It's the old meme: "I'm into XRP for the technology!"
The reason it's so funny to those of us in the community is because, despite all the good that the XRP Ledger can do as a digital asset used for real-time settlement; no matter how much its metrics tower over that of other cryptocurrencies; no matter how much XRP is used in micropayment streaming; and no matter how much we believe in what the Internet of Value could do to transform the world's economy ...
Most of us are here because of an investment.
Digital assets have a reputation for volatility and sudden surges in value, especially for those that choose to hold them for periods of time that may make an ordinary mortal uncomfortable. There are not many people in the world that can deal with price movements measured in double digits, and we've seen the market take its toll on participants.
For those that remain, it's wise to conduct a SWOT analysis on our investment frequently, especially on digital assets. Part of that review is to examine the results in Ripple's quarterly XRP Markets Report; it's the publication where the largest championing organization in crypto publishes two sides of the coin in its efforts - XRP Sales and Investments.
Each time Ripple publishes the XRP Markets Report, I conduct an analysis of the published information, and provide my own feedback on what it all means; this quarter is no exception, and it's critical to pause and examine both the raw numbers and market insight that Ripple's experts provided.
Each quarter, Ripple releases their 'XRP Markets Report,' which traditionally focuses on the company's XRP sales, balanced against summary information about their investments.
Ripple possesses the highest amount of XRP of any organization or individual in the world, giving it substantial influence over the market. To alleviate the almost-automatic concern about market influence, Ripple voluntarily locked away its treasury supply of XRP in cryptographic vaults called 'escrows' starting in 2017.
At the time, these escrows contained approximately 55 billion XRP: This amount reflected the goal of releasing one billion XRP each month for a 'rolling period' measured in years. Here's how the escrow works:
At the beginning of each month, one billion XRP is released to Ripple. Ripple then uses a portion of the released XRP for various activities including sales and investments in the XRP ecosystem. At the end of each month, Ripple places any unused XRP back into a new escrow.
This way, the escrow becomes a rolling release that could potentially stretch over many years, thus mimicking what 'mining' does for proof-of-work based cryptographic networks. The resulting release schedule looks somewhat like this:
Ripple shared these details with the general public in 2017 when the escrow was created.
And now, at the end of each quarter, Ripple provides the XRP Markets Report, which contains the high-level information about how it used this 'released' XRP. In some cases, Ripple will opt to sell the XRP to the open market, using a combination of programmatic sales on various exchanges, and 'wholesale' sales to banks, remittance processors, or private investors.
Over time, the XRP Markets Report has evolved to include Ripple's own viewpoints about the market for XRP, including sections about regulation, the general cryptomarket, and sometimes, progress with xRapid, its liquidity-sourcing solution that utilizes XRP for settlement.
While Ripple carefully plans out its sales levels based on 'percentage of overall sales,' it was pointed out by many that the numbers used by Ripple had been widely dismissed by experts as including wash sales and fake volume reported by various exchanges. The problem in this case was not with Ripple's sales percentages, but the denominator that they used in their calculations; the reported volume from exchanges.
Generally, new exchanges are motivated to inflate their volume numbers in an effort to increase their ranking on such sites as Coinmarketcap.com.
To rectify this situation and restore confidence in their reporting, Ripple researched reported volumes and formally communicated their intention to alter its dependence on data from Coinmarketcap. Here's what Ripple said on June 3ʳᵈ:
"𝘞𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯’𝘵 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘢𝘤𝘵 𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘱𝘴 𝘢𝘵 𝘙𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘥𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘲𝘶𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘵 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥𝘸𝘪𝘥𝘦:
- 𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘮.
- 𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘶𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘵𝘰 𝘟𝘙𝘗 𝘷𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘮𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘰𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘵 𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘢.
- 𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘵𝘰 𝘟𝘙𝘗 𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘳."
It was the communication that was needed by the market, and tellingly, the price of XRP rose steadily afterwards, hitting new heights for 2019.
Quarter 2 Sales
Ripple traditionally reports its prior quarter numbers when publishing the new version of the XRP Markets Report; for purposes of my reviews, I track these and all the reported numbers extending back to the very first XRP Markets Report. Here's what the trends look like, extended backwards to the fourth quarter of 2016:
The first thing you should notice is that the second quarter set a record for sales of XRP by Ripple. The category 'programmatic sales' was roughly $145 million dollars, which is almost equivalent to the record amount set during the first quarter of 2018 ($151 million). And 'institutional sales' was roughly $107 million dollars, a new record.
