Cryptocurrency is not an old industry. Bitcoin kicked off the industry as we know it when Satoshi Nakamoto mined the Genesis block on January 3rd 2009, as the world reeled from one of the worst financial crashes in recent memory.
Only three years later, XRP was launched, a decentralised asset built for payments. Today, it remains one of the most well-known and biggest cryptocurrencies, currently sitting in sixth place with a market cap of close to $20 billion.
And yet, so many are still confused as to what XRP does, as well as the distinction to Ripple, the company behind it. This week on the Invezz podcast, I interviewed Brendan Berry, Payment Products Lead at Ripple, to get into the weeds of what exactly XRP is, what Ripple is, and the distinction between the two, as well as what they both do.
We covered a bunch of topics. One of these was the issues with conventional banking – a particularly pertinent topic given the startling events in the sector over the last couple of weeks.
But we focused mainly on payments. I’ve criticised the process behind bank transfers, and I put to Brendan my curiosity around what feels like a total lack of innovation in the digital age from banks. I asked him about fees and lag times and why these were taking days for cross-border payments.
Of course, this is a big reason why XRP exists. We talked about the ins and outs of this, as well as a subsection within the area of payments: remittances. When I visited El Salvador last summer, I was fascinated by this area – but the data shows that the pickup hasn’t happened yet. I wanted to get Brendan’s take on this and how XRP can contribute in this area.
We also discussed the future of crypto, including what Brendan believes will be a streamlining of the front-end experience of a lot of transactions within the space.
Another topic we touched on was whether the recent banking turmoil would push people further into crypto, and what this could mean for the industry, and XRP, going forward.
All in all, it was a wide-ranging discussion centred on payments and what role XRP could have in this world.
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