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  1. 151 points
    JoelKatz

    Hi! I'm Bob

    We certainly would never discourage anyone from using the XRPL's distributed exchange feature! I'm still a bit sad that our strategy lead us in a different direction and that we abandoned the nascent ecosystem we had been building. It was clear that the feature was way ahead of its time and there was no direct path to adoption then. I talk to Ethan (head of Xpring and pretty much everything at Ripple other than cross-currency payments) frequently about whether there are good use cases for the ledger's decentralized exchange now and whether that's something we can use Xpring to help develop. I have a plan that moves us in that direction that I've been working on and shown to several people inside the company. The problem I keep coming back to is that there isn't quite a great use case that I can see how to move to a product just yet. But getting more minds thinking in that direction might yield results and time has brought the rest of the world in this direction. The other thing that Arthur and I built into the ledger in the early days is community credit. That is, I think, even further ahead of its time and even harder to see a solid use case for in the near term. I sometimes feel like I work for Twitter in 2000 and I'm trying to explain to everyone that for us to really grow, people need better phones. Of course, there was no Twitter in 2000 -- it was too early. I'm trying to find ways to make it later as quickly as possible.
  2. 131 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    Hello all. Just wanted to introduce myself. I'm Bob Way, formerly of Ripple. Thank you in advance for allowing me to join your forum. Back in the early days of crypto I was pretty active in the Bitcointalk and Ripple communities (under the username "Red"). In fact my community participation was what directly led to me going to work for Chris and the gang at OpenCoin. I made a lot of good friend in the forums five years back. I'm hoping to make some new ones now. Bob
  3. 96 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    As promised, I didn't go to bed before finishing monstrosity. It is the delayed continuation of the post I left hanging here. Sorry for the delay. ----- I've had a long love/hate relationship with bitcoin. When I first heard about it I was inthralled with the technology. I dug in deep to understand everything I could. It seemed like a global LETS system to me. There were a few things I didn't like. It wasn't very private even though everyone kept calling it anonymous. I was one of the first to point out how the DAG could be used to unmask people. I may also have been one of the first to describe the mixer concept. I kicked around some ideas for a next generation more private blockchain data structure with Satoshi. I wasn't cryptography savvy enough to make that work, but I was happy when the zerocoin folks worked it out. But the one thing I always hated about bitcoin was the monetary policy, I made that clear with my first post on bitcointalk. I thought and still think that volatile cryptocurrencies make lousy "money". Medium of exchange -- OK, that works Unit of account -- Hum? Is it really a consistent "measure of value" Standard of deferred payment -- Nope, you can's agree to BTC denominated rent or other contracts Store of value -- Not really, store implies you get the same value out you put in It turns out bitcoin is much better described as a commodity than a currency. This argument did not win me popularity either. Over the next three years I explored other monetary policies and spent a lot of time trying to work out how to make a stable valued cryptocurrency. It was during that exploration that I discovered Ripple. It turns out Ripple is a uniquely suitable platform on which to build a stable coin. ----- By 2013 there were a lot of bitcoin maximalists pumping BTC. There pitch went something like this: The Dollar is going to crash! The Euro is going to crash! People are going to NEED to use BTC. The whole world's financial system is going to hell! You can buy BTC now and be RICH! Or you can buy BTC later with the poor people. I thought that was a pretty sucky marketing plan. "The whole world's gonna be miserable, but hey, we DESERVE to be rich! We didn't actually do anything. But we did happen to notice this weird thing on Slashdot first!" I thought that pitch was lamely transparent even for a scammer. I didn't expect many to fall for it. ----- It was in that context that I made the comments that kicked off the request for comment. Keep in mind that when Ripple launched OpenCoin was giving away XRP. Please read at least the first page here. You'll see that there was an organized campaign to call Ripple a scam right from the beginning. Crypto is a hostile environment. The initial amounts given were 50,000 XRP. Note Jed was first in line. Also note that Vitalik Buterin was on the first page. That XRP amounts tapered down over time. By the time I discovered Ripple the giveaway amount was 20,000 XRP. I had begged David for XRP a few days before I received my giveaway amount. I'd been posting in the forum and was way too impatient to wait. He graciously funded my initial wallet with 555 XRP. Keep in mind the account reserve was 200 XRP, and trust lines and offers were 50 