Just in time for Swell 2019, Ripple’s third annual conference, they announced in a press release today that Ripple has already exceeded 300 customers. During the Swell conference last year, Ripple has announced ODL (On-Demand Liquidity), which was formerly known as xRapid and the plans on investing in XRP to get rid of pre-funding when it comes to cross border transactions and payments.
Less than a year after the Swell 2018, about two dozen customers have already signed up to use Ripple’s product.
From a conversation with Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, he said that there had been countless skepticism about Ripple’s product. People have doubted how XRP can be effective for liquidity. The CEO also stated that they already have over 20 customers that are currently using XRP for their cross-border funding. Brad further added that ODL was originally launched in the Philippines and Mexico. However, he said, the service is also live in other countries now like in Australia, and will also launch in Brazil soon.
One of the biggest money transfer companies in the world, MoneyGram, launched with OLD only two months after it announced the plans in June. With success they got when they went live in Mexico, they also started to expand the service in the Philippines. According to Brad, MoneyGram is also spreading out into new corridors that Ripple has gone into.
The CEO of Ripple said that as their Swell 2019 conference kicks off, they have been pleased with the momentum it’s getting. He said that there are strong effects on the network: more customers in the network means there will be more value in joining. Ripple is expecting that they will be able to see the momentum build continuously as they try to bring their customers together and introduce them to one another, the CEO said. He further added that Ripple is expecting to open more corridors and continue their volume growth soon.
ODL (On-Demand Liquidity)
There has to be an impressive digital asset exchange all over the world to gain success when it comes to ODL. In this case, Ripple has already invested in one, if not the largest, digital asset exchange in Mexico, Bitso, only a few weeks ago. They made the move with the aim of expanding their service into more places in the Latin Americas.
Brad even commented that Ripple aims to help and see companies such as Bitso gain a lot of success. He said that investing in Bitso is just one of the public examples of how Ripple wants to invest in digital asset exchanges in hopes of making them healthy, robust, and help it to more success. The CEO also said that they are and will continue to look for the same opportunities going forward.
In their press release, a lot of companies were highlighted by Ripple, which includes FlashFC, goLance, Interbank Peru, and Viamericas. Ripple’s CEO also commented about FlashFX, mentioning that the company is one of their key partners during the kick-off of the OLD in Australia. But, he also highlighted goLance, which he said is a platform for freelancers. Brad said that a lot of their customers and freelancers are mainly based in the Philippines with less than $100 average transaction size. He said that ODL helped transform the business end of things of goLance, making the company more compelling to use, which caused more freelancers to join.
When he was asked about the buzz they are getting about using ODL from existing customers, Brad opened up about the common questions they are usually getting. Customers, like a correspondent bank with clients all over the world, wants to serve countries like the Philippines, but doesn’t have any correspondent banking relationship in the country have asked them the best move in the scenario. Brad said that the usual response they have is giving the customer options. He said that one path they can take is to sign up and establish a correspondent banking relationship. It includes pre-funding, requirements like quarterly for overhead compliance, and other regulatory requirements. The second path, he said, it to go for payments available in real-time.
Brad said that it would not all be about payment provider giants such as Viamericas. He stated that they think there will be other financial institutions who understand the benefits of not pre-funding, instead, using that working capital for their other necessary purposes.
Further, Brad followed the statement with another story about one of Canada’s largest banks that was eliminating the correspondent banking relationship they have with Brazil.
Ripple’s CEO continued the story by stating the reason why the bank in Canada decided to exit, citing costs and the overhead they need to continue the service. He said that the bank felt that the expenses they are trying to spend are not worth it, and they could possibly find other correspondents and something better at that. He also stated that the bank asked them if Ripple can allow them to be in Brazil without actually being in the country, that would be a lot better for them and the customers as well.
The XRP Community
From the efforts made during the Swell conference during the previous year, Ripple made some new changes for this year’s conference. They included invites to some members of the XRP community, which includes YouTubers, bloggers, and social media influencers. However, there was a bit of confusion with this move, especially from the perspective of some XRP investors. Some were doubtful about the benefits and effectiveness of Ripple hosting both XRP enthusiasts and their customers at the same conference. The change from the previous year’s Swell conference also generated rumors about a possible announcement from Ripple.
