The terminology used was carefully chosen to reflect a concept.
His tweet was one of many in the previous week that centered around a large-scale communication effort by Ripple to respond with its own perspective on the recent whirlwind of media coverage for digital assets. The recent - and sudden - pushing of digital assets to the center stage of political discourse was brought on by Facebook's foray into the world of cryptocurrency; the publishing of their Libra whitepaper.
The spotlight has continued through the end of July, with presentations from the Treasury Secretary of the United States, and by virtue of testimony provided to - and from - the U.S. Congress.
Chris Larsen put it this way in his own accompanying Tweet:
"𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘺 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵.
𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘵 𝘙𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘴𝘬 𝘨𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘜.𝘚. 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘱𝘶𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘳𝘺𝘱𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘣𝘶𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘵. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦, 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘴 - 𝘭𝘦𝘵’𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘴.
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘸."
The use of the term 'inflection point' left an impression on me, because of its precise mathematical and economic meaning; it's when the curvature of a function changes from negative to positive; it can be a generic term to mean most changes in direction, or the perceived boundaries of elasticity.
And when we think of digital assets and the amount of press coverage that they've received since Facebook's announcement of the Libra whitepaper, it can mean a time where pivotal decisions are made. Typically, with greater levels of attention and scrutiny, any decision or change of direction carries enormous weight; altering course after an inflection point becomes more difficult by a wide margin.
Is he right?
It looks like that's the case. The cryptomarket has now been around for a number of years; regulators worldwide are starting to take it more seriously, and ordinary citizens worldwide are becoming more knowledgeable about their ability to purchase these unique digital, no-counter-party assets. International organizations have been giving it greater attention for a number of reasons, and if steered correctly, the conversation could include recognition of the way in which blockchain technology can supercharge the global economy.
The ability to send value - in whatever form - as easily to another person as we would send a text message, has enormous benefits for global commerce. It would speed up the velocity of money in several respects, and would free up capital that has been 'parked' in Nostro-vostro accounts.
Ripple is keenly interested in these financial innovations.
XRP has the potential to solve pain points associated with the legacy model of correspondent banking, and some Xpring businesses have cleverly coded applications that free up hidden economic value in other respects, such as renting personal property, or by enabling artists to charge fractions of a penny for viewing content.
Now, in mid-2019, Ripple is methodically pointing out that direction is needed for the U.S. to maintain its leading position in technology.
Our leaders in the U.S. should take the time to read Ripple's Open Letter.
The biggest news in crypto was a sequence of 257 words strung together by Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen, the CEO and Chairman of the Board at Ripple, respectively, published on July 29ᵗʰ. An 'Open Letter To Congress' was announced and published on multiple media platforms, including Twitter and a full-page spread in the Wall Street Journal:
The recent attention of the US Congress - and the President - have been on Facebook's exploration into cryptocurrency, with the publishing of the Libra whitepaper. This attention, although needed, has been marred by Facebook's horrible track record with regards to regulatory violations of privacy in various jurisdictions. The company has now brought this baggage to the arena of cryptocurrency, where legitimate firms like Ripple are doing their part to improve the reputation of digital assets.
The letter from Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen expounds on the importance of regulatory guidance, and emphasizes that the new industry can and will provide an economic boost to the nations where these new blockchain businesses are located.
And that location is driven by regulatory policies of each country.
Emphasizing this point, his open letter points out the recent attention that the industry has claimed in the public mind-space, and reminds lawmakers that this focus is an opportunity that can - and should - be seized by the US when it comes to providing leadership. Usually I pick out sections to share, but in this case, it's important to read the entire letter:
𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘥𝘰 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘱𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘵 𝘶𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘥 𝘣𝘳𝘶𝘴𝘩. 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘬𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘺 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘴. 𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘜.𝘚. 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘭𝘢𝘸. 𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥.
𝘞𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘣𝘢𝘯𝘬𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘶𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘹 𝘥𝘺𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘤𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥. 𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴, 𝘨𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘫𝘰𝘣 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘴𝘵.
𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘥, 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘺 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯—𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘺, 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘺, 𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘺. 𝘐𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸, 𝘥𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘜.𝘚. 𝘥𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘳—𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮.
𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘢 𝘥𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘵, 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘬𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘶𝘯𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘵’𝘴 𝘩𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘤 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘵. 𝘈𝘴 𝘪𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘵, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘜.𝘚. 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘺, 𝘯𝘶𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘤𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺.
