Ripple – Evolutionary Not Revolutionary

in bitcoin •  last year

Before I dive into Ripple and XRP, I want to briefly remind those who are reading this post why most early adopters of cryptocurrency are so passionate about the space and why so much money is pouring into the community / industry. I could list a myriad of factors but the core innovation that the blockchain unlocked was an elegant solution to centralization.

I will confess that I worked in the financial technology space of Wall Street for 23 years. All of the technology solutions that I helped to create, test, sell, market, implement or that I personally saw utilized in the global financial industry were designed to make the centralized institutions of the global financial industry more profitable, more efficient and in many cases designed to make these large global financial institutions more powerful and their competitors weaker. The idea of implementing technology that is peer to peer and trustless is anathema to Wall Street.

So the vast world of cryptocurrencies that provide peer to peer solutions is a very real threat to these centralized financial institutions. They have been slow to realize this threat but the sleeping giant has been awakened. Their first move was to dismiss Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as irrelevant. Next they demonized it as a haven for drug dealers, weapons dealers and money launderers. (I am pretty sure that the CIA / Mossad have their own proprietary network for those.) Now they are in the regulating and co-opting phase.

Since regulating peer to peer technology is like trying to stop a flood with a screen door, we are likely to see bank sponsored and government sponsored crypto tokens and solutions that are designed to keep these centralized entities in power. A perfect example of this new trend is Ripple.

Here is the core technology as stated on the Ripple website: “xCurrent is Ripple’s enterprise software solution that enables banks to instantly settle cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking. Using xCurrent, banks message each other in real-time to confirm payment details prior to initiating the transaction and to confirm delivery once it settles. It includes a Rulebook developed in partnership with the RippleNet Advisory Board that ensures operational consistency and legal clarity for every transaction.” So this is an “enterprise software solution” similar to all of the enterprise software solutions that are sold to global financial institutions every day. Nothing revolutionary here and certainly not peer to peer.

How about XRP the token that Ripple uses within xCurrent? Is XRP the one token to rule them all within the centralized global financial world? No, not even close. Here is what Coindesk has to say about Ripple’s partners adoption of XRP: “For example, Ripple partners have been vocal about their use of the platform to exchange more traditional payment messages rather than XRP, the digital asset that powers the Ripple consensus ledger (RCL). By doing so, partners say they are able to bring banks and market makers into a data sharing environment that reduces costs.” So essentially there is no advantage (and in fact XRP is more expensive) for users of xCurrent to utilize XRP.

From where I sit, as someone who worked within the centralized global financial system for many years and who now embraces the tectonic changes being unleashed by the peer to peer cryptocurrency space, XRP is a symbol of the old dying centralized financial system. I don’t care how much XRP is pumped or how many buy into it. I will not help them to patch up a dam that is collapsing under it’s own weight.

In the next post, we will take a look at Ripple’s advisors and a small institution called SWIFT.

THE PETRODOLLAR IS DYING - “I think the problem most have with crypto is semantics. They hear coin and think change in the pocket. Crypto tokens are industry disintermediating solutions, technology stacks, business partnerships, tech and user communities aided by a giant pendulum swing away from centralized greed.”

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