If you trade crypto, you know by now that speculative demand far out-matches the demand from utility.
For the moment.
When we look at the latest xRapid volumes, they are detectable, yes. And they are increasing rapidly. Yes. But even so, the demand from xRapid's utility is still far outweighed by the irrationality of the cryptomarket. The ups and downs of the daily trading cycle tend to absorb the emotions of most traders, so it's worth asking yourself at different points: What do you believe in?
Do you believe in the use cases for XRP?
You should: XRP is currently used as a bridge asset for cross-border transactions, and developers within the XRP Community have created graphics to demonstrate how much liquidity is increasing at xRapid partner exchanges:
The other use cases are also beginning to be felt; Coil is methodically building a steady and growing list of customers, and is improving its service week after week; and recently, Cinnamon announced that they'd opened their doors for an initial roll-out of their video streaming service. And the founder of Forte was recently quoted talking about connecting dozens of game developers with their platform for using XRP for virtual game trading.
The name of this use case is 'micropayments,' and it will eventually transform the entire planet's payments infrastructure, along with enabling technologies like Interledger.
The use case will win: No matter how raw the speculative emotion is in the cryptomarket, keep your eye on the one digital asset positioned for fast and easy utility by end-users. Only one digital asset has all the characteristics and features needed for an effective base-layer network: XRP.
Equilibrium is needed.
From the time that Interledger connectors were first described, I remarked (internally) that there is ample room for profit, for those individuals or businesses that can correctly configure one. The object is to add your own liquidity to the ILP network for a small fee, but those fees could quickly build to material amounts of money, especially for higher-frequency transactions.
And this is exactly what Interledger is set up for; billions of minuscule payments sent at a packet level, through connectors run by people willing to provide their own liquidity for transaction(s). Small packet sizes were chosen to minimize the risk to liquidity providers.
So now we need to ease the path for entrepreneurs, stakeholders, and businesses to 'step up' and become members of the growing ILP network, and to play the role of a large-scale liquidity provider across networks. To make this happen, the technology involved should be accessible to developers and businesses, and the path to becoming an ILP connector operator should be clear and well-defined, with adequate collateral to help guide stakeholders.
Those in charge of Xpring agree with this assessment. On August 6ᵗʰ, it was announced that Xpring was investing in a new company called Equilibrium:
The announcement led to two different blogs: One by Danny Aranda, a Ripple Xpring Director, and one by Teemu Paivinen, the founder of the new company, formally named Equilibrium Connect.
The blogs indicate that the new business will have three deliverables:
- Open Source Interledger Connector
- Web Services
The first one - an open source Interledger connector - is an open-source ILP connector that can be set up to support settlement in XRP, BTC, and ETH. This is a great development, and it will be very helpful to have this core reference implementation of an ILP connector to serve as a point of reference.
The second one is fascinating. Teemu Paivinen's blog indicates that this pertains to a "simple web API" to allow external applications to interact with the Interledger network. This service, if done correctly, could help to on-board many new individuals, applications, and businesses that wish to interact with ILP from a 'user-only' perspective.
And the last deliverable for Equilibrium Connect, 'On-boarding,' is critical to helping scale the network to greater heights. As more developers opt to use ILP, it's important to provide a pathway for them to follow from both a technical and practical business standpoint.
Congratulations to the Equilibrium team on securing funding for their project; this Xpring development should help ILP advance to the next phase of adoption as a mechanism for joining these disparate cryptographic networks and ledgers.
The XRP Community watches the XRP Ledger closely for increasing volumes of transactions that may be linked to Ripple's xRapid solution, which uses XRP for settlement.
A popular method used is to watch the partner exchanges that Ripple identified in their original announcements about xRapid's first corridors. One of these is a high-frequency remittance corridor to the Philippines, and it utilizes a well-known exchange called Coins.ph.
On July 1ˢᵗ, Coins.ph was presented with the RemTech Award for its use of blockchain to process remittances to the Philippines. The company released a short promotional video about the award, and posted a blog as well:
It was an informative reminder that the exchange is not only partnering with remittance companies, but also with banks; it's obvious that Coins.ph is following a clear vision for its long-term future, and I wonder how many other exchanges will eventually be knocking on Ripple's door to apply for membership as one of their xRapid partner exchanges.
