Economic cycles happen.
We've seen how they seem to exhibit a boom-bust pattern that repeats over time; and these cycles will inevitably affect specific markets in various ways, impacting both sides of the supply and demand equation.
But something is different in 2019.
That difference is the technology involved. A wide variety of fintech companies and innovations have now promised to change the way that value flows across the surface of the earth, and may successfully alter the variables used in macroeconomic calculations.
Embarrassingly, most crypto exchanges remind their customers that if they want to make a bank transfer, it might take 'days.' Yes, Ripple is being adopted, but we still see these reminders of the status quo; previously, whenever people wanted to move any amount of money across borders, a small number of money center banks immediately stepped into the picture.
Those money center banks would have legislators - and the public - believe that they are the only ones that can enforce AML and KYC rules. They claim that governments and customers should trust them to perform this role.
But what if technology could - and it can - offer a blockchain-based solution to these problems? One that involves a technology based on APIs rather than pushing paper?
Make no mistake; these processes will be transformed. There is far too much of the world's economic future riding on fintech's ability to streamline these processes in a way that supports real-time settlement. And this democratizing of personal information and finance will level the playing field in a way that will force these old money center banks to either change or get out of the way.
Digital Assets Await
The world has needed immediate settlement for many years now, and innovations like XRP stand waiting in the wings to be used for real-time commerce. For central bankers, the use of XRP is a win-win situation; it's a bridge asset, so it doesn't aspire to remove the use of fiat currency on either leg of its journey across borders.
XRP simply transforms fiat dynamically and in real-time, transitioning one currency into another.
But to do this, blockchain technology stakeholders need clarity on the status of digital assets, as well as a crystal-clear, legally-enforceable taxonomy.
Each day that Ripple spends in legal wranglings is one more day that delays the Internet of Value and its potential.
The IoV's enemies lurk in the shadows; they are the 'old guard' hidden in the dark corners of money center banks' dusty back offices. They snicker and drone on about compliance services that can now be effectively outsourced to a blockchain.
But the tables have turned.
Now, in 2019, we've seen Congressional sessions devoted to digital assets and their status in both national and global economies. Over twenty years after the technological rise of the Internet, the public is starting to wonder why they can't move money as fast as sending a text message. The tools to make it happen now exist: The Internet of Value stands ready to not only rescue the world's economy, but to transform it into something completely different and more connected than ever before.
All that awaits is the public will to unleash it.
When positive references are provided by your customers, the best ones tend to be unscripted. When a client - or potential client - provides a compelling testimonial, for example, it provides a certain level of legitimacy that ordinary advertising fails to deliver.
Such was the case on August 26ᵗʰ, when Crypto Eri noticed an article profiling comments provided by DBS, the Development Bank of Singapore.
In a recent article, Finnews.asia quoted DBS official marketing collateral when they compared SWIFT to Ripple, saying that Ripple's network is more cost-efficient and effective than SWIFT:
"𝘙𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘳𝘶𝘱𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘣𝘢𝘯𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴-𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘢𝘺𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘦."
It's an honest and straightforward mention of what Ripple technology can do to help banks and payment processors simplify and replace the archaic correspondence banking system.
Thanks to CryptoEri for the note about DBS.
Brad Garlinghouse Multi-Tweet
Brad Garlinghouse doesn't tweet much; so when he takes the time and energy to compose and publish a four part multi-tweet, it garners attention.
It seems that something prompted him to address common 'FUD' points that have been circulating. 'FUD' stands for 'fear, uncertainty, and doubt,' and normally in crypto it is also associated with questionable sources of information, whether intentional or unintentional.
The first tweet set the stage, and the remainder of the individual communications addressed specific points of doubt about various topics, including a lawsuit, XRP sales, and the SEC:
The tone said it all; Brad Garlinghouse was irritated by whatever he'd seen online, and it's obvious that the communications were meant to be terse, to the point, and factual about the issues discussed.
While FUD fighting is normally the purview of the XRP Community, it's refreshing to see the CEO of Ripple engage on some of the topics that are being used as levers and fulcrums to turn away potential XRP traders. This multi-tweet set a good example for how to combat that misinformation; in addition, the tweets themselves can now be referenced by others when these discussions begin to bubble up on social media.
David Schwartz Recognizes XRP Forensics
When some of the higher-profile hacks occurred that targeted popular XRP wallets and exchanges, a small, volunteer group of individuals in the XRP Community stepped up to help track the money: XRP Forensics.
