The situation on Wednesday: Bitcoin and the fight against banks
Bitcoin had taken up the challenge to bring some wind into the dusty financial system. But that was more than ready: The bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers, mistrust in the banking system and the bursting of the real estate bubble were the ideal breeding grounds for a decentralized crypto currency. Now, almost nine years later, the situation is somewhat different again. From Bitcoin, banks and the search for decentralization.
It seems as if bridges are currently being built everywhere. They are all owed to the attempt to couple the financial system so often described as "traditional" with that "new" cryptoecosystem. There the idea of decentralization is combined with the idea of a central control of currencies and does not really come together. The situation on Wednesday.
The new Bitcoin bridges
Bitwala caused a stir in the crypto community last week. With their Bitwala Card and the corresponding bank account, they were able to convince 30,000 customers to pre-register for the launch of their campaign. They can therefore use their account to switch between crypto currencies and fiat currencies without having to go directly via third-party providers.
A very similar project is currently being carried out on Swiss soil. Here it is the SEBA company that has been able to collect a total of 103 million euros. The aim here is very similar to Bitwala: to offer payment transfers that link crypto currencies with Fiat.
The two dare to do the balancing act between crypto and Fiat and take on the cumbersome task of convincing the regulatory authorities of their intention. But the dimensions are far from being exhausted.
Goldman Sachs & Ripple: Transforming the payment area
Banking giant Goldman Sachs also recognizes these signs of the times: as a supporter of the Veem platform, they want to abolish nothing less than the SWIFT standard. With 80,000 companies in a total of 96 countries, the project certainly has a broad base of customers with whom they are declaring war on the established transfer of payments. However, they are by no means alone in this.
For some experts of the crypto scene are likely to ring a bell when it comes to the buzzwords "abolish the SWIFT standard" and the associated transformation of the global payment area. It is the well-known "bank coin", Ripple's XRP, who has taken up this cause. The recent go-ahead for xRapid seems to have brought this goal a little closer.
There are many supporters behind Galleon's figure Brad Garlinghouse. But there are also some who are turning away and looking for decentralized (re)n alternatives. First of all Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb, who is currently selling most of his collected XRP.
StellarX: Decentralized competition
It is the same JedMcCaleb who was involved in the creation of Stellar at the time. With StellarX, the project's new GUI, Ripple is currently facing high-caliber competition from the decentralized side. With this project, the Stellar community is not only creating a use case for the platform's own crypto currency. If you take a closer look, you can also see a liberation blow against the dependency on Bitcoin on the one hand and Ripple on the other.
If StellarX manages to push through its project, the chances are good that Ripple will prevail against the centralized competition.
Decentralisation vs. centralisation
This is (still) the current situation in the Bitcoin ecosystem. On the one hand, we have centralised companies trying to build those Bitcoin bridges. Big players like Goldman Sachs or Ripple are trying to abolish the SWIFT standard and revolutionise "international payments".
On the other hand, we have approaches that (at least apparently) pursue the basic idea of decentralisation. There is no question that these plans are not guided by pure idealism either. But they are, at least in the sense of a decentralization of the global financial system, much closer to the idea behind Satoshi Nakamoto's Bitcoin.