Mainstream media and news organizations are continuing to report on the two biggest news stories in crypto in the last week; Ripple's MoneyGram deal and Facebook's publishing of their 'Libra' whitepaper.
Less high-profile were some other important news items. I cover each of these in turn, starting with news about the Token Taxonomy Act here in the US:
General Crypto News
The Token Taxonomy Act, a bill currently being considered in the US Congress, promises to clarify the definition of a cryptocurrency, and set clear standards for when a token moves from being considered a 'security' to when it is considered a no-counter-party 'cryptocurrency.'
The act also provides a de minimis exemption for annual purchases with crypto, and sets clear tax rules for crypto-to-crypto transactions in the United States. 1
The bill would be a major step forward for regulatory clarity in the US.
On June 18th, Warren Davidson, one of the bill's sponsors, and one of its most ardent proponents, sent out the following tweet:
It looks like the bill, after its initial review, is starting to become more well-defined. In addition, two more sponsors joined the effort:
- John Rose (R - Tennessee)
- Eric Swalwell (D - California)
This is a positive development, because as the list of cosponsors grows, the greater the chance that the legislation will move successfully through the required steps before being signed into law.
If you reside in the United States, I urge you to voice your own support for the Token Taxonomy Act:
Find the email of your local Representative here: Find Your Representative
Send them an email using this form letter (you fill it out): Form Letter
By sending your representative an email, you can make a difference, and your support will keep the pressure on our elected representatives to move forward with meaningful legislation that clarifies crypto regulation.
The news about Ripple's investment in MoneyGram has continued to make waves in mainstream media.
Bloomberg interviewed Brad Garlinghouse on June 17th and released the video over Twitter:
Thus far, the Bloomberg interview has been viewed approximately 150,000 times on Twitter alone. Here are two important quotes from that video:
Question (Bloomberg): "How much equity did Ripple get in this deal?"
Answer (Brad Garlinghouse): "What we committed to do is to invest up to fifty million dollars. We'll end up owning somewhere between six ... and ten percent of the company. They're going to call ... they decide over the course of the next year how much of that fifty million they want to call down.
At close, they've called down thirty million dollars at a price of four dollars and ten cents per share ...
... we couldn't be more excited to have a shared vision of how digital assets can change the nature of how liquidity is managed for payment providers, globally."
Question (Bloomberg): "So what's next? Do you have plans to try to gain share(s) in other existing money transfer services?"
Answer (Brad Garlinghouse): "Well, what's next for us is to build out and expand the number of corridors where we're 'live' today. We work with over two hundred banks and financial institutions around the world ...
And with this new product around liquidity, we're now enabling liquidity into the Mexican Peso and the Philippine Peso. We certainly expect to be much broader than that; but we've only been live with this product for about six or seven months, so I feel we've made a tremendous amount of progress in a short amount of time.
We're going to continue to invest in the customers we have today, as well as expand the number of corridors we support globally."
From Brad Garlinghouse's answer to the question about whether or not Ripple has any plans to acquire interest in any other money transfer companies, I gather that they would prefer to step aside from direct competition, but that they are betting on a bright future for the industry as a whole, especially if most of the competitors end up using Ripple's products for processing cross-border payments.
Fortune Magazine Interview
In addition to Bloomberg, Brad Garlinghouse also participated in an interview with Clifton Leaf, the Editor-in-Chief of Fortune Magazine, on June 20th:
The context for the interview was a session called 'Does Crypto Have a Place in Real World Banking?' at the Fortune 'Brainstorm Conference' in Monkau, NY, and Clifton Leaf peppered Brad Garlinghouse with a variety of topics about Ripple, XRP, and Facebook's publishing of their 'Libra' whitepaper.
Here was, in my opinion, Brad Garlinghouse's answer to the question posed by the session's title:
Question (Clifton Leaf, Fortune): "In the, sort of, geological timescale, if you will, we have the era of scandal ... Silk Road and Mt Gox ... and then speculative frenzy ... and then crypto winter ... and so this next one ... you think it's utility. But a lot of people are saying 'well, what really is the utility here...?' "
Answer (Brad Garlinghouse): "I just think there's a lot of noise. Look, I think blockchains are an incredible evolution and I think many parts of the internet ... many parts of how transactions happen will change because of blockchains. Period.
I think there are a lot of examples that I see people talk about where I ask myself ... and I would ask people to ask themselves ... 'Why doesn't a database work better?' 'Why isn't a database more efficient?'