The total combined to set a new cash inflow record for Ripple as a result of XRP sales: $252 million dollars.
The escrow release schedule proceeded as usual, sending Ripple three billion XRP during the second quarter.
Ripple kept 900 million of this XRP for investment and sales, and placed the remaining 2.1 billion XRP back into escrows for another 55 months.
Here's what the second quarter looks like, compared to prior quarters:
This amount represents a new record for the amount of XRP retained out of escrow by Ripple, and also represents a significant increase (29% increase) over the old record, set in the prior quarter. As a point of reference, the amount kept by Ripple from the escrow release is three times the amount kept during the first quarter of 2018, at the height of the largest 'crypto bubble.'
Where was this money used?
It looks like most of it went to the sales that Ripple tracks in the XRP Markets Report. If we look at the total sales - both programmatic and institutional, we arrive at a number that most likely represents over 700 million XRP. The remainder, 200 million, was probably used as part of the Xpring initiative series of investments, along with Ripple's investment in MoneyGram.
The problem is that Ripple doesn't account or reconcile the amount retained from escrow in their markets report; instead they focus on sales and investments as separate categories.
Ripple re-instituted a section that covers xRapid progress for their reporting on quarter two.
xRapid is Ripple's solution that utilizes XRP for settlement of cross-border payments; this is where the report really shone brightly, and Ripple disclosed that their xRapid volumes had increased by 170% from the first quarter of 2019. In addition, they documented that the number of xRapid partners increased by 30% over that same time frame.
In the section where they discuss xRapid, Ripple also talked about their MoneyGram partnership, which will provide an ownership interest in MoneyGram in exchange for a capital infusion of $50 million dollars over two years.
The deal also involves the use of XRP for settlement of MoneyGram's cross-border payments within the context of Ripple's xRapid solution.
Other XRP Markets Report Items
The second-quarter report also talked about Ripple's Xpring Initiative, regulatory news, and the ongoing trend of large Internet companies looking to enter the blockchain and payments space.
In the very first sentence of the Xpring section, Ripple re-emphasized Xpring's commitment to championing adoption of XRP:
"𝘟𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘴 𝘙𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘦’𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴, 𝘣𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘻𝘦𝘥 𝘟𝘙𝘗 𝘓𝘦𝘥𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘟𝘙𝘗 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘥𝘨𝘦𝘳."
The section went on to list, in bullet-point fashion, some specific Xpring investments such as Bolt Labs, Agoric, and Robot Ventures.
There's a lot to unpack.
First off, the report represents a new record for sales of XRP by Ripple, which is, from a purely volume and supply standpoint, important. Traders will look at these numbers and make determinations about supply and demand from a macro-market standpoint, and will attempt to divine the potential future impact in the third quarter of 2019.
So increasing sales means, in the simplest terms, an increasing supply of XRP.
However, with Ripple, as opposed to other large-scale owners of cryptocurrency, there is a separate motivation at play. While Bitcoin likewise has high levels of centralized ownership, most of the XRP is owned by Ripple, whose company's value is predicated on the value of its largest asset, XRP. For this reason, it conducts sales not to profit, but to invest.
And these investments may result in substantial adoption of XRP over time. One of the most exciting investments is in MoneyGram, because it will mean one of the largest remittance processors using a digital asset for settlement. In addition, other Xpring investments have the potential to use XRP at scale as well, but for different use cases.
All of these investments owe their existence to sales of XRP by Ripple.
This need to invest in XRP's ecosystem must also be correctly and successfully balanced against the need to protect the free market price discovery of XRP, however, and this is where the market is starting to ask questions, especially given the recent price declines in mid-July.
Ripple has responded in dramatic fashion, changing the source for its sales planning to 'Crypto Compare Top Tier,' and issuing the following terse statements in the XRP Markets Report:
"𝘙𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘥 $251.51 𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘟𝘙𝘗 𝘪𝘯 𝘘2 2019 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘴 𝒔𝒖𝒃𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒓𝒆𝒅𝒖𝒄𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝘧𝘶𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘟𝘙𝘗."
"𝘙𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒆𝒓𝒗𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒂𝒄𝒉 𝘵𝘰 𝘟𝘙𝘗 𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘘3. 𝘈𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘥, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘴𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘩𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘊𝘊𝘛𝘛 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘵 10 𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘊𝘊𝘛𝘛 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘷𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘮𝘦𝘴."
