A group of us received an e-mail first thing this Sunday morning. A Ripple/XRP aficionado wanted to let us know we’re “very unprofessional” for interchangeably using the terms “Ripple” and “XRP.”
The “XRP Army,” as it were, likely has its sights on CCN. We have no editorial policy regarding these terms in place. A writer is free to use whichever term makes their meaning clearer.
Ripple fanatics believe that calling XRP “Ripple” is simply wrong. They want to be “crystal clear” – on what? Does anyone give a damn besides them? Why is a company 100% dedicated to the advancement of XRP reluctant to be confused with it? What in the actual hell? Imagine if Google and its fans got up in your face every time you said you were going to “Google” something.
No, you’d better be “Google Searching!” It feels like the same delineation. Google is the company who develops and ships Google Search, among other products. Ripple develops, ships, and frequently sells XRP, among a minimal range of other products.
One potentially valid reason they give is that they don’t want people to be confused – when you hold XRP, you don’t hold a piece of Ripple Labs. But in five years on this beat, I’ve never heard anyone express such confusion.
XRP is a sort of cryptocurrency with no implied purpose for everyday people. The goal is for banks suffering friction in international markets to utilize their internet of money.
The myriad people who laud it believe that one day soon banks will pick it as the de facto way to send money internationally. In their mind, it makes more sense than using other cryptocurrencies or simply forking the coin the way Stellar did. And once these thousands of banks around the world create demand for Ripple – I mean XRP – well, then they’re all going to be rich. All 100 billion units to the moon!
That’s the idea, anyway. (And thousands of people expecting to get rich by holding something issued by a private entity certainly doesn’t make it a security, right? Hilarious.)
Unlike other protocols, where the community builds its own endless solutions and applications, the Ripple ecosystem is incredibly centralized. When was the last time the price of Ripple jumped on the news of an independent development? Has there ever even been an independent development of Ripple?
Economic decentralization is as important as technical decentralization. Does Ripple have either of these aspects firmly in place?
Perhaps the network of validators is decentralized, but development and expansion of the Ripple ecosystem depend on one company. That they decentralized the validation network is praiseworthy, I suppose. At least they understood the value of decentralization. There apparently used to be a list of such validators. Ripple writes of doxxing its network participants:
Network participants are unlikely to trust validators without knowing who is operating them. To address this concern, validator operators can associate their validator with a web domain that they operate by following the steps on the Ripple Dev Portal. The Validator Registry verifies these domains and lists them with the validators. As the consensus network continues to grow, we hope the Validator Registry plays a key role in decentralizing and strengthening the network through open data.
Somehow miners and stakeholders in other networks get along just fine without putting their information out there.
Whatever the Garlinghouse sycophants have to say, XRP lives or dies at the hands of Ripple Labs. People keep saying that if Ripple Labs stopped existing, XRP would go on. Why? On the will of the fervent holders? On the promise of people paid to say as much? Without Ripple Labs to fund and guarantee the development of the protocol, as well as on-board countless no-name banks and participants, what actual reason would there be for XRP to exist post-Ripple Labs? It’s just a ridiculous thing to say.
Speaking of which: Ripple’s held mostly in the hands of Ripple Labs. This isn’t a secret. If I generate one billion units of a token right now, and will only sell you a token for $1,000, is that token worth $1,000?
There’s a lot that goes into the true market capitalization of a cryptocurrency. There are doubts on whether Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies have realistic market capitalizations, given the level of fake volume and relatively small number of units actually changing hands.
So, how many Ripples does it take to make an XRP? How many XRP are in Ripple Labs? How many banks will choose a solution like JPM Coin or IBM’s Stellar implementation over xRapid or whatever? How is a token issued and sold by a single company to thousands of people with the expectation of profiting through the work of others not a security? When you think XRP and cryptocurrency, do you ever not think of Ripple?
Are you mad that we’re not using the right pronoun, XRP?
I don’t want to be too harsh. Really, I don’t care one way or another about Ripple. I bristle at the idea of being told how to refer to something, especially when it’s such a bland distinction. itBit restructured itself and now they’re sending around e-mails getting mad if you refer to Paxos Standard as their product. Forget about name recognition, eh?
XRP means a lot of things. Ripple XRP means just one thing. Out here in the wild west cryptosphere, XRP means only one of several things: drama, more drama, massive supply, pronoun drama, price pumps based on one company’s blog, and also drama.
So if Kraken says Ripple XRP, or I say Ripple’s XRP, or I just say XRP, or I just say Ripple, and you get my meaning, then deal with it.
If you want to invest in Ripple, feel free. In my view, it’s as sensible as investing in Stellar at this point. IBM is leveraging its vast connections to make Stellar Lumens the network of the banks — and the people. The actual future will probably involve all of the above, and more. Distributed ledger technologies and blockchains are going to play a vital role in 21st and 22nd and 23rd-century banking, no matter how you slice it.
The long game for the Ripple vision requires world banking domination. The token is so plentiful, and — even at its all-time-high — cheap, that it would have to be in constant, significant demand for the price to ever reflect what these forlorn masses, so upset when I mix Ripple and its XRP product, must believe is possible. During those high-demand times, you have to count on good old Ripple Labs to not dump all over the place during its monthly inflation sessions. Or is a company like Ripple just not about making money when it has the opportunity to do so?
That whole period of time comes long after the free and cheap Ripple have been used up, and it presupposes that alternatives like Stellar/IBM or R3’s various options have fallen by the wayside.
Even a cursory analysis makes the scenario of XRP dominance less and less likely. Your revolution probably won’t be televised because it probably won’t happen. Stop making the rest of us laugh so hard, would you, Ripple XRP?
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article belong solely to the author and should not be attributed to CCN.
Last modified (UTC): March 25, 2019 05:39