You know, blockchains (are) kind of an expensive database. It's slower than many database technologies; and I think a lot of people use the word blockchain as, frankly, catnip for investors, right? ... For marketing ... they want to get consulting revenue, so they talk about blockchain.
Look, we have been very, very focused on solving a specific set of problems for a specific set of customers, and that is around transaction banking and liquidity management.
Cross-border transactions; they are slow; they are expensive; they are error-prone. And the one cost I think gets overlooked, that people don't fundamentally understand ... The way correspondent banking works is, pre-funded capital sits in accounts around the world and you have, literally, ten trillion dollars pre-funded into other banks and to other financial institutions in order to facilitate ... it's the oil in the engine that allows correspondent banking to work ...
... if we could reduce the amount of oil necessary in the engine, that's an incredible efficiency for the global economy. That's good for everybody. If we can route ten trillion to a lower number; that's stock buy-backs. That's dividends. That's working capital for lots of other purposes."
Later on in the short segment, Clifton Leaf brought up the news about Facebook's recent publishing of their 'Libra' whitepaper:
Question (Clifton Leaf, Fortune): "... it (Libra) seemed to legitimize this idea ... your MoneyGram deal ... is another sort of legitimizing idea ... are we at the (inflection) point ... ?"
In response, Brad Garlinghouse talked about a Canadian bank that recently informed him that they were exiting their position in Brazil because of the cost of maintaining a Nostro-vostro relationship there; he pointed out a potential opportunity for xRapid:
Answer (Brad Garlinghouse): "... if they could use xRapid into Brazil, they don't have to have the pre-funded money, they don't have to have the expense, and they can still solve their customer's problem that they need to do business in Brazil; so I think these are all examples of 'it is a journey.' I think that, you know, it is nascent.
I will also say that I'm going to send a case of champagne to David Marcus, the guy who runs the ... Libra ... the reason is that this week will probably be the best week of signed contracts at Ripple ... ever.
It has been a massive call to action."
The response by Brad Garlinghouse provided some insight into Ripple's progress, and indeed, the progress of the entire blockchain industry, now that so-called 'mainstream' players like Facebook were expressing more than academic interest in digital assets.
Clifton Leaf then asked Brad Garlinghouse to respond to some of the recent comments from the Basel Committee about cryptocurrencies, and he replied by accurately differentiating the various topics and types of digital assets, noting that Ripple supports complete regulatory compliance with requirements such as KYC.
It was an enjoyable, if brief, opportunity for Brad Garlinghouse to talk about XRP's use in banking, and more so, it served as a forum for him to comment on the high-profile news items in blockchain over the past week, framing events from the perspective of how Ripple and its solutions fit into the big picture.
Former SEC Exec Joins Ripple
You may have missed the news, as it's been a very busy week for blockchain, generally, and specifically for Ripple. However, Stuart Alderoty tweeted the following notification about a Ripple new hire:
Formerly with the SEC, Michelle Bond's new title with Ripple is 'Global Head of Government Relations.' 2 It's great to see Ripple adding legal staff as it continues its global expansion into new corridors; and my guess is that some new corridors necessitate additional legal analysis to help address any nation-specific financial regulations. 3
Interledger Summit Videos
Interledger released an additional eight videos from the first 'Interledger Summit.'
The Interledger Summit was a weekend conference that Ripple and Coil sponsored in San Francisco on Saturday & Sunday, April 5th and 6th.
The summit was free, and geared for developers that wanted to learn more about how to use and communicate with the Interledger protocol, an international standard of digital payment communication.
I covered the Interledger Foundation's release of seven of the conference videos, and viewed each one, which seemed to be in chronological order. Over the subsequent weeks, Interledger published eight more videos from the conference, and sent out a notification tweet after the last one:
For those that missed out on personally attending the ILP Summit, the published videos are almost like being there yourself; I recommend viewing them if you plan on doing any coding with ILP.
Poll From David Schwartz
Facebook and their new stablecoin 'Libra' have grabbed the imagination of mainstream media for the past few days, and so it was with some interest that I noted a Twitter poll conducted by David Schwartz:
At first glance, you may be wondering about the direction of his tweet; but viewed through the lens of the Interledger protocol, it's clearly not just an innocuous poll. He's laying the groundwork for a subsequent discussion.
Could that discussion be something related to using Interledger to connect Libra to the larger cryptoverse?
Coil is a company that champions web monetization through its collection of tools that pay website owners when Coil subscribers browse their sites.
