I was trolled.
I dread to admit it, but a Reddit poster successfully trolled me by asking "What if banks never use XRP?" Maybe it was a troll, but then again, it could have been honest ignorance of XRP. Whatever the reason for the question, it galled me from two perspectives:
- I believe XRP will absolutely be used by banks
- Even without banks, XRP is the best crypto-currency
Some that are new to crypto-currency seem to believe that XRP and Ripple are static – that the network cannot change to address new opportunities or risks. These people are wrong – not only can XRP’s network respond to new opportunities and threats, its code governance is the fastest and lowest-risk in crypto-currency. Rippled – the name for the software running XRP – is currently at version 70.0, and as new functions are approved by validators they are integrated into the code base. 1 In addition, anybody can build on the Ripple Consensus Ledger – XRP’s network. This means that third party developers not affiliated with Ripple are always creating new innovations for deployment and usage of XRP. 2
Let me respond to the troll
I will not talk about bank adoption, though I am eager to trumpet those impressive numbers. 3 Instead, I will focus on other use cases that XRP can do better than its rivals, even when this “home court” advantage is taken away.
XRP is Better than BitcoinLet's start with Bitcoin. Bitcoin's main use case is to serve as a digital, distributed store of value with no central issuing authority. XRP is clearly a better store of value based on its performance metrics 4:
If you’re a newcomer to crypto-currency, you might wonder why, given the preceding metrics, is Bitcoin still the predominant token used as a distributed store of value; the reasons for this are varied, but a lot of it has to do with the early Bitcoin fans non-acceptance of XRP due to its status as the “banking coin.” I’ve discussed this in other blogs, but suffice it to say for purposes of today’s discussion, these numbers are accurate. 5
XRP Handles Ethereum Use CasesEthereum’s central use case is its ability to handle smart contracts through its distributed computing feature. 6 It’s also been used recently to store value in association with initial coin offerings (ICOs) in which a new coin is issued on the network and then sold to investors in exchange for other crypto-currency. 7
Ripple has better functionality when it comes to issuing tokens associated with Initial Coin Offerings, and will soon include smart contract capabilities.
The XRP Ledger has the capability of issuing tokens. This capability has existed since its inception for currency conversion.
Using these tokens, an XRP community member has documented the steps for doing initial coin offerings on the XRP Ledger, and has conducted the first ICO. 8
Soon smart contracts will be enabled on the XRP Ledger. While nobody knows for sure when (or if) the company will reboot its smart contracts solution, it has enabled escrow functionality, and we do know that a community member has indicated that he will head up an effort to enable smart contracts as a third-party platform. 9With these two functions available for XRP - ICOs and smart contracts - Ethereum will face an uphill battle to retain its current market share for these use cases.
XRP Handles Dash, Monero, and Zcash Use CasesWhen most of those in the crypto space see these three names together, they know what use case I’m talking about – the ability to issue anonymous payments, or payments that are private in some respect.
Although Ripple (the company) is not associated with this functionality, it is possible to issue anonymous payments through the Pathshuffle tool that a university researcher developed. 10 Whether you believe anonymous payments are good or bad, this third party tool opens doors to using XRP for the same anonymous purposes as Dash, Monero, or Zcash.
My Response to the Troll
While I will not normally stray too far away from what XRP does better than any other of its competitors – payments and ForEx for banks, financial institutions, and businesses – it is sometimes refreshing to remind XRP fans that it also handles the main use cases of all the other major crypto-currencies…. combined