Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse announced that the blockchain-based digital payment network and protocol is expanding in Dubai due to its clear regulations and revealed that the company anticipates spending around $200 million to defend itself from the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Ripple is one of the crypto businesses in the country that has been on the receiving end of the crackdown by the SEC.

During this week's Dubai Fintech Summit, Garlinghouse was one of the keynote speakers and he dropped major announcements Monday that surprised and caught the attention of the crypto community.

One of these is Ripple's plan to expand to Dubai, citing the clear cryptocurrency regulatory environment in the region and the consumer base for the said business expansion.

The CEO later reaffirmed the announcement on Twitter and noted that Dubai is "emerging as the key global financial hub" for crypto to flourish.

"@Ripple is expanding in Dubai. With 20% of our customers based in MENA and clear regulatory regimes being developed, it's no surprise that Dubai is emerging as a key global financial hub for crypto innovation to thrive," the executive's tweet read.

During the Dubai event, Garlinghouse also shared the scale of the company's ongoing legal battle with the U.S. financial watchdog.

"With the SEC, we will spend — this is the first time I've shared this publicly — by the time all's said and done, we will have spent $200 million defending ourselves against a lawsuit, which from its very beginning, people were like, well, this doesn't make a lot of sense," the executive said in a fireside chat at the event.

The SEC accuses Ripple, and its founders Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen of breaking U.S. securities law by selling XRP, the company's native crypto asset, without registering it first with the agency.

Aside from Ripple, Coinbase, another major centralized crypto exchange platform, is also mulling over expanding its business abroad because of the unclear and unfriendly crypto regulations in the United States.

Like Ripple, the CEX is not fighting back against the agency after it received a Wells Notice in March.

Ripple's recent announcement about its expansion in Dubai is a positive development despite its long-standing legal battle with the regulator. The move underlines that the unresolved conflict with the financial watchdog could not deter the crypto company from focusing on its growth.

Last year, Garlinghouse explicitly said that the crypto company will move to another country if it failed to secure a win in the ongoing battle with the SEC.

"We think the law is on our side and the facts are on our side," he said last July, adding that "we will move to another jurisdiction if we lose the case in the United States. We still have an immense business to build. Why do it in a regulatory jurisdiction that's not going to be friendly towards us?"

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty