Ripple CEO Promotes Centralization, Puts Down SWIFT

Earlier this week, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse spoke at Money 20/20 Asia’s “A New Payments System for the Digital Age” fireside chat, where he discussed his vision for the future of his company, XRP, and the Internet of Value. Unsurprisingly, he also argued for centralization in the cryptocurrency space.

Putting down decentralization

The highlight of Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse’s discussion at a Money 20/20 earlier this week unsurprisingly came when the centralized currency’s leader argued for centralization in the cryptocurrency space.

Rather than build on Bitcoin’s promise of decentralized value transfer, Garlinghouse argued that digital assets should help work with and promote the interests of traditional financial institutions, as opposed to undermining them. Said Garlinghouse:

Global payments and banking won’t be changed from the outside; they will be changed from within.

Still, Garlinghouse tried to save face with cryptocurrency proponents favoring decentralization by adding:

The reality is we’re working with decentralized technology. If Ripple goes away, and I really hope it doesn’t, the XRP Ledger will continue to exist.

Sending money for next to nothing

Garlinghouse shared the stage with Dilip Ratha, the World Bank’s lead economist for migration and remittances, who stated that his institution’s goal is to lower the cost of remittances worldwide from 7 percent to 3 percent by 2030. Garlinghouse immediately backed this up:

If we haven’t lowered the cost of remittance payments by 300 basis points by 2030 as a business, we have failed. If we’re successful, we’re not talking about 300 basis points. We’re talking about 30 basis points for the cost of remittance payments.

As noted by Ripple’s official website, such a future would mean that a remittance payment of 200 dollars would cost a mere 60 cents — as opposed to the current average of 14 dollars. This would have a massive impact on the global economy.

Not so SWIFT

Also discussed was SWIFT — the system traditionally used by financial institutions to settle cross-border payments — and how Ripple’s blockchain-powered xCurrent solution is superior. Explained Garlinghouse:

SWIFT’s published error rate is six percent. Imagine if six percent of your emails didn’t go through without additional human intervention.

Garlinghouse also defended XRP against criticism by comparing the transfer speed of the cryptocurrency to fiat currencies:

We’re talking about three seconds of volatility risk when using XRP for cross-border payments. The reality is you’re exposed to more volatility when doing a traditional transfer with fiat currencies, and that takes several days.

Do you think Ripple undermines the promise of a decentralized future made by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock

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