Results of the Bank of England/Ripple Proof of Concept
The Bank of England (BoE) recently released its blueprint for its next generation real-time gross settlement system (RTGS), which will form the backbone of the UK’s payment infrastructure. One element of the vision set out in that blueprint was potentially adding synchronisation capabilities to its future RTGS system. This would enable payments in RTGS to be executed simultaneously with a movement of another asset. One potential usage of this capability could be cross-border payments, where movements in the sterling RTGS system could be synchronised with movements in another currency.
Through its Fintech Accelerator, the Bank selected Ripple earlier this year to test whether blockchain technology could enable this “Global RTGS” capability and today released summary results of the proof of concept (PoC).
The BoE’s PoC specifically looked at how Ripple’s solution could support the synchronisation of cash movements made using two simulated RTGS systems utilizing the open-source Interledger Protocol. The BoE says that “the PoC was a useful exercise to develop the Bank’s understanding of synchronisation and possible technical solutions.” In other words, Ripple’s solution showed promise in enabling RTGS systems which seamlessly support interoperability globally.
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO, Ripple, said: “We believe in an Internet of Value, where cross-border payments should move at the same speed as information – like photos or emails – moves on the Internet today. Critical to making that vision a reality is enabling real-time settlement across domestic systems. To that end, the Bank of England’s PoC with Ripple is a watershed moment. We applaud them for being one of the first central banks worldwide to look at how blockchain technology can power instant international payments.”
Read the Bank of England report on the project here.
Ripple - XRP Ledger Decentralizes Further With Expansion to 55 Validator Nodes
Today we are excited to announce that the XRP Ledger ecosystem has
expanded to 55 validator nodes, an increase of 120 percent since May.
These new validators include WorldLink, Telindus-Proximus Group, Bahnhof
(Swedish ISP) and AT TOKYO Corporation, and join a growing network of
leading companies and organizations currently validating transactions on
the XRP Ledger, including MicrosoftMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and CGI.
Last month, we shared our strategy to make the XRP Ledger more decentralized.
We are committed to continued diversification and decentralization of
the XRP Ledger validator ecosystem to further increase its resiliency
and robustness (you can learn more about validators, the servers that
confirm transactions on the ledger,here).
Ensuring our enterprise-ready public blockchain is as strong as
possible through additional validators is necessary to make XRP the
globally preferred digital asset for payments.
Mathew Pulickel, Senior Vice President, Emerging Technology at WorldLink, said: “We believe Ripple’s network will revolutionize commerce in the future and the way our customers do business, and that’s why we have chosen to run a validator node on the XRP Ledger. In the same way that communication and document sharing dramatically improved with email, Ripple and the digital asset XRP will have an equally impactful effect on the time and cost associated with cross-border payments.”
We also plan to add two third-party validators to the XRP Ledger’s Unique Node Lists (UNLs) in the coming months. UNLs are an important subset of trusted nodes that can validate transactions, vote on protocol changes via amendments and modify fees on ledger. While Bitcoin chooses validators solely on mining power, XRP Ledger validators are chosen based on performance, reliability, and security. This includes assessing a possible UNL against the following criteria:
- Server topology
- Server uptime, including 24-hour incident response capabilities
- Speed of server updates following new releases
- Network agreement rate
- Verification with Extended Validation Certificate
- Public Attestation via ripple.txt file or DNS TXT record
If your organization is interested in setting up a validator on the XRP Ledger, you can find more information here.
Ripple(XRP) Q2 2017 Markets Report
In order to continually improve the health of XRP markets globally, we will share regular updates on the state of the market including quarterly sales, commentary on previous quarter price movements and related company announcements.
In Q2, market participants purchased $21M directly from XRP II, LLC*, Ripple’s registered and licensed money service business (MSB). These buyers tend to be institutional in nature and their purchases include restrictions that help mitigate the risk of market instability due to large subsequent sales. Additionally, XRP II, LLC* sold $10.3M worth of XRP. These sales are executed daily as a small percentage of overall volume. For Q2, they represented 0.09% (9 basis points) of the total $11.06B traded.
