Cryptocurrencies

Ripple – we need to talk : Part 2

Yesterday I started to voice some concerns that I have about Ripple in the post: “Ripple – we need to talk“. I made the statement that “Ripple is not a cryptocurrency” and left quite a few open statements. Today I’m going to tell you why I say that as we look into ripple in a bit more detail.

As I said previously: I’m very concerned by all the pro-Ripple articles and sentiment which I am seeing at the moment. I believe that many people have been/are being misled and are uninformed. That is why I am writing this post. I also said that I will try to not “bash” Ripple, I’m going to speak in fact-based terms instead of emotional ones.

From [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Let’s dig further into the truth of Ripple:

The Truth – continued

Yesterday, directly after claiming that Ripple isn’t a cryptocurrency, I stated what a cryptocurrency is and what it’s properties are (according to my own perceptions – which are, of course, correct):

“A cryptocurrency is a virtual construct of coins or tokens which exists on a distributed ledger called a blockchain (though some alternative ledger structures such as a “tangle” exist).

The strength of cryptocurrencies lies in their ability to allow rapid, secure, cheap and anonymous transactions. They should work across borders without restrictions and beyond the reach of regulations and laws. Transactions can take place by means of smart contracts which ensure fairness by keeping the man out of the loop. The blockchain upon which they run should be as decentralised as possible to ensure security, durability and anonymity.

Remember why cryptocurrencies came into being in the first place. Remember that Satoshi Nakamoto kicked Bitcoin off in the wake of a major global financial crisis caused by greedy banks loaning too much. Remember what Bitcoin was designed to fight and what it is meant to replace.

I ended that post by asking if you still thought that Ripple was a cryptocurrency. If you still do, then please read on… (If you don’t then you can start reposting this so long and helping me to inform the Ripple fans!)

What is Ripple and what does it do?

When I first started investigating Ripple (as discussed yesterday), one of the first things that I looked into was the team. This is standard practise when delving into any cryptocurrency.

The Ripple team surprised me. Specifically: I was surprised when I dug into the histories of major team members. Team member after team member had a history of association with big banks and big business. I remember being shocked by how blatantly bank-experienced this “cryptocurrency” team was.

Bearing in mind what I said above about the traits of cryptocurrencies, the team in itself is a major red flag. Banks are about the most opposite entities
to cryptocurrencies which you can possibly imagine. They are all about centralisation of power; control and regulation of money (by themselves); the use of fiat currencies and not crypto; slow and expensive cross-border transfers; human interference and biases; denying the common man control of wealth generation; inflation through fractional reserve banking; the creation of debt; using systems which are not transparent and are open to fraud; working with governments (including “financing” political parties/politicians aka: bribery); charging relatively hefty fees etc. etc.

From the perspective of cryptocurrencies; banks are the number 1 enemy.

And here sits Ripple with a team of ex-bankers and multinational corporation staff…

They don’t even try to hide it, it’s out there in the open. I had to dig quite a bit for that information in 2017, these days much of it is proudly displayed at https://ripple.com/company/leadership/. I suppose that success and the support of anti-crypto charlatans like Dimon is emboldening them. Very significant company names are mentioned on that page. Companies that Ripple employees work for/have worked for include:

  • Accenture
  • AOL
  • American Express
  • Bank of America
  • CHAPS
  • Citibank
  • Citigroup
  • CNN
  • Facebook
  • Global Financial Services
  • Google
  • Greylock Partners
  • HSBC
  • Honeywell
  • IBM
  • Lehman Brothers
  • MasterCard
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Reval
  • The National Security Agency (I wish I was kidding)
  • Thomson Reuters
  • SWIFT
  • Yahoo!

It’s like a bad joke. Those names associated with a CRYPTOCURRENCY?

What’s worse is that many of the members held rather senior positions in those companies mentioned above, they weren’t just simple office clerks. Look: I have no doubt that the team are highly experienced individuals – but what are they experienced in?

I’ll answer that for you: They are not experienced in cryptocurrencies and what they stand for – they are experienced in the ways of
major financial institutions, mass media (the primary instrument of mass control) and large multinational corporations.

Which brings us back to the nature of Ripple.

Ripple is quite unashamedly associating itself with banks. It sees itself as a “bridge” between currencies, a bridge it forms with its xVia, XCurrent and xRapid products, operating on the Ripple Ledger using XRP as the intermediary currency.

It is targeting big banking, trying to get banks on board to use its products for faster transfers, and do you know what? That’s okay! 

But DON’T think for one second that this makes Ripple a cryptocurrency!

Ripple is more in tune with the song that notorious JP Morgan CEO and Bitcoin-basher Jamie Dimon is singing: “blockchains are good, crypto is bad.”

Ripple is a blockchain-based method of transferring funds for banks.

In Ripple’s own words:

“Built for enterprise use, XRP offers banks and payment providers a highly efficient, scalable, reliable liquidity option to service cross-border payments.”

~ https://ripple.com/ripplenet/source-liquidity/

That’s what it is and that’s all it is. The fact that XRP is traded on crypto exchanges should not confuse you into thinking it’s a cryptocurrency, it’s nothing like a cryptocurrency! Just because it has various nodes processing payments around the world doesn’t make it decentralised – don’t confuse decentralised processing power with the decentralised control of an organisation!

Ripple is achieving it’s goals; it has or is working with the likes of JP Morgan, Santander, Western Union, Moneygram, ReiseBank, American Express and many others across 27 countries. Just this week Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse (at the Paris Fintech Forum) hinted at Ripple working with SWIFT – itself already linked to 11000 financial institutions. Brad speaks of working with “dozens of banks” by the end of 2019, the Ripple website speaks of hundreds.

Ripple is clearly a currency exchange intermediary, liquidity provider and facilitator for banks; not a cryptocurrency. But where does this leave the XRP holders?

Holding XRP

As the “Number 2” market cap coin on coinmarketcap.com, clearly XRP has a lot of holders! But what’s in it for them?

Already this post is long enough and has left you with enough information to think about and to go verify for yourself.

In Part 3 of this series I will discuss XRP – and when that is said and done, you can evaluate whether you’d really like to hold it or not.

See you tomorrow!

Yours in real crypto

Bit Brain

“The secret to success: find out where people are going and get there first” 

~ Mark Twain

“By this means (fractional reserve banking) government may secretly and unobserved, confiscate the wealth of the people, and not one man in a million will detect the theft.”

~ John Maynard Keynes

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