𝘞𝘦 𝘶𝘳𝘨𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘜.𝘚. 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘺, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘥𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘻𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘧𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴—𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘱𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘥 𝘣𝘳𝘶𝘴𝘩. 𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘸𝘦 𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘬 𝘱𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘵𝘢𝘹 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘶𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘫𝘰𝘣𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘴. 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥’𝘴 𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝘓𝘦𝘵’𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘪𝘻𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵.
𝘉𝘳𝘢𝘥 𝘎𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦, 𝘊𝘌𝘖 𝘰𝘧 𝘙𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘦 & 𝘊𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘴 𝘓𝘢𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘯,
𝘌𝘹𝘦𝘤𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘊𝘩𝘢𝘪𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘊𝘰-𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘙𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘦"
The timing of the letter is important, and it comes after months of attention-grabbing headlines in the digital asset space, including news of Ripple's historic deal with MoneyGram. The entire industry is starting to make a transition - led by XRP - into mainstream use in business and industry. Digital assets are now being considered by the world's central banks, and Ripple has a massive stake in the future direction of regulation.
The letter is but one of many steps Ripple is taking to steer regulatory policy in common-sense directions. They've also teamed up with lobbyists, other companies, and trade organizations in the US and overseas to make their voice heard and to assist leaders in understanding the underlying technology.
My prediction is that Ripple will continue to participate and lead the dialogue in various capacities in the coming months. As Chris Larsen accurately pointed out, the entire industry as at 'an inflection point.' Leaving regulatory direction to chance is not an option for its leaders.
Along with Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen's Open Letter to Congress published on July 29ᵗʰ, Monica Long, Ripple's SVP of Marketing, met with a reporter from Bloomberg to elaborate on the background behind the letter:
The first question from Bloomberg was 'How do you expect to change law-makers' minds?' Monica Long answered:
"𝘐 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘪𝘵'𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘵𝘰 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘵 𝘢 𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘥𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘜.𝘚. 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘜.𝘚. 𝘶𝘱 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘨𝘭𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘭 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱 ... 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘨𝘭𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘭 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘴 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘵."
The interview also hit other points such as Libra, and Monica Long had one dramatic interjection on that point:
"𝘍𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥𝘯'𝘵 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘬 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘺."
She also emphasized the importance of the points that the Open Letter made, reiterating many of the concepts and reminding viewers that not all digital assets and companies in the blockchain space are created equal.
Ripple's letter, along with Monica Long's interview, served to underscore just how important that message was to Ripple, and how much they felt the words needed to be said in a very public fashion. The letter, along with her interview, was a wise move by Ripple, and reminded the general public to challenge their legislators to rise above scoring easy political points, and instead focus on the more far-reaching debate about digital asset regulation.
New York State Digital Currency Taskforce
The state of New York has an interesting history with digital assets. Among the various states in the U.S., it has some of the most stringent requirements for blockchain technology businesses, and its licensing program is known as perhaps one of the 'highest bars' for operational guidance, although some exchanges have complained that the checks are more onerous and constricting than necessary.
Along these same lines, the state has also created what it deems a 'Digital Currency Taskforce,' whose members are selected by New York state-level legislators. On July 22ⁿᵈ, Clyde Vanel, an Assemblyman for New York State, announced the new makeup of the taskforce, which includes six legislature-appointed members, and seven governor-appointed members.
The six legislature-appointed positions included Ryan Zagone, Ripple's Director of Regulatory Relations:
Ripple has a lengthy history of legislative involvement and leadership, participating in conferences, panel discussions, open forums, and other opportunities to influence meaningful legislation and regulation. Ryan Zagone has previously been involved in a variety of these initiatives, so it's great to see him continue that track record with this latest prestigious appointment.
SBI Goes Live
One of the most-anticipated deployments for 2019 was the 'go-live' of SBI's virtual currency trade platform with real-time order books.
Until July 31ˢᵗ, SBI VC had conducted a soft deployment, but had not integrated real-time buying and selling; that changed with its official deployment at the end of July:
The tweet contained a link to SBI's official, short public notice about the exchange going live; it confirmed that the main difference would be in the way that the platform handles order-matching, and emphasized that it's going to a 'live' approach rather than OTC. It also indicated that the name of the updated service would be 'VCTRADE Pro' instead of just 'VCTRADE.'
