Ripple, the blockchain-based payments company and creator of the XRP crypto coin, wants to invest in startups and technology companies to develop more uses for XRP.
Ripple CEO Announces Startup Investment Strategy
XRP is only behind Bitcoin and Ethereum based on market cap, with a total of $30.5 billion as of writing, about half of Ethereum and a fifth of Bitcoin. Having peaked to $128 billion market cap during the cryptocurrency rush in late 2017, XRP lost value in the subsequent market crash and has also come under fire for a perceived lack of use as it attracts only cross-border payment services as customers.
Brad Garlinghouse, Chief Executive Officer of Ripple spoke to TechCrunch on the sidelines of Money2020 in Singapore:
“We, Ripple, will stay focused on solving that institutional use case, but we would certainly partner with companies that are looking to use XRP in lots of different ways”.
On account of those plans, Ripple and two of its executives led a $25 million investment in Omni, a San Francisco-based startup that offers storage and rental services for goods. Omni will be introducing XRP within its service. “You should expect that you’ll see more of those,” Garlinghouse added.
Garlinghouse Believes Banks will Eventually Adopt Ripple
The new strategy of putting money into micro-payments and marketplace companies that could use their product or platform is a reminder that Ripple is diverging from its core value proposition: a cryptocurrency that banks and financial institutions will use.
The CEO of Ripple is not yet worried about the lack of adoption by banks as he believes it will take time but change will come. Having founded VoIP company DialPad, which was acquired by Yahoo and has become standard, Garlinghouse reminded the audience that current AT&T chairman Randall Stephenson once said it would never take off.
Ripple has been criticized for failing to attract banks to XRP, with its public customer base consisting of cross-border remittance services that are trialing XRP as one currency within their payment flows.
On stage at Money2020, Garlinghouse used U.S. President Donald Trump’s expression “fake news” to dismiss concerns around volatility in XRP for payment services. He argued that the bumpy highs and lows of crypto wouldn’t impact a sale directly because payment completion takes only a number of seconds.
Banco Santander has debuted Ripple’s international payment system in February and introduced the service in four countries simultaneously, with full transparency on fees and FX upfront.