XRP each. So 555 only represented a half dozen trust lines and market orders. What's most important to the discussion we are having now, and the mindset I had then, is the relative valuation. The story I was told is that when PayPal launched, they gave everyone who signed up at the beginning $10. At the beginning of the giveaway OpenCoin considered 50,000 XRP to be worth about $10. ($0.0002 in Feb 2013). By May, people in the forums had been speculating that XRP would reach $5 by the end of the year. I had shouted down a few of those speculation threads, and that was what I was referring to when I wrote this: I thought such outlandish speculation made Ripple actually sound like the scam others were claiming it was. I also thought that most of the speculators had no idea what the "rippling" concept in Ripple actually was. Most were just happy they had gotten free crypto since the bitcoin faucet had long ago dried up. ----- Now in retrospect, I made two bad presumptions in the 4 points I made in that original post. First, I was a Ripple maximalist and presumed that OpenCoin wanted all 6 billion people on the planet to have their own Ripple address on ledger. Having a Ripple address means needing some amount of XRP for the account reserve and trust lines. The average amount 6 billion people would pay just to have an account is pretty small. ($1 would be a pretty high barrier to entry in poorer regions) That was what I was referring to here: Say 6-8 billion people and add in a couple billion businesses. You are looking at 10 billion addresses. That averages to only 10 XRP per address. Now you have to consider some of that is locked into the account reserves. If you support the local currencies as well, that's at least 10 billion trust lines and and offer reserves. The reserves will need to fall into drop amounts at that point. Otherwise there isn't much XRP to use for transaction fees. The use of trust lines to represent local fiat currencies was what I meant by "unlimited supply" here: All in all, it didn't seem to me that XRP was being considered by OpenCoin as a common payment denomination. (Meaning to specify the price of goods or services in XRP rather than in USD) It was pretty clear OpenCoin saw XRP as a bridge currency, but that would be hidden from most Ripple users who continued to hold and spend their local fiat currency. This third point I have discussed in at least a couple of other places in this thread. This logic is still sound. I began to realize my presumption about 10 billion on ledger addresses was incorrect shortly afterwards. The second bad presumption I made was that OpenCoin was manipulating XRP prices by selling off enough XRP to keep the price stable. (Remember I'm a fan of stable money) Stable XRP value seemed such an obvious precursor to XRP becoming a bridge currency, that I couldn't see any other way that could happen. (Why stable currencies make good bridge currencies is a longer discussion that I'll make in my "book" but you are probably bored of this already.) This presumption was what I was referring to in 4a: I learned much to my surprise that OpenCoin had never even considered manipulating the market price to increase stability! I never saw any inclination to do during my tenure either. So clearly I was wrong about 4a. If you are holding XRP like I am, I don't have any reason to believe that Ripple is competing against you and attempting to hold down XRP prices. That also invalidates my 4b crack about greater fools. But really that was just a rude crack made at the expense of the folks who were speculating in the forums in 2013. To them, and anyone here who was taken aback, I offer my humble apologies. ----- Now if I ended the story here and referred you back to this post about upward XRP price pressures, I could rationalize this as a "more optimistic ending"... ...but come on. Do you really think I'm that lame? This whole story would make me sound like I'm just one of those lesser fools I mocked, waiting for the greater fools to show up. I'm not that kind of d***. So I'll leave you with something that just might make your head explode. But I'll have to say this very carefully using words that I've already heard authorized Ripplers say in public. Hopefully, that will keep me out of trouble... It's conventional wisdom that the one thing you can't do by giving away an asset like XRP--is make its price go up. Except one day, a while back, Stefan proposed a concept in which it might... I was quite reticent to believe it. It seemed intuitively impossible, much like you are thinking now. So I sat down to analyze it. And analyze it. And analyze it... And in the end I concluded his exact proposal was wrong. It was likely to put downward pressure on the prices of XRP. But, Stefan wasn't very wrong. In fact, using his proposal as a starting place, I tweaked the parameters and intermediate goals and came up with a mechanism that I'm completely convinced will work. It leads to a net upward pressure on the price of XRP... ..and Ripple and I received a patent for it. Now I don't speak for the company so I can't say if they'll ever deploy the system. I can't say they won't either. But I can say that I know at least one method exists that defies the above conventional wisdom. Hopefully, that is optimistic enough to make up for any panic triggers you might have suffered!
