ICOs are a pretty bad thing to get involved in, both from a founder’s and an investor’s perspective. As a founder, there are other ways to raise money that will not have the SEC breathing down your neck. These were the views Ripple’s executive chairman, Chris Larsen shared during the 2018 Lendit Fintech Conference held in San Francisco, California.
In an interview that was conducted by Jo Ann Barefoot, the CEO of Barefoot Innovation Group, Larsen referred to globalization as incomplete and for it to be complete and to function fully we need three key elements; interoperability of data (the internet), interoperability of goods (shipping) and interoperability of money which is what Ripple is out to solve.
Larsen elaborated on the future of the blockchain through a shipping container analogy. Any kind of global standard or protocol has to be super simple and basic for it to be accepted and adopted by everyone, from the developed nations to the developing world. Before shipping containers were introduced, goods would be unpacked, inspected and repacked at every stage of the supply chain which was tedious and inefficient, much like the movement of money today. He further explained why there is no way that one shipping company can dominate the shipping industry, regardless of its efficiency. Networks such as Bitcoin’s, Ethereum’s or the XRP ledger can’t be acceptable to everyone, much like shipping companies which is why Ripple is committed to the Interledger Protocol for industry interoperability.
Larsen also talked about working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to promote financial inclusivity to over 2 billion people in the developing world who for a long time have been marginalized. The foundation recognizes the need for interoperability between systems all over the world, from M-Pesa in Kenya to Bank of America and many more. The Interledger Protocol can solve these interoperability issues.
When asked to talk about regulations and the role the government should play in the cryptocurrency space, Larsen said that the cryptocurrency universe has to ‘grow up’ and work with the government for the common good. Bitcoin, like many other technologies including the internet, was started as an anti-government movement which is quite natural. However, the time has come for the market to grow up and allow regulations in the industry to protect all stakeholders.
Other speakers who addressed the conference include Brian Behlendorf, the executive director of Hyperledger, Kathleen Brietmann, co-founder of Tezos, Austin Alexander, the head of sales at Kraken and Anthony Noto, the CEO of SoFi.