Will Ripple be a game changer?

Abraham George Market Musings

If Bitcoin = proof of work and Ethereum = proof of stake, XRP = proof of utility. Serious readers may want to Google that up if you did not understand that. XRP is also IoV (Internet of Value).

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First, the relationship between Ripple and XRP. Ripple is the company that owns the cryptocurrency platform XRP. XRP was never mined. Ripple issued 100 bio worth of XRP coins in 2012 out of which 18 bio were given equally to Chris Larsen (current chairman of Ripple) and Jed McCaleb who left Ripple to start XLM.

There are about 40 or 45 bio XRP coins in circulation. The rest are held by Ripple and every month or so they release one bio tokens which are held in an escrow account through some prearranged smart contracts. XRP is a payment and settlement currency. It was released in 2012 and XRP offers instant and low-cost international payments. XRP uses a consensus ledger as its method of verification and as I mentioned before it doesn’t require mining as the tokens have been all pre-mined which distinguishes itself from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. For that reason, it is assumed XRP is about 60,000 times more energy efficient than Bitcoin. It requires very less computing power. This is very important at these times with the major focus on ESG.

XRP has already arranged partnership contracts with over 300 institutions worldwide that includes major banks, financial intermediaries, central banks and consultant companies. Some of the institutions that they are in partnership are as follows: Bank of America, Bank Santander, UBS, Standard Chartered, Bank of England, MAS, SAP, Accenture, Western Union, SBI Holding (Japan) to name a few. SBI Holdings is the largest shareholder in XRP after Ripple. Through their massive networks in Japan and other Asian countries a lot of banks and other financial institutions are indirectly connected to Ripple.

In the three countries that I operate from namely India, UAE and Australia, the following institutions have partnered with Ripple. India: Axis bank, IndusInd Bank, Yes Bank. UAE: First Abu Dhabi Bank, RAK Bank. Australia: CBA, Westpac, NAB, ANZ. Recently, Ripple established their regional headquarters in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

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Huge corporates and banks have realized that Ripple has a lot of potential. So, they have initially partnered with Ripple to become a part of the mission to revolutionize the global payment system.

Ripple is not only an RTGS (Real-time Gross Settlement) network but it also provides currency exchange and remittance services. RippleNet provides mainly three types of solutions right now. Banks can process cross border payments for their customers using RippleNet’s xcurrent solution. Businesses also can plug into RippleNet to send payments using xVia.

While traditional bank wire service uses a handful of intermediaries to process overseas payments, Ripple allows two banks to connect without intermediaries. Using Ripple’s blockchain, banks can offer transaction at negligible fees as well as currency conversion fees at lighting speed.

While Bitcoin takes an hour to make settlements, Ethereum takes two to three minutes, Ripple settles in maximum 5 seconds but mostly in three seconds.

While Ripple technology is disruptive it aims to be a bridge for world digital transfer payments especially for CBDCs. I will just leave you with this thought to imagine and envision the scope of XRP in global finance.

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Most of us get salaries every month (though in the US and Canada, it is every fortnight). What is stopping us from getting salary everyday? The technology is the chief constraint (and culprit). We have not as yet got to the point of flawless technology where money can be credited to our account everyday. But it’s coming. If that happens, do we know what it can do to world GDP? About six trillion dollars that are locked up in nostro and vostro accounts will start getting used. Think about how it will change global finance and commerce.

This is not something I dreamed up. It was a thought and question put up by Brad Garlinghouse the CEO of Ripple at one of the major economic forums in Singapore last year or year before last. And Ripple is out to solve that.

Abraham George is a seasoned investment manager with more than 40 years of experience in trading & investment and portfolio management spanning diverse environments like banks (HSBC, ADCB), sovereign wealth fund (ADIA), a royal family office and a hedge fund.