Thanks to @XRPMommy (XRPChat avatar) for sharing the Coins.ph video.
On April 3ʳᵈ of this year, Xendpay announced that they'd teamed up with Ripple for a specific corridor; that of the Philippines:
Xendpay was established in 2005, and is a Nigerian-focused remittance business headquartered in the UK. It processes international payments for over eighty countries.
When pressed about the specific solutions that they used, the company acknowledged that they currently use xCurrent, but were open to the possibility of using xRapid in the future.
While not xRapid, the company also announced recently on August 8ᵗʰ that they'd be expanding the use of Ripple technology to payments processed for Nigeria:
The company was excited about their integration with Ripple, and indicated that they also process payments through the new service for other countries as well, including Kenya.
Xendpay is a popular modern payments company focused on Africa; its integration with Ripple is a very positive development, because most of the high-profile announcements about new RippleNet members have been centered around other geographic areas of the globe.
Forte Making Moves
FortePlatform made headlines in March when Ripple announced that they'd set aside $100 million dollars for distribution to game developers that would utilize Forte's virtual marketplace platform.
The idea is to fund developers who will in turn provide access to XRP for their games' customer base.
While the Forte development team has been relatively low-key about their own progress and timeline, there was some additional information provided as part of an interview with Kent Wakeford, Forte's co-founder and COO. The quotes were provided as part of the 2019 Game Developer Conference in San Francisco:
"𝘙𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘺 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘎𝘋𝘊 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘶𝘴. 𝘞𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 40 𝘨𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 $100 𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘧𝘶𝘯𝘥. 𝘞𝘦’𝘳𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘵 𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘨𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘶𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 50,000 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘴."
Hearing Kent Wakeford talk about distribution of money to these developers was very exciting, and opens the possibility for expansion of XRP into an entirely new industry - that of 'virtual market settlement mechanism.' Since XRP settles completely in under four seconds and can process an enormous number of transactions per second, it is ideal as a base-layer technology for use in virtual item trading.
These investments take time - especially if done correctly - but the community is eager to show support for XRP's introduction into gaming. My hope is that we'll see some of these integrations before the end of 2019.
One of the most promising new businesses to integrate with Coil technology is the Cinnamon video hosting service and website.
Cinnamon is a new video hosting platform akin to Vimeo, BitChute, or Dailymotion, other alternatives to YouTube.
It was created by an independent team that aims to integrate directly with Coil's web monetization technology; I covered their initial plan and service description in a blog on May 16ᵗʰ of this year.
In May, the team indicated that they were working towards what they termed a 'minimum viable product,' which was something a little less than a full 'beta release.'
On August 8ᵗʰ, the company announced that they were ready for public-facing testing:
The team was kind enough to approve early access for me, and I logged in to take a look around myself. The site was intuitive, easy, and most important, fun.
There will be many people, very soon, that will be spending hours watching cat videos on Cinnamon.
One question I asked the team was about the recent demonetization of dozens of 'gray area' YouTubers that tend to post videos that are controversial. The subject is not an easy one, however, and Cinnamon indicated that it couldn't comment (yet) on topics pertaining to content moderation, but offered this high-level statement:
"... 𝘸𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘳 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘺 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘯 𝘠𝘰𝘶𝘛𝘶𝘣𝘦..."
The company indicated that they consider this release a 'soft release' of the platform. The site is still technically private, and the goal is to test out the platform prior to a public release.
My take? Cinnamon is out-of-the-box new, and based off of what I've seen already, I foresee that it will quickly build a large collection of content. The key to growth will be to support low-latency streaming and sharing, and to follow-through on having an effective and easy platform for content creators.
But most of all: If it works, and content creators are rewarded fairly, this application will be faced with enormous and fast growth, along with the logistical challenges that go with it.
Kudos to the entire team at Cinnamon, and good luck as they plan out their next steps!
Anybody can run an XRP node.