This quick and decisive communication is a positive step.
While this may have been a challenging quarter for XRP and crypto, generally, Ripple has done a tremendous job in terms of communications, and their leadership in usage of accurate data for sales planning helps to set a precedent for others in the market.
My gut feeling is very positive about the remainder of 2019, especially given the investments Ripple has made thus far in XRP's ecosystem, combined with a myriad of other community-driven projects, ideas, and marketing activities. This report, while understandably muted based on recent market activity, felt especially bullish in nature given both general market conditions for crypto, and the recent uptick in mainstream media coverage.
One of the primary characteristics of a cryptographic network that is examined by regulators is the nature of its decentralization.
While Facebook made headlines with their release of the Libra whitepaper, it has also provided a source of documentation about the design of the new stablecoin, prompting discussion of various regulatory-related topics.
On July 17ᵗʰ, one Twitter user commented on how Facebook was attempting to emphasize the 'decentralized' nature of Libra as a 'counter-weapon to say that Libra will not be subject to sanctions rules.' David Schwartz, Ripple's Chief Technology Officer, weighed in on the subject:
David Schwartz also made his opinion on other matters known, such as the possibility of a fork for Libra in various circumstances. It's probably not the type of publicity that Facebook is looking for from industry experts, but the mainstream media needs to temper its breathless coverage of Facebook's new project with a dose of reality.
They would do themselves - and their readers - a favor by quoting David Schwartz in this instance.
A business deal that is tracked very closely by XRP fans is that of the MoneyGram partnership with Ripple.
One of the conditions of the cash infusion by Ripple is that MoneyGram would be upgraded to real-time settlement using a digital asset - specifically XRP.
Because of this, MoneyGram business developments are also greeted with enthusiasm when formally announced. Such was the case on July 19ᵗʰ, when Sentbe, a South Korean money transfer company, announced that they'd signed a contract with MoneyGram. Alex Choi, the CEO of Sentbe, stated:
"𝘐𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘴𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘧𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘵𝘰𝘱 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘢 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘢𝘳𝘬 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘔𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘺𝘎𝘳𝘢𝘮,
𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘦𝘦𝘵 𝘥𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩-𝘴𝘢𝘷𝘷𝘺 𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘸𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦."
As it turns out, Sentbe has some very large payment clients, including that of SamsungPay. The payment processor proudly displayed news of its upgraded technology stack on its website:
Thanks to @Dillon (Twitter avatar) for the notification about Sentbe.
It's been a busy few weeks for Ripple. They've published the Q2 XRP Markets Report. They've organized a hack-a-thon. They've had a number of high-profile media interviews and panel discussions. In addition, they decided to update their corporate website; one XRP fan noticed that the company had added a new tab in their 'About > Our Company' section, titled 'Strategic Advisors:'
Thus far, there are two spots on this list, occupied by a former Ripple Board Member (Zoe Cruz), and Anthony Lim.
There is no context for the additional listing and distinction, but I'm assuming that Ripple is reserving spots for future growth, which is a smart move; my guess is that corporate growth rates will be difficult to manage going forward. Recognizing the need for additional personnel to provide counsel and advice along the way is a wise decision, along with a way to recognize these individuals.
Bangkok FinTech Fair
The 2019 Bangkok FintTech Fair is a conference in Thailand that is sponsored by the Bank of Thailand. It's goal is to:
"... 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘤 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺. 𝘐𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘻𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘐𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴, 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘷𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘥𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘈𝘚𝘌𝘈𝘕 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘰𝘯."
On July 19ᵗʰ, Ripple's Sagar Sarbhai, Ripple's Head of Regulatory Relations for Asia-Pacific & the Middle East, participated on a panel titled 'ASEAN Payment Connectivity:'
Here's a couple of notable quotes from that session:
"𝘕𝘰𝘸 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴-𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭 ... 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘙𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥.
... 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥, 𝘭𝘦𝘵'𝘴 𝘴𝘢𝘺, 𝘧𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘯𝘰𝘸, 𝘸𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘢 𝘭𝘰𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴-𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘢𝘺𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴. 𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘴 𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘧𝘵 𝘵𝘰 '𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘥𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦?' 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘙𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥."
He emphasized the importance of interoperability, highlighting Ripple's role in creating and helping to sponsor the Interledger Protocol.