And while they are not a part of law enforcement themselves, they've shared their information with exchanges and investigators on occasion. One of the most high-profile members of the group is Thomas Silkjær, a data analyst and blockchain researcher. He's been profiled on numerous occasions by mainstream news media, and has successfully tracked millions of XRP after thefts and hacks.
It was refreshing to see David Schwartz, Ripple's Chief Technology Officer, acknowledge the small group's contributions and role in the community on August 27ᵗʰ:
Since I was aware of some of the group's members, I've been following their official Twitter account since it began; if you haven't given them a 'follow' yet, I strongly suggest you do so. The group has helped investigate thefts and hacks numerous times, and deserves our support; both from a financial and morale standpoint.
FiNext USA 2019
FiNext USA is a two-day conference at the end of August, focusing on fintech projects and their stakeholder individuals and organizations. It takes place in Orlando, Florida, and Ryan Gaylor, Ripple's Director of Corporate Payments, is slated to talk about the "Future of Payments:"
The conference's biography states:
"𝘗𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘫𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘙𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘦, 𝘩𝘦 (𝘙𝘺𝘢𝘯 𝘎𝘢𝘺𝘭𝘰𝘳) 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘪𝘥-𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘵 𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘈𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘵 𝘙𝘦𝘷𝘢𝘭, 𝘢 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘚𝘢𝘢𝘚 𝘛𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘺 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘚𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘴. 𝘖𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦, 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯-𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘣𝘢𝘯𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘩-𝘱𝘰𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘮𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘨𝘭𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘭 𝘱𝘢𝘺𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴."
Now that Ripple is expanding, we're beginning to see more participation in conferences by a wider array of individuals; it will be great to see Ryan Gaylor provide his perspective on something so closely tied to Ripple's core use case.
Have you been thinking about blogging on Coil?
It's a fantastic idea; the platform is catered to the writing process, and makes generation of articles a fun and fast process. Of course, the big differentiation for the Coil blogging platform when compared to others is the fact that you can 'get paid' on Coil.
Unlike running your own private site, the monetization is already set up; all you have to do is create your account and begin writing!
For those that want to take their 'Coil game' to the next level, Riley Q, a popular Coil contributor and music artist, has penned a blog that goes over some of what's worked for her during her own early adoption of the platform:
The linked article is a great resource for new Coil contributors that are seriously pursuing monetization; the techniques and approaches contained therein really do work for improving traffic to your articles, and hence, should result in an increased level of Coil payment streaming.
She's also included some exclusive content at the end, only for those that have a Coil subscription.
My Coil Recommendations
The topic of his article was the gaming marketplaces that have evolved over time, and how monetization might impact their operation and structure. It was an educational blog entry, and the author was specifically knowledgeable about Forte and and some of the more popular contemporary virtual marketplaces.
I recommend reading this article if you'd like to dive into the strange world of virtual game item trading.
Ownership distribution of digital assets is an important characteristic that is examined closely by both third party analysts and by crypto traders. If a trader is able to clearly ascertain supply of a digital asset, as well as some important factors about liquidity, it provides a basis for forming expectations during trading cycles.
Because of this, it's wise to periodically review XRP's ownership distribution of XRP, as measured by the network's wallet statistics.
The XRP Ledger Exposed is a fan website that tracks ownership statistics and many other items of interest. It was created by Wietse Wind, and has been referenced on a consistent basis by news organizations and other stakeholders; and recently, Wietse Wind added some additional features for researchers:
For me, the highest-impact upgrade was the ability to click on one of the categories in the list and then see the resulting wallets that comprise the category. It adds tremendous value to researchers and forensic analysts, because they can quickly see what specific accounts comprise the overall numbers. In addition, Wietse Wind has added links to the specific wallets profiled in the drill-down, which navigate to Bithomp for a rich visual display of information.
Wietse Wind: Special Announcement
The same day that Wietse Wind nonchalantly posted about updates he'd made to the XRP Ledger Exposed, he also informed the XRP Community that he and his wife were now expecting their second child:
The tweet contained a picture of an XRP Ledger transaction, along with a link to Bithomp where readers could view it for themselves:
It was an escrow transaction for his new daughter in the amount of 1,000 XRP, and the transaction contained a surprise for those that viewed it on Bithomp: a URL that navigated to an ultrasound of the new child!
Congratulations to Wietse Wind and family on their new & future second daughter!