The XRP Ledger is a permission-less, decentralized network where everybody is welcome to run an XRP validator, or even a stock server to access the network. And within that large list of independent operators of validators, there exists a small list of 'trusted' validators that is known as the recommended UNL, or 'unique node list.'
This list is comprised of validator operators that have demonstrated a commitment to consistent software and security maintenance, as well as long-term resiliency:
And if you're wondering where to look for information on these 'Recommended UNL validators,' you need look no further than a number of third-party sites that publish real-time information about each one:
Thanks to RabbitKickClub for the comprehensive listing of these third-party sites on their own custom site.
Community-based xRapid Detection and Reporting
One of the most fascinating XRP-related blogs I've read is the investigative journey that @hmatejx (Twitter avatar) undertook when he endeavored to determine if he could successfully identify xRapid traffic at Ripple's partner exchanges. The title of the blog was 'xRapid - Separating Signal from Background,' published on February 23ʳᵈ, 2019.
Now, months later, he's decided to develop a tool whose sole purpose is to automatically track xRapid payments:
The tweet was greeted with enthusiasm by the community, and he fielded multiple suggestions for how to go about accessing the data and presenting it. Based on the feedback, he's bringing the project back under wraps for the time being, and will let the public know when he's made a decision on what form it will take.
Kudos to @hmatejx; there are many XRP fans that will be anxious to see what he creates.
Blockdaemon: XRP Validator Hosting
One business is looking to offer hosting services for those that aim to run their own XRP Validator. The company's name is Blockdaemon, and it offers a variety of blockchain services for a variety of cryptographic networks. Blockdaemon has offices in both Los Angeles and Ireland.
On August 7ᵗʰ, the company's official twitter account announced that they would create and run XRP nodes on-demand for customers:
Further information on the company's official website elaborated on their new service for XRP:
"𝘉𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘬𝘥𝘢𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘯 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢 𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘤𝘬 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘺 𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘺𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘟𝘙𝘗 𝘭𝘦𝘥𝘨𝘦𝘳. 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘭𝘢𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘩 𝘯𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘯-𝘥𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘱𝘱 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘵𝘢𝘴𝘬𝘴 𝘪𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺
... 𝘈𝘥𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘯𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘦 𝘢𝘥𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘭𝘺, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩-𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤 𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘳 𝘯𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘷𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘴.
𝘉𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘬𝘥𝘢𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘮𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘪𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘯𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘴. 𝘕𝘰𝘯-𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘤𝘬 𝘯𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘷𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘧𝘧-𝘵𝘩𝘦-𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘧 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘉𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘬𝘥𝘢𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘱𝘱, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘢𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘩 𝘰𝘯𝘦. 𝘉𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘬𝘥𝘢𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘰 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘝𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘳 𝘯𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘰𝘤𝘰𝘭 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯."
From a high-level perspective, it's great to see new companies and services like Blockdaemon become more prevalent, as it indicates that blockchain technology is beginning to establish its own market; my guess is that some of the larger consulting companies will also begin to 'get in' on the action when it comes to server configuration and hosting.
In February , it was announced that one of the most famous early exchanges was changing hands; Circle ended up purchasing the platform for approximately $400 million dollars.
Since that time, the exchange has announced many promotions and changes, working to keep and expand its customer base.
On August 7ᵗʰ, it was announced by Poloniex that they'd added nine new pairings:
The pairings were specifically added to integrate with stablecoins, and each market is also available for margin trading, at least to non-US and non-EU customers. Poloniex is currently listed as the 77ᵗʰ largest exchange worldwide by adjusted volume (Conimarketcap).
Thanks to @mandelbaum (XRP Chat avatar) for the information about the new Poloniex pairings.
Believe in the Use Case
If you believe that the utility of a resource is more important than speculation, then you should own XRP.
The use case for a digital asset is far more important long term than a whitepaper espousing the potential of a new network. XRP's ecosystem of applications, businesses, tools, and developers is massive and growing, and banks and remittance processors are beginning to use it more and more.
It's wise to acknowledge the pivotal importance of utility in long-term price discovery, and those in the XRP Community know, even now, that the choice is easy.
To stay apprised on the latest XRP news and developments, make sure to subscribe to my blog on Coil. And remember to support others in the XRP Community!
Sources and Credits:
Cover Art: Thank you to Tom Phan