One analyst, CryptoEri (Twitter and YouTube) noted that the fee structure of the new platform was extremely competitive, with the transaction fees for both maker and taker listed as -0-. She even termed this 'free' schedule as 'brutally competitive' in nature, given how other exchanges usually make their profits based off of those exchange fees.
In addition, the exchange emphasized some of the surveillance tools they'd implemented, ostensibly in conformance with FATF guidelines, and how they used the services of market makers to deepen the exchange platform's order books.
The exchange will no doubt be gathering steam in the coming days, and it will be fascinating to watch how the additional network liquidity will impact both volume and price action.
Kyoto University & University of Tokyo
Ripple's University Blockchain Research Initiative, or UBRI for short, is a program that funds various secondary learning institutions with grants to study blockchain-related topics, and work the new technology into existing, established curriculum.
Thus far, thirty-three universities and colleges have benefited from the grants, and on July 30ᵗʰ, Ripple announced that Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo would both be receiving a UBRI grant:
Investing in secondary education programs is a tried-and-true approach for long-term corporate health, and has benefited multiple high-tech companies over the years; Ripple is building on that approach with their UBRI, and eventually the investment in education may provide substantial intangible benefits, such as a much deeper talent pool for blockchain technology development.
Social media interaction is a component of almost every startup's marketing plans these days; Twitter is but one medium among a long list of platforms that busy engineers and entrepreneurs consider when thinking about official - and unofficial - interactions with their user base, along with potential customers.
On July 29ᵗʰ, we learned that Coil had made a decision to start and run an instance of a tool called 'Discourse.' (not to be confused with 'Discord'):
The tool is a configurable online forum management application.
Thus far, the tweet has signified the plans of the Coil team, but no official invitations for the new online forum have yet been sent out to the public.
To date, one subreddit has sprung up organically, and developers have used that, along with a slack channel, to keep up-to-speed. Coil also maintains their own official documentation for developers and stakeholders on the official website.
From Ben Sharafian's communication, it looks like the development of a community-centered knowledge base was one of the deciding factors in creating this new forum; I can see many people worldwide wanting to participate as Coil is adopted at greater and greater levels. Hopefully, this new, centralized location will be a convenient virtual gathering spot for all Coil stakeholders.
Fan-based videos for XRP can easily rise to immediate popularity. One only has to view the number of 'subscriptions' on some of the more popular YouTube 'XRP' channels to understand how important video is for promulgating important messages.
A newer channel to venture into the video-production business is one called 'XRP Productions.' It's run by a member of the XRP Community, and unlike some of the other fan videos, this channel has hired professional voice actors to breathe life into both fiction-and-nonfiction productions. The latest video to be released via the channel is titled "Classic Schwartz, Episode I :"
Even though I've read some of his comments previously, it's great to be reminded of David Schwartz's insightful perspectives. He's responsible for a broader set of community interactions than most other Ripple executives, and based on that history, is typically one of the most popular speakers and writers in crypto, generally.
XRP Productions does a great job of identifying and picking the content that is very 'share-able' with others in and out of the cryptomarket; if you or somebody you know is thinking of sharing information about XRP, I'd strongly advise you to take a look at both this latest video, and some of the earlier content that the new channel has published on YouTube.
XRP Community Demographics
When the term 'demographics' is used, it invariably refers to the composition of a specific group, stratified by any number of variables that can be measured at an individual level.
Part of these measurements might target characteristics that you are born with, such as your age or race, or may reflect your current state, such as your economic situation or career choice. Regardless of what is measured, the study of demographics has an important place in business; businesses are normally very curious about the makeup of their customer base, as those factors will affect the direction that marketing should take.
In addition, it's wise for a business to understand the long-term trends of an industry or market to determine how best to position future changes or enhancements.
While I performed some basic demographic polls when I first published my Coil blog titled "Who Are We," Leonidas Hadjiloizou took the idea much further .
Starting in June, Leonidas configured a survey tool to capture additional characteristics of those in the XRP Community, including 'Country of Residence,' 'Native Language,' and 'Education Level,' among others. In addition, he incentivized the process, rewarding survey takers with XRP.
