I have led something of an interesting life journey to date. Travelled to over one hundred cities, lived in five countries and generally extreme living on many plains both positive and negative. Without wanting to sound too immodest, I have lived to the full. I continue to do so today and yet I hold the mantle of being objective as one of my strongest personal traits. For all my (lack of...) worldly wisdom and experience though, I had an innate and perhaps somewhat irrational fear of trading and investment, even though for the longest period I wanted to try my hand at it.
I've always had something of an admiration for those who invest. Whether they have put £100 on the line or £1'000'000, my first instinctual question was always "but how can you KNOW for certain you will get a return?" After just under a year of playing in the cryptocurrency market, its now obviously apparent to me no one can know for sure of course and anyone who says they are 100% certain is either deluded or lying. Whilst its never an absolute however, some investments are obvious game-changers even to the uneducated and as a result you can still be very confident of success.
That was how I felt when back in September last year I caught wind of XRP and its basic premise. I had just transferred some funds from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to London, England....and it was bloody painful. In fact, I epitomised Brad Garlinghouse's example of moving money on a plane being the quickest method. Quite literally, I got home on my flight from Dubai to London before the money hit the destination account! The notion of an asset which allowed value to move across borders in seconds at a fraction of a penny cost felt like an "out there" concept...and yet simultaneously, it also felt like basic common sense.
Society has become accustomed to being overcharged and inconvenienced when dealing with movement of money for pretty much one reason only: We have never had the opportunity presented to change the status quo. For the better part of fifty years, Swift has been accepted not because they are the best, but purely because there has never really been a viable alternative. Yes there are smaller payments companies and in recent times the likes of PayPal, but for the most part, Swift have had the lions share of the payments pie for decades.
That is about to change. It may sound somewhat grandiose, perhaps even delusional or prophetic to make a claim that the worlds largest payments organisation, owned by a consortium of banks with eleven thousand clients are about to be de-throned. Some may even claim the tired FUD “But the banks will never use XRP!”. Putting that very FUD, the technical arguments, the regulatory processes, the external factors outside of anyones control all to one side, I decided to put my aforementioned objectivity to use and ask myself a few simple questions:
Is it the best option in payments technology in existence?
Is it easy to understand within the context of its industry?
Is it fundamentally strong?
Do the pro's of its use outweigh the con's?
Finally...can it change the world?
The first three questions were an easy yes. The fourth took a little longer with plenty of digging and learning before I concluded yes and would likely continue to do so. The final question though was what made me realise the gravity of the situation in front of us today, whilst the answer was yes, more important than the answer was the fact that I had the gall to ask the question itself.
How often have you come across something early enough in its life cycle to a) be able to ask the question “Can it change the world?” and b) actually see the path of that change occur early enough to gain from it? In my lifetime... I never have.
Nothing I have written here is life changing for those already in XRP, it's not technical about the coding side of the XRP ledger or smart contracts through Codius, it doesn't make reference to any qualified individuals or developers behind the XRP ledger. In fact, I fully expect to have the finger wagged at me for a "lack of knowledge displayed on the subject of XRP". Let me be clear, this post is actually not for those already hodling. Its not even what I would deem financial advice. Its simply my observation as an average Joe who for the first time in his life saw a logical route into investing without any emotion for one simple reason: XRP makes sense.
If this helps others with an irrational fear of investing get past that fear and dig into XRP to learn a little themselves? Then it's worth putting this newbies opinion out there. :)
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