Interview with Welly Sculley, Director of Business Development at Ripple Labs


We recently welcomed Welly Sculley to the Ripple Labs business development team. He’s helping grow the Ripple ecosystem by leading outreach to merchants and payment companies. Here’s more about Welly…

1. Tell us about yourself. What did you do before joining Ripple Labs?

I studied economic history at Harvard before moving to San Francisco to work in technology.

Prior to joining Ripple Labs, I worked for Boku, which designed mobile payments technology to address the huge segments of consumers in every country that have limited access to digital payments, enabling these people to access web commerce. The experience highlighted how important payments can be to everyday life for so many people.

 2. What interested you about Ripple?

After about four years in the payments world, it became clear that a lot of payments technology companies were building solutions to address symptoms but not core problems. Ripple is the first solution that offers a way to resolve these fundamental problems, and to do so in a way that doesn’t drastically interrupt the way the ecosystem works.

Also, I’m a fan of Cryptonomicon (the 1999 Neal Stephenson novel on cryptography and digital currencies), so it’s exciting to see this world come to life!

 3. What’s your role on the team?

My job is to show merchants and payment companies that Ripple can make the slow and expensive parts of payments faster and cheaper – and at all levels (business-to-business, consumer payments, treasury services, etc.).

 4. What’s the opportunity for merchants to join the Ripple network?

The biggest opportunity is where the cost of moving money is highest.

An example for merchants: making business-to-business payments from China to Europe can be prohibitively expensive in terms of transfer costs; Ripple can significantly reduce the time from days to seconds, and the fees from several points to nearly zero.

And an example for payment service providers: adding coverage for consumer payments in Russia can be prohibitively expensive in terms of development resources; Ripple can reduce the integration time from months to days.

5. What do you think will be the tipping point for merchant adoption?

Once merchants realize that the network is secure and stable, and that the value proposition is viable, there will be a race to join the network.

The signal will be clear when the first major merchants go live on the network. Based on the response we have received so far from some of the largest actors in the ecosystem, this event will be around the corner.