However, it wasn’t Ripple’s intention to create such a buzz. The CEO even said that the conference is not quite as exciting as some of the rumors are trying to portray. According to him, there are countless of XRP enthusiasts who are advocates on following Ripple, and they are looking for anything new about the XRP. With that, they decided to have around 600 to 700 people coming to the conference, which would last for a few days. Brad said that inviting everyone from customers to XRP enthusiasts will allow all of them to hear what Ripple has to say firsthand.
With the buzz that the Swell 2019 is getting, Brad also commented that they have always attempted to make the reality better than the hype. He said that Ripple would rather give underrated promises and over-deliver, instead of the opposite. However, according to him, one of the issues when it comes to the cryptocurrency ecosystem at this day and age is that people are hyping things and making up a lot of scenarios, rumors, and predictions about what platforms can do. Further, he stated that while there are a lot of interesting things going around, one factor to make sure they get success in this industry is to not focus on the hype, but shift their focus on the reality instead.
For the CEO of Ripple, the hostility between having a large crowd of XRP enthusiasts and investors weighing their every word and serving financial institutions isn’t that big of a deal. They are more into shifting their focus on building an XRP community and how those communities will benefit the XRP ecosystem as a whole. When asked about this, the CEO said that Ripple is one of the significant players when it comes to the number of interesting companies doing equally interesting things in the XRP space and around it as well. But, he also said that he has always been excited about other projects that aim to build on a ledger using XRP.
Brad said that Ripple is using XRP because it’s absolutely efficient, especially for payments. He added that Coil is using XRP for the same reason, as well as Forte, as it uses XRP for its in-game transactions. He also said that there would be more and more companies who will be using XRP in the future. There are also other companies using a different blockchain at the moment, but looking for ways to migrate, according to the CEO.
Again, commenting about the hype vs. reality, Brad said that with the two dozen of customers they currently have with millions of dollars’ worth per week, there isn’t a science experiment about it.
Xpring, for one, was once just a venture capital branch. With their investments in other companies that were building their XRP ledger, Xpring developed into the Xpring Platform, which is now a developer for the XRP ledger itself, web monetization, and Interledger Protocol (ILP).
Commenting on the developments of Xpring, Ripple’s CEO said that Xpring has its main focus on making investments before. Although that will continue to be part of their journey going forward, they have also discovered a way to help improve their tools and infrastructure and considering the XRP ledger as a developer platform. It is the same way as to how RedHat considers Linux.
Some of the recent acquisitions by the company included Strata Labs, Logos Network, and Algim. When asked about these, Brad said that they consider these companies as teams who are joining together to provide support from an engineering POV. Strata and Logos are focused on what Ripple is doing with Xpring, while Algim will be dedicated particularly to RippleNet, specifically on ODL gave that they already have the experience of working and developing software all over the market.
Some comments call Ripple as the “Google of fintech.” However, according to the CEO, he would much rather have Ripple compared to Amazon. He said that where books were Amazon’s first go to market, cross-border payment is the first go-to-market of Ripple. He also said that they are working on going after vertical segments, and hoping to have more knowledge to share about the topic next year.
Comparing Ripple’s success to the natural progression in humans from a crawl, walk, and run, Brad says that they are currently on the walking pace, but not on the running pace yet. He further commented about this that while others are more focused on the hype and are trying to sprint early, Ripple has its focus on the marathon or the whole journey.
Swell 2019 is kicking off in Singapore with a couple of exciting days for everyone in attendance. According to Ripple’s CEO, what he is most excited about is when it all becomes tangible, when they can highlight certain customers, how they are using their technology, and how it benefits them. Those things are what makes it all real to him, he said.
He also said that with Swell 2019 in Singapore, a country with a lot of remittance flows and migrant communities that are usually underbanked, seeing how technologies are benefiting those people makes it real for him.
He said that all these things are not just ideas that are aiming for regulatory approval. Looking at customers and understanding how the technology helped them in a way, makes what Ripple do more tangible for him, Brad said. And he added that anytime things feel real to him are the times he is the most excited about.