XRP Meetup: Tokyo
You may have noticed, as I did, a tweet from Yoshitaka Kitao, the CEO of SBI, regarding the XRP Community meetup scheduled for Tokyo, Japan on August 26ᵗʰ:
SBI has decided to be one of the corporate sponsors of the meetup!
In addition, the Japanese chapter of the XRP Community has teamed up with a popular crypto news site, coinpost.jp, to publish educational material about XRP for the larger crypto audiences. It's a positive step and an effective strategy, with the goal of showcasing factual information about the XRP Ledger.
@tenitoshi indicated that, although the detailed agenda is still being finalized, the date of the meetup has been solidified: November 10ᵗʰ. This will put it directly after the two-day SWELL conference, which is slated to take place in Singapore on November 7ᵗʰ and 8ᵗʰ.
XRP The Standard Productions
XRP The Standard Productions has been responsible for a series of videos that aim to spread accurate and educational messages about XRP and what its ecosystem of technology can do to help transform both finance and daily life.
Starting out earlier this year with an educational video about XRP, the channel followed up with video renditions of some of the 'XRP Short Stories" that were a part of @XRPeteSampras's contest in 2018. That contest took place approximately one year ago, and some of the stories have now been transformed into compelling videos.
One of the remarkable notes about XRP The Standard Productions is that the channel uses professional voice actors, original artwork and other visualizations in their videos. This characteristic elevates the message and tends to deliver the information in a memorable fashion.
The latest one is called "Classic Schwartz II: Star Schwartz:"
The video uses classic Star Trek themes to deliver a message about how open networks are fundamentally different - and better - than 'walled garden' systems where a few banks join together using proprietary technology.
If you know a Star Trek fan that's also wondering about crypto, this video may be a home run; it delivers the message in an entertaining way that highlights some of David Schwartz's more incisive observations about bank networks.
As is readily apparent, the GIF is a short but effective conceptual graphic that demonstrates XRP's role as a bridge currency. In the GIF, various types of national currencies are dynamically transformed as they 'slide' through XRP.
JonnyLawrence (Twitter avatar) sent out the graphic on Monday, August 26ᵗʰ, and roughly 24 hours later, the tweet had garnered over one thousand retweets and almost three thousand 'likes.'
Kudos to JonnyLawrence on his creation, and hopefully we'll get to see more from him over time.
Swissquote Robo Advisor
Swissquote is a Swiss Bank that handles a wide variety of investments for its retail customers.
One of its major differentiation factors is something that the company terms a 'Robo Advisor.' The service, from what I gather, allows customers to indicate certain investment categories (such as crypto, real estate, etc..) and then also some of their investment preferences.
The Robo Advisor then assists with investment and asset selection.
On August 22ⁿᵈ, an XRP Community member, @BankXRP (Twitter avatar) indicated that he'd located a document announcing an expansion of the Robo Advisor to include crypto investments, which in turn include XRP.
While perhaps a minor industry note, it's one more data point that exemplifies digital assets' continued expansion and adoption by more traditional retail investors.
SBI VC XRP Promotion
SBI VC is steadily building their business over time, using existing customer rolls, and by recruiting new customers as well.
The exchange's debut and use of real-time order books was an exciting milestone, and they've followed it up with a promotion for existing SBI customers:
SBI VC doesn't report its volume numbers yet; perhaps at some point in 2019 the exchange will opt to publicize its volumes. My guess is that the levels are quite substantial, based on the raw size of SBI's customer base, and it will be fascinating to see how the numbers change over time, as more traditional retail investors become accustomed to digital assets.
The IoV Will Happen
The Internet of Value will become a reality.
We've seen the IMF and various central banks endure the limitations of the current correspondence banking network for years now, and they are growing impatient. SWIFT was not able to transform and fulfill its duty to its own organization's members; where are the real-time transfers that technology now makes possible?
These answers will not come from SWIFT.
They will come from the companies comprising the new fintech revolution; and Ripple is chief among them, having successfully forged a path as SWIFT's heir apparent, for those banks that wish to stake their claim in the new Internet of Value.
And XRP, the no-counter-party digital asset that's already been used for billions of transactions, is ready to fulfill its role, transforming currencies at the speed of information.
To stay apprised of all the latest news impacting XRP, subscribe to my blog on Coil, and remember to support others in the XRP Community.
Thanks to Dino Reichmuth for the cover photo