The team is called the "Faster Payments Task Force Steering Committee," and Zagone's election is part of an ongoing effort on the part of the Fed to integrate members of private industry in its modernization efforts. Over 300 private companies have decided to take part in the FPTF, and of that wide group, a steering committee of sixteen people were selected. This is where Zagone comes in, representing Ripple Labs.
As part of the Task Force Steering Committee, Ripple Labs is humbled to have been elected by our peers to be a voice of the technology and non-bank service provider sector.
"Non-bank service provider" might be a term of contention in the wider cryptocurrency community, many of whom have said that Ripple is like a bank, but worse. Nonetheless, last month Ripple was fined nearly a million dollars for having previously failed to adhere to FinCEN regulations. To some this seemed the ultimate irony, since Ripple spoke so highly of regulations and even hired a former regulator to help them in this direction.
Ripple representatives have in the past gone as far as to say that they are superior to Bitcoin for the very reason that they can track the movement of funds quite easily by comparison to the Bitcoin block chain.
In any case, the purpose of the Federal Reserve's Faster Payments Task Force is to enact the visions laid out in a document released by the central bank earlier this year, entitled "Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System." People in the US have been saying for years that the US banking system is archaic and lags behind systems in Europe, which are much faster in terms of settlement. From the document:
A ubiquitous, safe, faster electronic solution(s) for making a broad variety of business and personal payments supported by a flexible and cost-effective means for payment clearing and settlement groups to settle their positions rapidly and with finality.
"Sounds a lot like Bitcoin," many here will be saying. This raises the question as to whether the whole initiative was really spurred on by a momentous grass-roots effort to replace the banking system we refer to as Bitcoin, since Bitcoin does exactly this "desired outcome" already.
Also read: Can Ripple Labs Track You?
Relative rapidity which even the superior European banking systems cannot match and finality in the same way that paying with cash is final. You transfer the bitcoins, the transaction is done, the same as when you hand over the cash and get your receipt. Some argue that this removes consumer protections, and others argue that Bitcoin is far from "cost-effective." These arguments are not meant to be addressed here.
Another "desired outcome" for the Federal Reserve is "Greater proportion of payments originated and received electronically to reduce the average end-to-end (societal) costs of payment transactions and enable innovative payment services that deliver improved value to consumers and businesses." The aforementioned and other goals are part of what Zagone will be driving toward on behalf of the Federal Reserve. Presumably, private concerns like Ripple are not going to be left out in the cold when solutions are found, but will Bitcoin be?
Last modified (UTC): June 17, 2015 10:10 PM