Ripple Labs CEO Chris Larson recently described Bitcoin as an “unneeded” currency, a statement that eventually ended up fuming digital currency supporters.
The statement came during an official interaction hosted by the Californian Banking and Finance Committee to discuss “Innovation and Transformation in Payment Technology”. Apart from Ripple Labs representatives, which also included the company’s CTO Karen Gifford, the committee also invited digital currency veterans like Coin Center Executive Director Jerry Brito and Coinbase Co-Founder and President Fred Ehrsam to present their views on future payment systems.
While both Brito and Ehrsam advocated the benefits of decentralized payment networks like Bitcoin for the future of the finance sector, Larson and Gifford preferred to lobby only their company while ignoring Bitcoin in the process. From what we could gather, Ripple Labs’ focus was only on explaining the blockchain, while they completely sidelined the benefits of Bitcoin as a token that creates the incentives for decentralized networks.
“We don’t think the world needs a new currency, we already have plenty,” Larson told the committee while referring Bitcoin. “The real innovation here is the ability to move money around. […] It is important we address the needs of the banks to move money internationally and domestically.”
“Not cool, Ripple”, “declaration of war” were few of the many comments that came from the Bitcoin community soon after the Larson’s statement left the newswire.
An Introspect is Needed (OP-ED)
Both Bitcoin and Ripple Labs are somewhat on the same page when it comes to enhance the traditional remittence sector. One cannot ignore how much the latter has done in reaching out to mainstream banking sectors and influence them to use a rather cheaper and faster cross border transaction protocol. On the other hand, Bitcoin has proven itself time-after-time as an epitome of decentralized transactions, a thing that even made the mainstream business news networks acknowledge its potential in shaping up the remittance market for unbanked individuals.
They both, indeed, hold a significant part in shaping up the futuristic payment technology, but in their respective ways. So therefore, it would be easier to impress the government representatives if both the technologies begin to represent each other, rather than only themselves. The dirty competition will simply confuse the regulators, while the cause of a better and fair payment system will lost its way.
Its time the community lets go of unnecessary criticism and join hands to promote the technology that literally lies ahead in the future.