Ripple 2015: A Year in Review

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It’s been an incredible year. Photo: Andor Bujdoso

2015 was the year that Ripple grew up. And what a year it’s been.

By the numbers

How the industry embraced Ripple’s enterprise-grade products

If you recall, 2014 was the year we honed in on our enterprise strategy and announced the industry’s first bank partnerships.

In continuing our path towards the Internet of Value, 2015 was the year we figured out Ripple’s place in the world, zeroing in on product market fit and releasing the industry’s first enterprise grade products.

When it comes to cross-border payments, Ripple is a game-changer by enabling direct bank-to-bank settlement, instant settlement and the real-time traceability of funds—all at the lowest total cost of settlement. That’s never been more relevant as the world’s biggest banks steadily abandon the business—a business of systemic pertinence to the global economy—while facing unprecedented regulatory hurdles such as Basel III.

In telling that story, we were taken aback by the amazing reception we received at Sibos this year in Singapore. No longer just a curiosity for banks’ innovation labs, distributed financial technology is the talk of the town, heralded by the most prominent financial institutions and technology firms in the world from Santander to Microsoft to DBS and Standard Chartered, which are working on an innovative trade finance solution using Ripple in Singapore.

Speaking of which, Ripple expanded into the Asia Pacific to serve regional demand for Ripple products and services. According to McKinsey, in 2013, cross-border payments in Asia Pacific totaled $200 billion, and accounted for nearly half of all payment revenues in the region.

It’s about regulations and it’s about standards

It’s not just private enterprise. Governments and central banks are noticing the vast potential of these technologies as Ripple continues to engage with regulators and heads of state alike. In June, Ripple’s Director of Regulatory Relations Ryan Zagone was elected to the Federal Reserve’s Steering Committee for Faster Payments. The mission of the Fed’s Faster Payments Task Force is to advance the vision outlined of the central bank’s January report, Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System.

Just as important is our ongoing work with the W3C because the Internet of Value will be powered by open standards. In October, the W3C launched the Web Payments Working Group with the goal of establishing standardized APIs that would allow streamlined payments through the browser and is co-chaired by Ripple’s Web Standards Officer Adrian Hope-Bailie.

That month, Adrian was joined at the working group’s inaugural meeting in Hokkaido, Japan by Ripple CTO Stefan Thomas and Ripple engineer Evan Schwartz, who presented on the Interledger Protocol (ILP) to the entire W3C Advisory Committee membership, an audience that included fathers of the Internet Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf.

What would become one of the buzziest topics at the W3C conference—ILP—is a key building block for Ripple’s vision for the Internet of Value. As Microsoft’s Marley Gray cannily concluded, it’s unlikely that there will be one ledger to rule them all. Instead, Marley believes in a multi-ledger future. For that vision to come to fruition, we need an open protocol to facilitate interoperability between ledgers, a primary source of cost, slow speed and uncertainty in today’s financial ecosystem.

That’s where ILP comes in—an open protocol to seamlessly connect payments across payment networks. The W3C Interledger Payments Community Group is currently over 100 members strong and includes participants from Federal Reserve Banks; top financial institutions like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Capgemini and Worldpay; and major banks including Wells Fargo and BBVA. ILP will be included in several Ripple integrations in 2016.

In all, it’s been an incredible year

Some highlights:

January

February

March

April

May

July

August

September

October

November

December

Ripple 2016 and the year ahead

But as proud as we are of our accomplishments in 2015, we’re far more excited about what the future holds. In the buildup to our trip to Davos, Switzerland next month for the World Economic Forum, we’ll be talking more about the year ahead.

From everyone here at Ripple, have a wonderful New Year.

See you in 2016!