“This is going to be a marathon, I look at where we are in that marathon relative to where one could have hoped, and we are so far ahead of the competition, I’m thrilled, but there’s a long way to go!” 1
(Brad Garlinghouse, ask me anything with Monica Long, December 18th 2018.)
If XRP was an athlete, it would probably be the greatest athlete in world. Some kind of mutant, with the speed of Usain Bolt, the strength of Serena Williams, and the endurance of Kenenisa Bekele.
Using an athlete as a comparison to XRP might seem strange to some so bear with me, I couldn’t resist! When you’re the best at something like these three people are or have been, how did they get there, and what kept them at the top?
There are certain traits that top athletes will possess, all in my eyes can be directly linked back to Ripple and XRP.
Confidence: The belief that you can make it to the top, no matter what or who gets in your way. It’s plain to see that the employees of Ripple breathe confidence, they believe in their abilities, products and most importantly in XRP.
To get the best out of any athlete you need support, technical support, a team of professionals, all working in harmony to get the best out of their star performer! Brad Garlinghouse as the manager perhaps, David Schwarz the physio, Migel Vias strength and conditioning, Cory Johnson as the coach, you get the picture.
Their belief in Ripple and XRP is unwavering, but don’t mistake any of this confidence for arrogance, the guys and girls of Ripple know all about humility another important trait in an athlete’s armoury, there’s always room for improvement, and these improvements lead to progression which we constantly see happening in front of our very eyes.
It’s not all about the Management though, XRP also has the support of our community, the fans! Cheering XRP on, fighting its corner and pushing it to be the best it can be. Making XRP not only the best in a new asset class, but an interoperable all-round monster of an athlete, through Coil, Codius, TipBot, Omni, and many, many more.
Motivation: Motivation is crucial for any top athlete, whether it’s vying for top spot with your nearest rival Bitcoin or a local derby with Swift, everyone has their own motivations but in Ripple and XRP’s case a strong motivation is most definitely helping others.
Sendfriend 2 is a great example of this and another string to XRP’s bow. I had the fortune of living in Hong Kong previously and witnessed first-hand the difficulties that overseas Filipino workers faced when living away from their friends and families. Some overseas Filipino workers became close friends of mine, the largest majority of these workers in Hong Kong are women. It is not uncommon for the overseas Filipino workers to leave their children behind at a very young age, travelling to Hong Kong in order to support their families, sending their earnings back to the Philippines every month. Some of these OFW’s may be fortunate enough to receive a contract stipulating they are provided with airfare back to the Philippines while others may not see their children for years on end, leaving them to be looked after by their grandparents or relatives and missing their children’s most formative years.
Salaries for OFW’s in Hong Kong are extremely low when compared to the majority of the Hong Kong population where the minimum wage is set at $4410 HKD (563 USD) per month. For anyone else that has lived in Hong Kong, and as one of the most expensive cities in the world it would ordinarily be impossible to live on this amount of money. Even with free accommodation which is provided to some of the OFW’s surviving on $4410 HKD a month must be incredibly difficult and should be increased dramatically! In the past the OFW’s would have relied on remittance companies such as Western Union, with low salaries and high remittance fees this must have been excruciating seeing your money disappear in this fashion. Along with this expense the OFW's also had their time taken away from them and would spend hours lining up in queues on their one day off a week to make payments to their loved ones. Thankfully the days of taking advantage of the vulnerable remittance market may soon be over.
