It’s obvious that the crypto market has recently been about “survival of the fittest”, and the toughness of Ripple, just like other cryptocurrencies is questioned by the market pundits. But despite its spikes and dips, Ripple is closely watched by banking giants and is seen as a Blockchain Tech leader in the financial sector.
Right now, the hot news is about the deal between Santander UK and American express that aims at utilizing Ripple network to grease the US/UK cross-border payments. Recently, bobsguide sat with Marcus Treacher, Global Head of Strategic Accounts at Ripple and Ed Metzger, Head of Tachnology Innovation at Santander UK to discuss what this means for their firms, for blockchain and what lies ahead.
In view of addressing this, we sliced the steak of their conversation;
Marcus, can you highlight what blockchain can and can’t do in payments?
Marcus Treacher : the world is yet to realize blockchain potential. It will take time for blockchain to impact today’s unsophisticated world where information is still processed the same as it was in the past.
Isn’t SWIFT too scared of the transformation?
Ripple: the tipping point is coming! Customers always look for favorable alternatives. Those who choose to remain in their old ways, will be rejected by the market. As technology evolves, even the regulations evolve.
Is this why Santander decided to invest in this company?
Ed Metzger: we care about improving customer service using new technologies. To do so, we must put our attention on technologies which command big influence in the banking sector, and Ripple isn’t an exception!
Why didn’t Santander and Ripple partner in 2015?
Santander: we now have evidences beyond reasonable doubts that blockchain makes a difference. We had interest for some 5-10 years but the blockchain tech was yet to mature.
Marcus, you previously worked at SWIFT. Is Ripple a challenger to SWIFT?
Ripple: ripple does this for the better. SWIFT should either join the league or remain conservative. Technology is not here to stay, SWIFT sees the change but isn’t prepared to adopt.
Will Santander move away from conventional payments network?
Santander: No! better way of asking this is considering customer needs and demands and look for ways how emerging technologies can cater them. We stick to services that we think have a public advantage.
What have you heard from the community?
Santander: retails, SMEs, financial institutions and corporates, question on the uncertainity and transparency of payments. That’s the reason we chose ripple. Its speed, transparency and certainity will heal the pain points of international payments.
How does Ripple bypass the scalability issues of blockchain’s practical uses?
Ripple: we need to know, we are building in what already exists. Therefore, the dream of a perfect blockchain won’t work. However, we’ve designed our blockchain to be scalable. Using the idea of Infinite Internet Protocol, we transfer value instead of information. We’ve proved it in labs that a dollar can move into other currencies in seconds. Our latest record being 2 seconds, comparing to the conventional methods which take 3 days, we think this is miraculous.
What does Ripple do that SWIFT gpi doesn’t ?
Ripple: we have a much shorter payment wait, 4 seconds compared to 3 days of SWIFT. Our messaging service differs from that of SWIFT in that, Ripple’s nodes are set in a constant communication, settling transactions between banks. Our technology will also help in filling local bank accounts in Africa and Latin America with global currency as their currency is still fairly illiquid.
In short, we are creating an internet of value and our digital currency is a liquidity tool.
What sort of products could we see Santander using blockchain technology on five years into the future?
Santander: big question! We have a blockchain lab to sort such questions. But for us we care most about how blockchain can solve the needs and problems of our customers. This is what will drive the blockchain tech to its fullest use.