XRP may not the be the best known of the cryptocurrencies, but it is one of the most interesting. At a recent Ripple event, the organizers of the conference seemed to downplay the digital asset nature of the cryptocurrency, focusing instead on the use angle.
The recent Swell event was much anticipated, and it got off to a raucous start. On day one of the Toronto conference, panel members mostly focused on the company’s long list of clients, and on its proof of concept.
Some of the more notable speakers on day one of the Ripple conference were representatives from Banco Santander and Siam Commercial Bank. Those bank representatives spoke about how Ripple, and the XRP cryptocurrency, has created a solid rail for cross-border payments.
The facilitation of payment across borders has long been one of the most significant potential benefits of the blockchain concept, and Ripple has taken this benefit very seriously. Those bank representatives, and many others at the Ripple Swell conference feel that XRP has higher potential than competing cryptocurrencies for these kinds of cross-border transactions.
Indeed, the Swell event largely took a dim view of the value of other competing cryptocurrencies, including industry heavyweights like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Perhaps the biggest name at the Swell conference was former Fed chair Dr. Ben Bernanke, a leader during the 2008 financial crisis. Dr. Bernanke questioned whether Bitcoin could ever indeed be successful as a currency.
In addition to Bernanke’s skepticism, many other Swell panelists also pointed out that their attendance should not be construed as an endorsement of Bitcoin and other blockchain-supported cryptocurrencies. Patrick Griffin, Ripple’s senior vice president for business development, expressed disappointment in an unfulfilled promise of the cryptocurrency market – namely to replace banks and credit cards. That promise, Mr. Griffin said, has been an “abysmal failure.”
Mr. Griffin was more optimistic, however, about the future of XRP. He pointed out that XRP is so far the only enterprise-grade option available to the banking industry and other financial institutions. That could put XRP in a good position going forward, as it strives to compete with larger and better-known forms of payment.
In touting the future of XRP as an enterprise-level solution for the financial industry, Patrick Griffin was joined on the Swell stage by Marwan Forzley, the co-founder, and CEO of Veem, a cross-border provider of business-to-business payments. Mr. Griffin was also joined by Oliver Bussmann, the founder and a managing partner at Bussmann Advisory.
That last panel discussion of the day was the most positive concerning XRP and its potential, but the rest of the day focused mainly on the benefits of distributed ledges, including Ripple, compared to the current financial system. Compared to the current system, the distributed ledger approach is faster, less expensive and more reliable. Also, Ripple already has a strong foothold on the distributed ledger ecosystem, making it more easily scalable than many of its competitors.
Now that the Swell conference is over, XRP fans are already looking to the future. There may be skepticism about the value, and the future, of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, but the advantages of the distributed ledger system, and XRP are already quite clear.