 14, 2018
Chris Wheal

The chief executive of Ripple said on Wednesday night that bitcoin was controlled by a small number of miners from China.

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple: Pic courtesy of Ripple

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency and blockchain company, said at the Stifel Cross Sector Insight Conference in Boston that his claims were under-reported, but worth paying attention to.

“Bitcoin is really controlled by China,” he said. “There are four miners in China that control over 50% of bitcoin. How do we know that China won’t intervene? How many countries want to use a Chinese-controlled currency?”

Chinese companies dominate

Garlinghouse went further, saying that 40% of the world’s bitcoin mining market was dominated by Chinese companies such as chipmaker Bitmain.

If this is, indeed, the case, the Bitcoin blockchain network could come under what is called a “51% attack”, where the controlling influence could effectively prevent new transactions getting verified and slowing the network down to a crawl.

“Transactions done on the Bitcoin blockchain take up to 45 minutes to be completed,” he explained.

Bitcoin as global currency – absurd

He then criticised the high-profile bitcoin enthusiasts such as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Twitter boss Jack Dorsey who, earlier this month said they hoped bitcoin would become the global currency.

Garlinghouse said: “Many prominent people including Steve Wozniak have said that bitcoin may become the world’s primary currency. Personally, I think it’s absurd. No major economy will allow bitcoin to become the accepted currency. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Despite his disparaging remarks, Garlinghouse said he was invested in bitcoin.

“I own bitcoin – many people consider it as digital gold, and I acknowledge I’m long crypto.”

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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