Market Commentary: Things Have Changed
Q2 2017 was one of the most significant quarters to date for XRP markets. In fact, it might represent a sea change in XRP’s adoption and relevance in the space. Though it’s difficult to discern which of the many developments was most important, the most dramatic had to be XRP’s price increase. XRP finished the quarter at $0.263, a stunning QoQ increase of 1159% and YTD growth of 3977%. At its peak on May 17, XRP reached $0.394, up 6012% this year and 1787% this quarter. There were some indications in Q1 that the days of sub one cent prices for XRP were in the rearview mirror, but this type of paradigm shifting performance was certainly difficult to predict.
Recent Announcements and Market Adoption
There were a number of significant announcements and events which clearly contributed to XRP’s incredible second quarter.
The Q1 report stated that Ripple would communicate XRP developments more frequently and Q2 saw some very important announcements:
Each of these was instrumental in helping to drive XRP interest and volume in Q2. The market responded favorably to the escrow and decentralization announcements in particular. They both laid out clear plans for Ripple to address the top concerns about XRP, building the market’s trust in Ripple and XRP.
Blockchain Adoption on the Rise
From a broader perspective, a number of sovereign institutions and international corporations signaled an interest to adopt digital assets and blockchain-based solutions generally.
Taken together, the positive XRP-specific news and the generally favorable and embracing stance by established institutions were key catalysts of activity, not only in XRP markets, but in digital asset markets broadly.
Volume Growth: It’s Now Easier to Access XRP
As it pertains to XRP’s use case, the most compelling market evolution in the second quarter was the growth in volume generally, and of fiat volumes specifically. In Q1, XRP/BTC contributed to 85% of total daily volume. In Q2 that number dropped to 63%. In fact, XRP/FIAT volumes in Q2 were 21 times greater than XRP/BTC volumes in Q1. While some of this can be attributed to growth in USD and EUR pairs at Bitstamp and Kraken, the bulk of this transition was due to increased activity on Korean exchanges. On May 14th, Coinone became the first exchange to list KRW/XRP. Bithumb and Korbit followed suit shortly thereafter. Since then KRW has represented 52.1% of total daily volume, easily surpassing every other cross, including BTC.
Correlation to Bitcoin and Ethereum
As the quarter unfolded, there was a decided shift in XRP’s relationship to the rest of the digital asset space, particularly BTC and ETH. It is evident from the chart below, that as XRP began to rally in early May, it decoupled from ether and simultaneously began trading more closely with bitcoin. Now, all three assets experienced significant growth in Q2, but XRP led the way, driving correlations to nearly an annual low in late May, where things got truly interesting. As ETH finally began to rally, and XRP and BTC stabilized in early to mid-June, a clear divergence occurred. Likely due to its increased listings and off-ledger volume, XRP’s correlation to BTC steadily climbed to nearly 50% and simultaneously dropped to -40% against ETH. This makes sense since ETH’s rally began later, but the relationship change is stark and merits close attention, especially as it could impact how market participants structure their portfolios.
Volatility Lands with Relative Normality
Lastly, XRP’s price appreciation was, not surprisingly, accompanied by an increase in volatility. Q1 daily volatility averaged 8.87%, an elevated figure due mostly to a material uptick at the end of the quarter as XRP markets came to life. Q2 saw a continuation of that activity, and average 30-day rolling volatility peaked at 36.1% on April 20th. In June, however, markets came back to relative normality and volatility retraced to 8.03% to end the quarter, a good sign going forward. The digital asset space in general, because of its relative youth tends to skew volatile. With increased participation and requisite liquidity, that tendency should abate, another market development to monitor over the following months.
Last quarter left us with much to think about, and even more to do. We plan to focus on three areas of liquidity development as we drive XRP towards its natural position as the digital asset standard for international value transfer. We are looking into formalizing the lending program we mentioned in the Q4 report, building out our OTC markets by bolstering our broker/dealer networks, and finding more ways to provide greater transparency to markets. Most importantly, we are accelerating the pace of our investment in the XRP Ledger to build on its speed, uptime, and scalability, to ensure XRP is the most trusted enterprise-grade digital asset.