On July 30ᵗʰ, he formally announced that he'd tabulated the results, and published them on his popular fan site, 'XRP Arcade:'
The demographic survey captured an amazing twenty-seven data points for each individual, and Leonidas Hadjiloizou compiled, analyzed, and created a color-coded graph for each one.
It's not feasible to cover all of the incredible summations for the statistics here, but I've chosen to share a few of the surprises. One asked respondents to indicate what type of 'XRP owner' they were:
This indicates to me that most XRP owners are long-term investors!
For a while, I've felt like, perhaps, I'm in the minority of XRP owners when it comes to my own approach of 'buy-and-hold,' but it looks like there are plenty of others in the community.
Another surprise was the price that most survey takers expect XRP to reach 'in the long run:'
Without much competition, it's apparent that the majority of XRP owners predict that XRP will top out above $100 dollars, and almost half of that group believes that the zenith will be above $1,000. It's an interesting observation, and Leonidas thinks that price expectations were correlated with the number of XRP owned by the individual taking the survey.
And the final surprise from my standpoint was the collective results for the question 'In what year do you believe XRP will reach its maximum value?'
This chart reveals that one in five XRP Community members feels that XRP will reach its highest value per unit approximately ten years from now.
Upon seeing this result, I was initially skeptical, but then I remembered that Bitcoin achieved its most recent all-time-high (ATH) at the end of 2017, which would put it roughly nine years after it was created. Perhaps there is 'wisdom in the crowd' - perhaps it will take years for XRP to reach its maximum value.
There are twenty-four more categories that are just as fascinating as the above three that I've profiled here; I urge you to fully read through the results on your own. Leonidas Hadjiloizou has provided a fantastic point-in-time basis for a comparison one year hence; it would be interesting to see what these numbers look like if we used the same questions again in twelve months.
South Africa Meetup
Meetups are happening worldwide as the XRP Community continues to expand; one of the more recent ones was a gathering in South Africa. Xago, a payment processor in South Africa that handles digital assets and XRP, organized and hosted the gathering, sending out a general invitation, planned for July 25ᵗʰ.
Afterwards, the company and some XRP fans shared pics from the meetup, and referenced a discussion moderated by the CEO of Xago, Jurgen Kuhnel:
No matter where XRP fans live, knowledge of the world's fastest and most scalable digital asset is working its way around the globe; anybody can organize a meetup in the city where they live, and sometimes friendships can form at these events.
Hopefully we'll see more meetups from South Africa in 2019 and beyond.
Exonium is an ICO-funded exchange that went live with its newest iteration in June of this year. It displays a license from Estonia at the bottom of the platform's website.
On July 19ᵗʰ, Exonium advertised that it had added an XRP pairing to its mix; thus far, it includes XRP-USDT trading.
The exchange runs on what it classifies as a decentralized platform; a decentralized exchange that essentially issues assets based on pegged currencies on other networks. This means that each cryptocurrency can be traded directly against another in a decentralized fashion on the blockchain that the company runs, loosely labeled as the 'Allbit Decentralized Network System.'
On July 4ᵗʰ, the company notified the public that it would be supporting XRP pairings on its decentralized exchange:
It looks as though the pairings are currently limited for XRP, but the exchange is also noteworthy because of its decentralized architecture.
This means yet another exchange that is opting to head in a decentralized direction rather than use a centralized model; it will be interesting to see if Allbit's technical approach to solving the challenges of custody and decentralized processing will allow it to compete effectively with centralized exchanges.
The Time is Now
The XRP ecosystem of companies, individuals, and technology is continuing to advance, and these investments are already starting to bear fruit in mid-2019. This includes SBI VC, along with various Xpring investments beginning to make progress in utilization of XRP. This includes Coil, Omni, XRPL Labs, Kava, and others that are in the works.
XRP is the standard for payments, performance metrics, and network features; the cryptomarket is just getting started, and XRP is rising in prominence due to the effective actions taken by its championing organizations.
To keep up to date on all of the developments in crypto and how they affect XRP, make sure to subscribe to my blog on Coil; and if you haven't already done so, pick up a $5 dollar subscription so that you can view all of growing body of exclusive content on the Coil platform.
And remember to support others in the XRP Community!
Cover Art: Thank you to Kyle Head