In my previous blog post ('Ripple' will be the ‘Cisco Systems’ for the Internet of Value) I looked back to the past and reminisced on my time as an engineer during the early years of TCP/IP adoption that then led to the public internet explosion - in the summary of that article I made the following comment :-
*"Coil/Codius could change the world with accessible smart contracts and Xspring will no doubt find use-cases we cannot even conceive of at the moment, but the blockchain technology in general will eventually enable so much more and should in time enrich the lives of everyone on this planet."
In this article I change perspective and detail a vision of the future, and expand on how i feel this may play out - i call this "Liquid Planet Earth”, but generally we can think of it as the IOV - "Internet of Value"
Currently our financial system is broken, riddled with imbalance and historic levels of unpayable debt. The world currencies are no longer liquid and transfer of value is inefficient which is stifling growth and hindering development.
Fortunately there is a solution on the horizon made up of the following components.
- A global bridge currency without a central counter-party ( XRP clearly the front runner in this role)
- Securitzed assets, Central bank currency tokens (CBDC) and Walled garden bank coins and other crypto currencies. - each comprised of DLT cryptographic tokens.
- ILP - Interledger protocol - A set of standards that allows interconnectivity between assets on separate ledgers or blockchains
- Smart contracts
- Data Oracles
- Machine Learning ( aka AI - Artificial Intelligence)
- The Internet of Things ( IoT)
- ILP connectors, gateways & exchanges.
Let’s dig further into each and put them together to create the BIG picture.
A global bridge currency -
At this moment XRP clearly wins as the candidate on merit, being the cleanest, fastest and cheapest DLT based crypto asset, engineered to meet regulatory requirements from inception. Along with the standard token/value storage functions we expect from a digital financial asset ,the XRP Ledger contains many features in its “Rippled” code that are often overlooked.A decentralised exchange, built in Interledger connectivity and pathfinding for costs between assets.
All of these will play important roles in the development of the internet of value. The XRP ledgers built in change/upgrade voting system means that any technical advances made in the field of DLT can be incorporated into future versions. XRP should never fork or be overtaken by more advanced approaches as these can be adopted into the current system. XRP is here to stay and will be around for many decades if not longer.
This is where the fun starts. In 2016 and 2017 we saw the sudden rise of ICO’s with thousands of new crypto assets (mostly junk with nothing to back them up). Over the next few years we will witness the tokenisation of all tradable assets on the planet (and some new ones we can’t yet conceive of). STO’s or Security Token Offerings will become the norm, accessible to anyone with access to the internet.
Imagine a property developer building a new sports stadium. Instead of the traditional approach of reaching out for finance to banks and investors, the developer tokenizes the development and these “shares” are then available for trade via the IOV, the funds used to deliver the project. Investors will be distributed around the world, some owning tiny fractions of the endevour in a very broad risk balanced portfolio, something impossible in the past, and be able trade these items as XRP and “alt coins” are traded today.
Imagine a new successful company that in the past would be at the stage to go public and issue shares on the stock market. In the past buying share of equity in overseas markets from your location meant having trading accounts in that local market, for many this was impossible. With a DLT based STO the market of buyers and sellers becomes global with virtually instant settlement.
STOs will have low operational costs, high security and all the benefits of blockchain immutability. Their widespread availability will enable the trading of these assets on the global market creating yet more liquidity.
Securitze.io leads the field in this at this time, and have kindly provided some great example case studies of how STOs could work. https://www.securitize.io/case-studies
Other securitized assets in this model include digital fiat issued by the worlds central banks (Central Bank Digital currencies - CBDC).
Issuing and managing physical fiat costs around 2% of a countries GDP, so switching to digital fiat has huge cost savings, and many benefits including new ways to fight corruption and money laundering from crime. Again, this also allows interoperability to other DLT tokens creating the network of value.
Walled garden bank coins ( for example JPM coin) will eventually allow value to be bridged in and out of these private financial fiefdoms via gateways, further supporting the ecosystem,
The ILP orInterledger protocol is the standard protocol stack for sending payments across different ledgers. ILP “Connectors” can bridge between any DLT assets they hold ( including Securitzed tokens - we’ll return to this soon). You can think of connectors as operating as exchanges do today, allowing the swap of one asset to another for a tiny fee each time.