*XRP II, LLC is licensed to engage in Virtual Currency Business Activity by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Ripple(XRP) - ICO=IPO: Why the SEC Is Right to Regulate Initial Coin Offerings
Digital assets like XRP and bitcoin and the blockchain technology behind them represent an incredibly exciting opportunity to accelerate the engine of commerce around the world. But we’re still in the early stages of development and, as often happens with financial innovations, it can take time for regulations to catch up.
Some have disregarded regulation entirely, believing that under the banner of new technology, they are exempt. This year alone, firms have raised $1.3 billion from initial coin offerings (ICOs), a type of blockchain crowdfunding for startups. But rather than delivering something to investors that can be used to exchange value on a specific economic platform, some of the tokens offered seem to have no inherent utility.
Instead, these ICOs were based on little more than a white paper and look much more like (not especially attractive) stock offerings. I have previously highlighted this practice as unsustainable, potentially deceptive and detrimental to the long-term growth of the digital asset market. So, I was happy to see the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) step into the ring this week to clarify that certain types of ICOs are actually securities.
The SEC’s report focused on DAO – one of the most controversial of the recent spate of ICOs – and painted a picture of a process that bore all the hallmarks of a stock offering:
“Investors who purchased DAO Tokens were investing in a common enterprise and reasonably expected to earn profits through that enterprise…”
It concluded that DAO Tokens are securities and its creators “broke the law by offering shares to the public without complying with applicable securities laws.”
I welcome this official clarification of what had become a gray area. My position will not be a surprise given Ripple’s history of actively engaging regulators and central banks as we have developed our solution for faster and more efficient cross-border payments.
We partner with many financial institutions, including the Bank of England and major global banks like Santander and Standard Chartered. Our Director of Regulatory Relations Ryan Zagone sits on the steering committee for the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments Task Force, which recently released its action plan for improving payments in the U.S.
In contrast to ICO tokens, which in many cases exist as nothing more than ideas on paper and arbitrary balances on ledgers, digital assets with utility have the potential to transform global commerce for the better. But I can’t see how that will happen without input and buy-in from the major players in the world of finance and government regulators. When you believe in responsible innovation as we do, these partnerships are crucial to ensuring the successful growth of the digital assets market.
Quacks in the system
It’s surely no coincidence that ICO sounds a lot like IPO (initial public offering). Indeed, the developer of DAO said that purchasing DAO Tokens would entitle investors to “rewards” and likened it to “buying shares in a company and getting…dividends.”
I say, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck then let’s regulate it like a duck. The bill may already be in the mail for some of these companies. SEC regulations are there to protect both investors and the businesses offering stock. If, as I think is likely, deception is shown to have occurred in an ICO – now understood to be a security – the entrepreneurs involved will find themselves tied up in litigation for years to come.
I expect the SEC’s guidance to lead to a significant reduction in the pace of ICOs, as firms will need to undergo the same kind of thoughtful process of disclosure and transparency necessary for any securities offering. This culling of the herd should not affect utilitarian assets like XRP, which can be used by payment providers and banks to enable faster, more efficient cross-border payments. The SEC ruling implies that digital assets whose value is based on established use cases and not ambiguous promises, are distinguishable from ICO tokens.
Strong and stable
Even with an ICO cool-off, the overall digital asset market remains highly volatile at the moment with the Bitcoin community preparing for civil war over its inability to scale its transaction processing power to meet demand. Meanwhile, as the host of most of the recent ICOs, Ethereum will likely experience the most significant fallout from this SEC ruling.
By focusing on developing technology that reduces the friction and cost of cross-border payments and actively partnering with regulators and financial institutions, Ripple is a source of stability in a market with the potential to change the way value is exchanged. The SEC ruling is a crucial step in this evolution.
Digital assets and the blockchain technology that powers them may be new and innovative but I see no reason to discard decades’ worth of useful regulation that helps protect everyone.
Ripple’s Product Suite is Growing
Just a few years ago, Ripple opened its doors with a grand vision: to enable the Internet of Value (IoV) to move money like information moves today. We put the pedal to the metal and built a robust enterprise solution to make cross-border payments truly efficient for banks, payment providers and their customers, using advanced blockchain technology.
