Chris Larsen, Founder and CEO of Ripple Labs, will be joining us today at the Winter Expo to participate in the panel discussion of virtual currency. The San Francisco based company, back by Google Ventures, was founded in 2012 and developed the Ripple protocol, which makes transactions easy, quick, and incredibly inexpensive.
“Our vision is to build a value or payments web similar to the information web – one that could make it as easy to move money as it is to send an email. Today’s money transfer systems cost a lot of money and takes significant time to clear transactions. Instead, Ripple provides the pipes to securely and instantly move money in any currency around the world at virtually no cost. This is a transformative idea and one developers can capitalize on today by building apps for merchant payments, money transfers, remittances and many others.” Chris said.
Ripple Labs is on the forefront of companies that are taking inspiration from the Bitcoin technology, and trying to improve upon it. This chain reaction of innovation after innovation is leading to an exponentially faster timeline of invention, breaking down barriers faster than they can be erected. Chris laid out an example of this timeline for his company.
“Bitcoin’s breakthrough innovation was solving the double spend problem on a web platform, which enables an Internet-based, global payments system. We saw opportunity to improve on this key innovation by developing a more efficient method of confirmation than mining, which is slow and burns a lot of energy. We also saw the bigger opportunity with Bitcoin being the payment technology and not the currency. Ripple focuses on the payments protocol first. Ripple uses a consensus ledger system that confirms transactions in just seconds and doesn’t consume massive amounts of energy. The Ripple currency plays a critical role as an enabler for Ripple’s decentralized currency exchange, providing the most efficient route to complete transactions in any currency – euro, dollars, yuan, bitcoin, etc.” Chris said.
Chris has a vision, one that is shared by many entrepreneurs working in virtual currency, of a global network of transactions and exchange that is expedient and decentralized, but he is also aware of what needs to be done to get there.
“I believe we’ll build a global value web that’ll enable fast, nearly free transactions in many different stores of value – fiat currencies, math-based currencies, loyalty points, etc. To realize that vision, we need to work cooperatively to figure out how these systems fit in a regulatory framework. Right now, financial services businesses are concerned about the reputational risk of participating in these systems.” Chris said.
Chris expressed an excitement to join in on the conversation at the Winter Expo about virtual currency and share his views on how to keep progressing in the field of cryptocurrency.
“I think the progressive regulatory conversations are exciting because they signal that governments are taking math-based currency systems seriously and there is a path to adoption. Math-based currencies have to become more than just an investment bet, and the way to do that is by creating confidence in the systems so they can build liquidity and utility.” He said.
Chris is not without his criticisms of the dialogue, and hopes to guide the discussion towards a more productive direction.
“I think we are talking too much about the value of these currencies. Continually charting the exchange rate and latest benchmark is setting the industry up for failure because the true long-term value of these systems is in building a global value web.” He said.
This is a very exciting and unique time for developers and startup companies working in FinTech. There is as much opportunity as there is peril for companies trying to innovation within virtual currency, and Chris offers his advice to these companies:
“For the first time in history, developers have the pipes of a global, IP-based, open payment web available to them. My advice is to focus on building front-end apps that help people and businesses around the world be more financially successful.” Chris said.
To see Chris Laresen and many others, hurry up and regisert for the Winter Expo!
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