The focus and emphasis on interoperability, and the goal of making money move as easily as information, is a consistent message that Ripple has championed in many public-facing presentations and discussions; and it never gets old, because, essentially, the world has been waiting for money to work in real-time for decades.
While the Internet has revolutionized almost every industry, Ripple is at the center of the innovations involved in bringing payments and financial technology into the 'digital fold' as well, and has indicated that sending money should be as easy - and as fast - as sending a text message.
A fascinating topic that's taken hold of the imagination of XRP fans recently is the possibility for incentivizing validators on the XRP Ledger network.
The original vision for the network was to avoid all incentives, as monetary incentives are one way that a decentralized network can be 'gamed' and transformed into a centralized structure. One has to look no further than some of the aging proof-of-work networks like Bitcoin or Ethereum to see how monetary incentives have actually led to the end-state of centralization:
While the XRP Ledger doesn't depend on incentives, some of the developers in the XRP Community foresee the usefulness of having the ability to monetarily reward validator operators, and have started to develop the tools necessary for making this work.
One such tool was recently released by Richard Holland:
His approach is to connect wallet information to specific validators through the technique of re-keying a wallet after establishing one based on validator keys.
The tool prompted some excitement from XRP fans who would like a method of rewarding those developers who have decided to spend their own time and energy at running an XRP validator. Hopefully we'll see this idea brought to fruition, because I get the sense that there are many people who wouldn't mind sending a tip to validators based on user-defined criteria, such as 'all the validators who achieved 99% uptime this week.'
I'm also guessing that the validators won't mind this financial reward, as it will help to defray some of the cost of hosting and maintenance.
Bithomp Supports Ellipal Logins
Online wallet services are a convenient feature for various cryptocurrency networks, and XRP is no exception.
One of the most popular sites for a wide variety of services - including that of an online wallet access portal - is Bithomp. The site offers the ability for hardware wallet users to log in using their hardware wallet credentials, and added to this by announcing that they now support Ellipal, another hardware wallet, on July 22ⁿᵈ:
It's a nice feature of Bithomp, and it allows the user to keep their private keys private, while still accessing the convenient features available on Bithomp.
Bithomp is popular with XRP users, since it also has rich features that identify high-profile wallets, along with wallets that have been identified or linked to specific users through the XRP Ledger 'naming' service.
Bithomp also has many tools, such as a key-pair generator (code for this is open-source on Github), a price alerts service, an account activation option, a 'username' service for people that want to name their wallet, and TestNet access.
To keep updated on all of the latest features of Bithomp, it's a good idea to follow their official Twitter account, along with the Twitter account of its founder, Viacheslav Bakshaev:
- Bithomp Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/bithomp
- Viacheslav Bakshaev's Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/Bakshayev
Binance has been busy expanding its global footprint and name brand. The platform now has exchanges specific to a few different regions, including one that is specifically targeting the US market, and another one in Singapore. In fact, the US version just appointed a Ripple alum, Catherine Coley, as its CEO.
On July 24ᵗʰ, an XRP fan named PandaRippleXRP (Twitter avatar) asked the official Binance Singapore Twitter account the question 'when XRP?'
Binance replied back with 'soon soon,' to the delight of XRP traders in Singapore. While there are a multitude of options for those wanting to trade in XRP or convert their fiat money into crypto, many traders and users feel additionally comfortable when larger name brands are also available in their home country. In this case, it's always good to have Binance in the mix, as it makes the entire space a bit more competitive.
These additional options usually mean better service for customers as these businesses look to compete with each other.
The tweet by RipplePandaXRP also reinforces the importance for the XRP Community to make it's voice heard when communicating with exchanges that want our business.
It's Time for XRP
In addition to the cold analysis that goes along with examining the sales and investment numbers in Ripple's quarterly report, it's crucial to note the tone in the report itself; it's also important to gauge the market direction and trend.
The market is at a cross-roads, where it is looking past its speculative roots ... looking to utility and real usage.
And Ripple has stated - now with no room for ambiguity in its latest report - that it is getting ready to substantially reduce its sales of XRP. XRP stands in the center of a maelstrom, and even though the market may appear calm at the moment, the remainder of the year will hold many surprises.
Get ready for the rest of 2019, and remember to keep up to date on the latest XRP news by subscribing to my blog on Coil; and remember to support others in the XRP Community as well!