ILP connectors, gateways & exchange - These are the bridges between digital assets, and enable value to transfer from network to network. ILP algorithms enable this at low level, and guarantee that the best route from A -B
Smart contract logic
Smart contracts are the automation “robots” in the Internet of value. They can be programmed to action a set of instructions when conditions are met.
Smart contracts need information feeds in order to know when to action their instructions. Oracles are trusted data feeds that smart contracts can query for information.
Machine Learning and AI
This field is highly complex and its development is the most complex task. For now imagine this function as being machines undertaking actions that previoulsy required human interaction, tasks involving decision making, only now completed without error, at much faster speeds by computers on our behalf. AI’s could create, manage smart contracts for you while you sleep or relax.
For example a personal financial AI could run your investment portfolio, tracking all asset activity and news. When conditions are met the AI could change your portfolio, by running a smart contract that buys and sells assets on your behalf.
The IOT or internet of things
Everyday objects embedded with internet connectivity. If you add some extra programming to these objects , such as a smart contracts and AI, machines can interact with each other. The classic example is a fridge that can sense that it is running low on supplies. It’s AI and smart contract services could order and pay via DLT for supplies to be delivered ( and one day a robot will put the shopping away). Expand this to large scale and a world of automation is up for grabs.
So what is Liquid Planet Earth ?
Its all about the “pairs"..
Currently our financial system revolves around pairs of assets - we have created hundreds of thousands of different pairs and trying to exchange (and settle) between them is complex, costly and slow. For example the Forex markets around the world have thousands of pairs of currencies, USD/GBP, GBP/EUR, MXN/JPY etc etc. Stock markets pair shares with the local markets currency, so we have thousands of varying pairs like APPL/USD and MSFT/USD, BARC/GBP etc etc . Financial instruments, derivatives, bonds and indexes also have hundreds of pair to various other fiat assets around the world - this list is endless and needs little explaining.
The Future part 1 - Everything pairs with XRP
Imagine a future where :-
CBDCs are paired with XRP
Securized tokens are paired with XRP
Every Forex pair is replaced with a pairing to XRP
Every Stock has been tokenised and pairs to XRP
Financial instruments are be paired to XRP
Digital Fiat currencies are paired to XRP.
If an ILP connector (eg. a market maker of exchange operator) holds pairs of assets and is willing to exchange, this allows any asset to be exchanged to any other asset using XRP as the bridge with a single hop. Services, such as those being developed by ILP.ix and mlab, help connectors find each other and create a network of available pairings.
ILP will find the best path and use this when calculating the rates of a transfer. This forces connectors to be competitive and make spreads very tight and stable. Overpriced connectors would not be used, forcing them to be competitive or sit idle.
The network effect of this simplification in pairings should not be underestimated, the more assets using XRP to bridge, the more liquid the market becomes and the more efficiently everything operates - including society in general I hope.
Future Part 2 - The Automated world.
Now that we have a highly effective network of assets that can interoperate with each other within a few seconds via XRP, (including settling payments), we add automation via AI, smart contracts, Oracles, the internet of things - combine all of these elements together we have the potential to create an global semi-autonomous network of value.
This change to our financial system brings about 3 major things. Efficiency, speed, and granularity. Efficiency and speed are clear, but the granularity of the network being tokenised along with automation and autonomous decisions by AI's taking place - this is the big change..so big i dont think we can yet fully comprehend what this can do for our species.
I think of it being like a massive upgrade in clock speed to a processor, or improvement in resolution from old tv to 4K HD TV.
I believe we are on the verge of a monumental shift in the way our planet transacts, one that will hopefully usher in a new era of prosperity. Plans to eradicate poverty are long overdue but now within our grasp. This can only be achieved by raising the living standards of everyone on the planet, and by faciliting inclusion in the modern world for many of the worlds poor and unbanked.
Lastly, we must hope that global financial connectivity and inclusion will be more profitable than war, hopefully ending that phase of human history.
I hope you enjoyed this, my second journey through time and space.
Josepi90 - AKA Agent Brocollu
Josepi90 on XRPchat.com
Xrpdreamboat on reddit.com
@Josepi909 on twitter