Coil sells subscriptions to customers that would like to browse content ad-free, and there is a collection of websites that offer premium, ads-free content to these viewers.
In addition, the company itself hosts both free and premium content on its own website at: https://coil.com/
The company is continuing to grow its audience and user base, and is also actively participating in the development of the technology underlying its platform - Interledger. On June 17th, Coil sent out the following announcement about a new promotion for content creators that choose to post articles on their official site:
The tweet linked to a blog on the coil site where the company explained a bit more about the new program, and included an application form for those that wish to participate:
For those curious, I was part of this initial program, and received my own Coil payout in the last few days. It was a great reward for being a part of the 'first wave' of content creators on the platform, and I would urge other authors and artists to participate in this program if they're interested in receiving a material reward for becoming an 'early adopter' like myself.
My Coil Recommendations
While I was browsing Coil recently, I discovered a new blog by Riley Q, and a series of articles by Alexander Smith, who is a wine journalist and sommelier.
Here are the links:
There's a wide variety of free - and premium - content on Coil's website for readers! To explore on your own, just bookmark Coil here: https://coil.com/explore
One of the most popular crypto-social-media applications in existence is the XRP Tip Bot.
It's one of the most intuitive and easy ways for people to use crypto, as there is no sign-up process needed. If a user on Twitter receives a tip, their account is automatically created, and their XRP is waiting for them, either to withdraw to their own private wallet, or to tip others on Twitter.
In addition to existing on social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and Discord, the XRP Tip Bot also sports a downloadable application for the iOS and Android mobile devices.
On June 17th, Wietse Wind, the creator of the XRP Tip Bot, confirmed that the 'limit' on how much XRP can be sent was raised to 500 XRP:
It was a huge shot in the arm for those that would like to transfer larger amounts of XRP to each other via the XRP Tip Bot, and will undoubtedly be welcomed by groups such as the GoodSoulsGroup, who raise money for philanthropic causes via the application.
Kudos to WietseWind on creating one more reason for users to adopt the XRP Tip Bot!
XRP Arcade - New Ripple Tweet Service
XRP Arcade is one of the most popular new XRP fan sites in recent history.
Created and maintained by Leonidas Hadjiloizou, it boasts an enormous amount of content about XRP, organized in an intuitive manner by topical categories. If you haven't explored all that XRP Arcade has to offer, i would urge you to do so. It's an ideal site for referring those new to XRP, or to crypto generally, and should be bookmarked by even those of us that are 'XRP veterans' due to its features such as a chronological listing of all XRP-related news stories and XRP adoption updates.
On June 19th, Leonidas Hadjiloizou reminded XRP fans that the site offers a service that they might not have known about:
The list is his own creation, and reflects tweets from members of the XRP Community, as well as news media tweets. However, the most value-added part of it, in my opinion, is that it collects all of the tweets from 44 different Ripple executives in one place.
It's a go-to reference that most in the XRP Community should keep at their disposal.
Here is the direct link to view all of the recent tweets contained in his curated list: https://twitter.com/LeoHadjiloizou/lists/xrparcade
On June 14th, I wrote about an update to the services provided by the platform at crypto.com, noting that they'd recently added a new option for their customers: The platform added an opportunity for customers to earn interest on their crypto deposits held at the exchange.
In its initial rollout, the company had restricted the offer to exclude specific jurisdictions, but on June 20th, the Chief Strategy Officer of crypto.com, Eric Anziani, contacted me via Twitter DM, and noted that:
"Crypto Earn (is) now available globally!"
He then provided a link to their platform blog, where it was further clarified:
"Today, we are pleased to announce that Crypto Earn is now open to users in all the eligible U.S. states for the Crypto.com App.
Crypto Earn gives users the freedom to grow their crypto assets and earn interest up to 8% p.a.
Earning interest in the same coin you deposit allows HODLers to maximize their absolute returns. Supported coins: BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, TUSD, PAX, USDC."
The blog also indicated that the platform was now available to a total of 37 states in the US, including the recent addition of Illinois.
Those crypto.com customers in the US now have an additional way to earn money on their crypto holdings.
Note: I do not personally endorse any exchange.
Keep Up-To-Date on XRP News
For the latest news coverage, as well as important articles and information about topics impacting XRP, take a moment to sign in and hit the 'follow' button on my Coil blog: https://coil.com/u/Hodor
Sources and Credits:
Cover Art: Thank you to Denny Müller