It was easy to feel the energy and excitement at the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts Theatre as a massive crowd of blockchain enthusiasts flowed into the 2018 Blockchain Connect Conference, forcing it to quickly reach capacity. The annual conference — which caters to blockchain scientists, developers, investors and other stakeholders — was brimming with more than 1,500 people from around the world.
The San Francisco-based conference had several panel discussions, fireside chats and keynotes that covered the broader development and direction of blockchain, but also the technology’s growth. During one of the packed keynote discussions, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse was joined on stage by David Bailey, the CEO of BTC Media, and Po.et for a fireside chat about “Enterprise Blockchain Solutions for Global Payments.”
During the talk, Garlinghouse discussed the pain points of sending cross-border payments, the adoption of XRP by financial institutions and how Ripple will use its solutions to modernize payment systems. To further underscore the problem with cross-border payments, Garlinghouse offered this example:
“If you and I decide we want to [send] 10,000 pounds to London today, the most efficient thing to do in terms of speed is to buy an airplane ticket to SFO and fly it there.”
“That’s a pretty crazy statement in a world where you can stream video from the space station, but you can’t move your own money from point A to point B. Ripple’s vision is how do we take advantage of technology available today to dramatically accelerate the nature of how transactions and payments happen,” he continued.
Garlinghouse continued to explain how the open source Interledger Protocol (ILP) powers Ripple’s solutions and operates similarly to different routers using TCP IP protocol, the universal communications protocol that connects the disparate systems of the internet. He stated that Ripple’s belief in ILP’s ability to connect different ledgers also runs counter to the idea held by some in the industry that blockchain technology would produce a single ledger to replace and “rule” all ledgers.
“And those that say, ‘hey everything is going to be on one ledger, maybe the bitcoin blockchain’ — we just don’t think thats going to happen,” Garlinghouse said. “Instead we think about connecting ledgers in real time [and] interoperability between ledgers. So, if Cisco is building routers to TCP IP, Ripple’s technology is building routers and connections to ILP. ”
Garlinghouse also discussed how XRP is used by Ripple’s solution, xRapid, to eliminate the need for international nostro accounts.
“There are trillions and trillions in dormant capital sitting in these pre-funded accounts around the world. When I decide to work with you, I would put pounds in your bank and you would put pesos in my bank and then we’d use a better real-time settlement system. But what if I didn’t have to pre-fund those trillions of dollars around the world. Think about how much more efficient capital could be. We think its a major step forward.”
Garlinghouse also spoke to the recent coverage that global banks simply don’t want to use XRP or any other digital asset. Rather than ignoring the allegation, he used an analogy from his over two decades of experience as an executive in Silicon Valley.
“About 20 years ago I sat in a room with Randall Stevenson who is now the CEO of AT&T and I was the CEO of a VOIP company called DialPad,” recounted Garlinghouse. “Randall Stevenson said to me, ‘AT&T will never use IP for voice.’ I thought, ‘that’s ok there are lots of periphery things we can solve..’ But, now, AT&T’s entire network is IP. So when I hear people say banks aren’t going to use digital assets, I [remember] Randall Stevenson saying AT&T is never going to use IP. A bank will use a product that helps them deliver a better product to their customer if it reduces their cost and solves a real problem.”
For more information, visit Ripple’s solutions page.