The co-founder and executive chairman of Ripple, Chris Larsen, is revealing his vision for crypto’s path into the mainstream.
At the Crypto Finance Conference in Half Moon Bay, California, Larsen told Cheddar cross-border payments will prove to be the killer app for crypto and blockchain.
“We’ve been doing this now, focusing on cross-border payments for enterprise for four years-plus. So it’s good to see people finally realizing ‘yes’, this is the area that’s going to have the highest impact. We think this really is the killer app for this whole blockchain movement.
But we’ve been at it for longer than anybody. And what matters here is what corridors you have, the number of partners. We’ve got hundreds of banks and payment providers, remittance companies not just in experimentation mode, but full production mode.”
Larsen also offered his take on a series of lawsuits against Ripple alleging XRP is a security controlled and issued by the company.
“I think what’s really important is that any digital asset to be valuable has to be serving an actual use case. It can’t just be speculation. Obviously a lot of the market today is really speculative. But we think over the long run it’s going to be that combination of deep liquidity, market makers, institutional bets being made. But very importantly, it has to have a use case.
We think the use case for the XRP ledger and XRP the digital asset is really around, initially, reducing the cost of liquidity for cross-border payments. Long-term, though, we think it’s a key winner in this race to be another digital asset for the world for all kinds of use cases. It’s a long-term play. Has to have value. Can’t just be a store of value for store of value’s sake. Has to actually have a use case. And that’s how we see this evolving.”
According to Larson, questions about the centralization of XRP and the fact that the cryptocurrency is pre-mined are part of a “religious war” and an effort to create fear, uncertainty and doubt.
“I think this comes from the Bitcoin community, the Ethereum community. There’s a religious war going on between platforms, and that whole idea around centralization is bogus. Please look – it’s an open-source system. It’s permissionless. You’ve got 140 public validators. Ripple has like 7%, the company, of those.
If Ripple went away tomorrow, XRP continues as an open source, permissionless ledger. We would say it’s easily as decentralized as Bitcoin or Ethereum. In some ways, you’d argue, even more so, given that proof-of-work leads to more centralization as you’re seeing with Bitmain in China, and whereas consensus systems become more and more decentralized. Again, it’s important to remember this is a religious war between these platforms. You see a lot of nonsense and FUD out there. Look at the facts and I think, you know, it’s pretty clear.”