With an estimated 615 billion to be sent worldwide in remittances by the end of 2018, and with all the improvements in mobile technology the market is ripe for disruption. Many companies like Tencent (Wechat) are on the move and are already looking to corner the market in places like Hong Kong with their own remittance payment application WeRemit. WeRemit was set up in 2017 and has been offering free remittances from Hong Kong to the Philippines enticing new customers to use their services. Over the last two months though, Tencent have started to charge fees whereby every transaction after the first free one will cost $16 HKD. Interestingly though and something which I noted the other day was a rumour about Tencent making a significant investment into XRP. So, for the conspiracy theorists amongst us try not to watch this video on WeRemit without getting ridiculously excited (Real time) 3 ;)
After digging around I also came across another app called HappyTransfer which runs on Wechat, used for enabling remittance payments between the USA, Canada and China, the app is a partnership between Wechat, Fist Global and LianLianPay. 4 The most interesting part of this is that both applications, Weremit and Happytransfer have an almost identical façade. And with Happytransfer in partnership with LianLian, who knows what the future may hold for Weremit. 5
There are many options for sending remittances for the OFW’S in Hong Kong, but WeRemit is the quickest and the cheapest to date. In order for the recipients to receive their payment in the Philippines the receiver must visit a remittance centre in the Philippines and the sender must top up their account at the local 711 in Hong Kong, a convenience store. All in all, it is great that the OFW’s have these new alternatives, but it is still time consuming and expensive when obviously compared to XRP.
The OFW’s are also able to send money from their WeRemit accounts to bank accounts in the Philippines, but this again takes 1-2 days (I wonder why) a flight time of only two hours separates the two countries, but unfortunately on a salary of only $4410 HKD per month this option is off the table!
Remittances equated to $28.1 billion being sent home from Filipino workers in 2017. Unsurprisingly this report 6 in 2017 also states that every month in the first half of 2017, an average of $8.8 million Philippines bound remittances travelled via virtual currencies, just imagine that total after Sendfriend goes live. The potential for XRP and Sendfriend is enormous, and its ability to wipe out expensive fees from companies like Western Union, Swift and even WeRemit is right around the corner.
It will be very interesting to see how things develop with Sendfriend over the coming year and I’m really excited and looking forward to hearing about their successes in the future. For more information about OFW’s please read this excellent article posted on twitter. 7
**Killer instinct, a trust in the process and the willingness to go the distance! **
All top athletes have a killer instinct and are well versed in risk taking, but it is all about the management of that risk. Make no mistake XRP in its incarnation was and is still a risk, but it is a calculated one. The best teams behind any star athlete know how to manage that risk, just as the top investors of the world do also. Making sure their star player doesn’t lose his or her head, a fate that many top athletes have succumbed to through sheer greatness and the pressure that comes with being at the top!
Ripple have gone out of their way to recruit the best, look no further than the Board of Directors for this fact. 8 The board knows we’re in a marathon, not a sprint, and I’m more than confident that this all-star team are very capable of providing XRP with the gold. They are experts in knowing how to reduce pressure on our star athlete and have all the experience in regard to regulation to eliminate any future potential risks that both Ripple and XRP may face.
Ripple are willing to go the distance make no doubt about that fact, the way they have set up and hired, the talent they have attracted and the way in which they will retain that talent will show in due course. I could literally be here forever rolling off the similarities in comparing XRP to a top athlete, but I think you get the idea, feel more than free to check them out for yourselves 9 and let me know about all the other things I could have included. In the meantime, sit back and relax, feel confident that you’ve backed a winning horse the likes that even Seabiscuit is in envy of!
“To become an overnight success, takes 10 years of hard work.”
As I mentioned in my previous blog 10 2018 has been tough to stomach, it’s definitely not how I envisaged it all playing out. So, whilst we’ve all mostly been sitting on the side lines biting our finger nails hoping our favourite athlete will charge past the finish line to rapturous applaud from our community, what can we be doing until the inevitable happens?
I’ve heard time and time again, people calling upon us through Twitter, Telegram, Reddit, and Youtube to build. But what if you’re not a top developer like our very own Wietse Wind what can you do in this instance?
How about looking to other community members such as @kingblue_XRP who has raised an astounding 23,000 XRP for St Judes, @bigbuckor 11 through filter of hope or @wanderingware who aims to eradicate the carbon foot print of XRP by planting trees and offsetting carbon emissions.
