Although many lambast Ripple cozying up with financial institutions, the fintech startup’s chief recently claimed that his firm is seeking to oust SWIFT, a global, centralized banking system.
Ripple Chief: “We’re Taking Over Swift”
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple (the company, not the XRP crypto asset), recently sat down with Bloomberg TV at the Singapore Fintech Festival 2018 to discuss crypto’s future and his startup’s aspirations.
Queried about the rumored relationship between SWIFT, an acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, and San Francisco-based Ripple itself, Garlinghouse first noted that “SWIFT is owned by the banks,” subsequently adding that his startup is “here to help the banks.”
Although this statement may sound like Ripple is in bed with SWIFT, the industry insider then touched on the fact that blockchains are “a massive step-function forward” in terms of the financial ecosystem. As such, considering that today’s centralized entities have been slow to adopt new technologies, SWIFT has undoubtedly failed to keep up with rising consumer demand and needs/wants.
This has only been made clear by the ‘arm & leg’ that financial institutions charge for international wire transfers, which are facilitated by the SWIFT system, an organization with tentacles stretching across 200 countries and thousands of banks.
Keeping this in mind, Garlinghouse explained:
“We’re going to keep on focusing on how to solve the consumer problem… You know, SWIFT said not that long ago that they didn’t see blockchain as a solution to correspondent banking, but we got well over 100 of their customers saying that they disagree.”
Egging the CEO on, the Bloomberg host then asked Garlinghouse if his firm could one day oust SWIFT’s hegemony over global transactions. To the surprise and chagrin of Ripple’s critics and centralized institutions, the startup chief noted that his firm’s day-to-day going-ons accentuate the fact that they may eventually “take over SWIFT.”
This isn’t a baseless claim, however, as Brad Garlinghouse, a Harvard graduate and Yahoo and AOL alumni, then explained that Ripple has signed up “hundreds of banks” to use the startup’s blockchain technology-enabled ecosystems.
While remaining hesitant to name the bank, the fintech entrepreneur made an example of one firm’s move to activate Ripple’s system. Garlinghouse explained that the unnamed remittance provider saw an 800% increase in usage and a 95% haircut in fees, a win-win for Ripple and the institution.
So, it seems that the controversial, yet innovative startup may already be well on its way to making a move on SWIFT.
But then again, not everyone is convinced, as there are a multitude diehard crypto enthusiasts who adamantly believe that Ripple is nothing more than a Trojan horse set on siphoning traditionalistic bankers into crypto.
Garlinghouse On Institutional Players In Crypto
Garlinghouse went on to speak about institutions and their involvement in the nascent cryptosphere — a holy grail in the eyes of some cryptocurrency investors.
Touching on the regulation surrounding this technology, the Ripple executive noted that the regulatory clarity has established has allowed his firm, along with other startups in the space, to invest and develop with a sense of security. Keeping this newfound sense of clarity in mind, Garlinghouse noted that over time, institutional players, like the Intercontinental Exchange and Fidelity, will continue piling into this industry.
Wrapping up his comments on the matter, Garlinghouse divulged that there is currently more institutional interest for XRP then ever before, alluding to the fact that this could be a tailwind for crypto markets in the long-run.