The crypto market downturn of 2018/2019 irked several industry startups, including those that have established an unquestioned hegemony. Steemit, Bitmain, ShapeShift, Huobi, and ConsenSys were mandated to purge staffers to keep a sufficient financial runway. However, some crypto-friendly firms like Ripple have excelled in such a hostile environment.
The San Francisco-based company announced on Tuesday that it surmounted a significant milestone despite sellers ravaging the Bitcoin price.
On January 8, the FinTech company’s in-house blog Ripple Insights published a report on its payment network RippleNet. The American upstart’s team revealed that 13 financial institutions hailing from Kuwait to Canada had just signed up for RippleNet.
The 13 new additions to the firm’s clientele indicate that RippleNet already facilitates cross-border processes for more than 200 clients.
Per Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, 2018 was his company’s best performing year so far. The Ripple executive explained that the firm has witnessed its customer base grow by 100 in the year before. According to Garlinghouse, Ripple signs “two—sometimes three—new customers per week.”
However, the monumental growth statistic was only the proverbial edge of the iceberg. Garlinghouse said the transaction count on RippleNet has spiked by 350% year-over-year, as more clients have started to use the XRP asset.
Journalist Kate Rooney reported that with RippleNet, Garlinghouse and his team are planning to actively revolutionize a $2 trillion sector. The financial industry arm is the cross-border payment realm that was historically ruled by centralized banks.
Based on previous reports, most American banks, which use the centralized SWIFT ecosystem, charge more than $30 flat rate for international transfers. Bitcoin has established itself as a great alternative, touting censorship-resistance, quick transaction times, and sub-$1 transaction fees. However, Ripple is confident it can improve on the advantages touted by the de-facto grandfather of digital currencies.
Garlinghouse told Bloomberg TV that decentralized ledgers, compared to their centralized equivalents, are “a massive step-function forward.” Supporting his claim, the industry insider said that an unnamed remittance provider witnessed a 95% cut in fees and 800% spike in usage after implementing Ripple’s tech. He added that Ripple’s ecosystem might eventually “take over SWIFT” if the unbridled success will continue to propagate itself.
Considering RippleNet’s growth rate, a world where blockchain-powered technology runs the world’s finances may be possible.
Many long-time Bitcoin faithful have been outspoken against the seeming enamorment of Ripple with the centralized financial realm. Bitcoin Foundation board member and BTCC co-founder Bobby Lee told Cheddar:
“Ripple has the reputation of being centralized, even though some [of its] proponents claim that it is decentralized. So I do think that it is important [that we distinguish between the two], because the world up until Bitcoin’s invention has never seen some that is digital that is also decentralized.”
According to Charlie Lee’s brother, using the word “decentralized” for a centrally-issued token like XRP may be “dangerous, and is a waste of a great terminology.” Aside from Lee, XRP zealots bashed Proof of Work (PoW) ledgers on Twitter for their failure to maintain transactional finality.
Better known as “Crypto Bobby,” Rob Paone said that Ripple can be “very vulnerable to government[al action], regulators, and the like.” Gab.com elaborated that if Ripple Labs has the power to freeze funds, it is possible that you hold a “scamcoin on your hands that isn’t decentralized.”
Chris Larsen, who created XRP alongside Jed McCaleb, told Cheddar that “there’s currently a religious war going on between platforms,” noting that the “nonsense and FUD” being thrown around incessantly is not beneficial.