There are many things that can be done without being a famous C++ developer and which will help to build our community. I am sure there are people reading this knowing they have excellent ideas but who are perhaps afraid or unsure about acting upon them. Our community is growing more and more every day and I’m sure that there are hundreds if not thousands of others who have excellent ideas ideal to suit XRP and its use cases. We all found XRP and had the foresight to see it for what it is worth, it took an entrepreneurial mind and guts to be staying the course, just think about all the entrepreneurs we have in our community, the potential and power we have as a group is mind boggling. So, let’s keep building on these amazing foundations!
In a mild state of insomnia last week, one of my own ideas came to me. I’ve come up with all sorts over the last few years, but this one seems to be simple enough to execute and it’s something that hopefully everyone can get behind.
Whilst I can’t code, I can run, I’m definitely no match for our star athlete XRP, but I manage to shuffle around a football pitch adequately, that’s soccer to my American friends. So how hard can a Marathon be? Thanks to Brad I knew the distance was 26 miles, thanks Brad! I’m no stranger to the odd 10km but the full marathon has eluded me so far. In the days of the Ironman a mere 26 miles might not seem a lot to some, but according to my sources only 0.5% of Americans have completed a Marathon, that’s like holding the equivalent of more than 150,000 XRP and putting yourself in the top 0.5% of XRP holders, so it must be difficult! 12 Besides and as Brad says, we have a long way to go before we cross mile 26 depending on who you believe, so what better use of my time than to get outside away from the charts and to raise money via everyone’s favourite digital asset!
So, here’s the plan, I have signed up to the Brighton Marathon, and aim to complete it in a respectable time of sub 4 hours. For those of you who don’t know Brighton it’s a hedonistic hippie esque city, full of vegans, seagulls and a stony beach. Famous for the Mods and Rockers and the setting of Quadrophenia, it also hosts one of the largest pride festivals in the world, and of course the Brighton Marathon! American Express a Ripple partner of course, sponsors the Brighton Marathon and its European head office is based here, you can’t go anywhere in this city without stumbling upon someone who works for them, even my brother! Brighton and Hove Albion F.C. also play at the Amex stadium just down the road from where I live, I can’t wait for the day that XRP is emblazoned across the front of their shirts! 13
The charity I’m running and raising awareness for is called Children on The Edge, www.childrenontheedge.org
They are supporting over 10,000 marginalised and forgotten children living on the edge of their societies. These are children without parental care, neglected or persecuted by their governments, ignored by the international media and missed by the large overseas agencies.
Children on the edge are a small charity with lofty goals. Much like Ripple in the early days, and due to their small size, they are able to help in places that some of the larger and more bureaucratic organisations can’t reach. For example, over the last 5 years they have been the only organisation providing education in safe spaces to Rohingya refugee children from Myanmar, in the largest makeshift camp in Bangladesh which they attribute in part to their compact size.
Children on the Edge has a human rights-based approach and is attempting to do everything within their power to protect and promote children’s rights, so they are able to survive, learn and grow, making their voices heard so they all can reach their full potential.
My target set by Children on the edge is to raise £550 minimum in cash donations through Justgiving 14 and alongside this to fundraise through XRP for the foreseeable future!
I have been in contact with Kingblue and Children on the edge over the past few weeks, trying to set things up and have been explaining to COTE about XRP and the XRP for good initiatives that have been running over the past year. They hadn’t heard about XRP before contacting them but are now very excited about XRP and a potential new form of fundraising.
I will be uploading my own journey of my training over the next few months for anyone interested in seeing a bit of blood sweat and tears, but first I’m off to the physio tomorrow as I’m in need of a deep massage and some acupuncture after being overly enthusiastic in my first few weeks of training!
Please take a look at www.childrenontheedge.com and some of their amazing initiatives, including the amazing micro loans which they are currently providing in Uganda, they are truly a fantastic charity and I hope you all think so too! 15
I started the donations last week and sent them 20 XRP through the tipbot, for anyone feeling generous please feel free to send some XRP their way! Children on the Edge have their own tipbot and wallet address which you can find below. #xrplove #xrpcommunity #xrpforgood
If anyone has any questions or suggestions for myself and Children on the Edge please feel free as always to reach out! Merry Christmas to you all!