And now, Ripple’s growing global payments network has 90+ customers, 75+ commercial deployments in progress and a common set of payment standards governing all transactions on the network. We are working hand-in-hand with regulators across the world to show how blockchain can transform cross-border payments and, in effect, global commerce. XRP is quickly emerging as the best digital asset for payments. It makes us proud to see the innovation our customers are bringing to their respective markets in order to move the dial with their clients.
As the market and our customer base has evolved, I want to take the opportunity to articulate how our products are coming together (and growing) to support our one, single vision.
RippleNet: One frictionless experience to send money globally
Based on customer feedback, we’ve given our global payments network a name, RippleNet. This is not new – but simply an evolution of the growing network that has been building significant momentum. RippleNet is the world’s only enterprise blockchain solution for global payments.
How to Join or Use RippleNet
Our customers make up the network and I’m pleased to announce we have expanded our suite of offerings to help even more clients tap into RippleNet.
Processing Payments with xCurrent
xCurrent is the new name of our existing enterprise software solution that banks
and other financial institutions currently use to instantly send and
receive cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking and bidirectional
messaging across RippleNet. Recently, we added a Rulebook, developed in
partnership with the RippleNet Advisory Board to standardize all transactions across the network.
The Interledger Protocol (ILP) is the backbone of the solution and makes it possible for instant payments to be sent across a variety of different networks. It’s our belief that this is the only way to scale the global network for future demand.
Sourcing Liquidity with xRapid
xRapid is a new product currently being built for payment providers. As we’ve gone
out to market with xCurrent, we uncovered an untapped need for a
low-cost liquidity solution for emerging markets. xRapid uniquely uses
XRP to lower the liquidity costs of payments in emerging markets.
Product development is well underway and I look forward to sharing more
over the coming months.
Sending Payments with xVia
xVia is also a new product currently in development. xVia is for those who want to send international payments through a bank or payment provider on RippleNet. xVia offers a standard interface as a simple API that enables users to send global payments with transparency into payment status and attach rich payment information, like invoices.
Personally, I couldn’t be more excited about the potential that Ripple, together with our customers, is bringing to the payments space. We continue to work towards our vision of building the IoV. To that extent, our products are designed to provide a single frictionless experience to send payments globally.By,
The Genesis of Swell by Ripple
There’s no question – it’s building…
On the horizon, a revolution in the way the world moves money is building. The advent of blockchain initiated the swell but it’s the financial institutions and payment providers around the world who are applying the technology to solve customer dissatisfaction with global payments that are driving its crescendo.
These players recognize their massive opportunity with blockchain to serve escalating customer demands for instant, highly reliable, low-cost global payments and differentiate their businesses at a decisive moment in time.
For once the blockchain wave crests, there will be those on top and those crushed by it.
Our customers, members of RippleNet, have been asking us for the past year to create a forum for them to connect to other members to further grow the network, and to hear pointed industry commentary on the future implications of blockchain and digital assets.
Sibos is the place for the leaders in banking to come together. We’ve sponsored Sibos the past two years and are sponsoring again this year. But, we realized we couldn’t meet our customers’ requests and our event vision on the exhibitor floor in a booth.
Meet Swell by Ripple – featuring complementary programming to Sibos, an inside look into our industry perspective, and an opportunity for banks, their corporate customers and payment providers to meet in one place to advance the world of payments.
As we announced yesterday, Swell will be a gathering place for RippleNet members and prospects to learn from each other’s use cases and co-develop new services leveraging the power of blockchain. It’ll also feature thought-provoking speakers and content from banking, payments and technology to offer perspective on practical applications of blockchain and digital assets today. Swell also welcomes RippleNet customers and prospects not attending Sibos.
As our co-founder and executive chairman Chris Larsen says with regard to blockchain, “you can’t put the genie back in the bottle.” Blockchain is the future of payments. We’re excited for the opportunity to host our customers for productive discussions about how we can collectively build toward the Internet of Value, in which the world will be able to move money as easily as it moves information today.