  4. 87 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    Ripple as a company can be pretty opaque. Especially if you are not a banker getting regular updates on our progress. I'm happy to answer questions about the people involved historically and currently. The company grows and changes quickly so I'm probably out of date already on exactly who is on which team at the moment though. I guess I should introduce myself for those who don't know me. Don't feel bad if you don't. I purposely kept a low profile. I discovered bitcoin reasonably early in 2010. I was pondering creating a digital currency for the web (for my own reasons) when I happened into it. I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with bitcoin. I loved the concept of a pure digital currency. I hated the monetary policy and I wasn't a big fan of the community or its "marketing plan". If you check my history (Red) from way back you'll see that I was very off and on in the bitcointalk forums. April of 2013 was one of those "on" times again with the bitcointalk forum. Occasionally people called be back to talk about stable coins. It was during that period that I was canvasing to see of any of the alt-coin forks implemented any of the long list of suggestions we had created for bitcoin. That was when I ran across Ripple. It turned out that Ripple implemented all the improvements people had suggested for bitcoin and also a bunch of really cool stuff that I hardly understood. So I became obsessive about Ripple. First (unpopularily) discussing it at bitcointalk. Then later at JoelKatz's suggestion discussing it on the Ripple forums. During that period a lot of really smart Canadian's (Singpolyma, dchapes, etc.) from the earlier "Classic Ripple Pay" community taught me an amazing amount about money and rippling. I obsessed so much that after 6 weeks I was the number one poster on the Ripple forum. More posts at that time than even JoelKatz! :-) So in June I wrote Ripple asking for a job. I was the 10th hire after the founders. In my 5 years at Ripple I served in a lot of different roles all of which I'm very proud of. The original integration engineer Designed Ripple "pre-transaction messaging" system Designed the Ripple Rest API Designed RippleConnect/xCurrent Original product manager for RippleConnect Original member of Ripple research (ILP atomic mode, XRP bridge currency incentive analysis) Original sales engineer once we pivoted to a banking sales model Finally served as intellectual property wrangler between the research, engineering and legal teams I only write al this so folks here will understand the breadth of questions I'm willing to answer. During my time at Ripple I also served is informal historian. One of the things I've realized recently is that my greatest utility in increasing the adoption and value of XRP (and rippling in general) is in explaining to other just how well thought out the system is. I hope I can start doing that here.
  5. 85 points
    BobWay

    Answer: Wen Moon?

    I don't know. As I've mentioned in my introductory thread, I am bullish on XRP in the long term. I own XRP and I also own Ripple stock. Ripple stock is not publicly traded and is generally much more illiquid that XRP. However, based on other people's reports of selling Ripple stock on the secondary markets, it appears that the price of Ripple stock is closely correlated to the price of XRP. Based on my back of the envelope calculations, the market value of my investments is split about evenly between stock and XRP. If I could, I'd gladly trade my stock for XRP to gain the added liquidity XRP brings. It is important for you to know that I'm not rich enough to be worth kidnapping. It is also important for you to know that if I was a savvy trader I would be. I discovered bitcoin when the price of BTC was 5 to a dollar. I didn't buy it then and haven't traded much over the past 8 years at all. I also had someone point me to Microsoft stock in the very early days. I didn't buy that either. I don't gamble when I go to Vegas and I don't even like to follow the price of XRP and BTC because volatility gives me a huge amount of anxiety. So it should be absolutely clear to the average observer, that no one should take trading or investment advice from me. But if you want to know my personal unsubstantiated opinion I'm happy to tell you. In the long term, I expect Ripple as a company and XRP as an asset to succeed big time. Big time, means dramatically transforming and improving the world's financial systems and the way money works today. I'm expecting XRP's longterm moving average to rise as more more and more transactional liquidity flows through a growing RippleNet. In the short term, I expect XRPs price to be volatile and prone to spikes. I expect this volatility will be true of all other traditional cryptocurrencies as well. The reason I think so, is that it appears to me that speculators are trading multiple cryptocurrencies at a time using similar buy/sell strategies. I don't have any evidence of this, it just seems so to me from watching correlation (not causation) in the price charts. In the long term I expect XRP to be the "winning" cryptocurrency displacing all the others. I've come to this opinion without considering the low level technical details of the coins or their marketing spin. My opinion is based on the observation that all business transactions are circular. And this circle determines how currencies are valued. Here, the concept of circular business transaction means that when Alice buys widgets from Bob in exchange for currency, from Alice's perspective the value of the good equals the value of the currency used to pay for it. That seems obvious to the casual observer, but in the crypto space people rarely talk about it. In thinking about this I realized that the return value flow (the goods or services delivered) defines the value of the currency used to make the payment. Not the other way around. (Perhaps the goods or services have intrinsic value while the currency's value is relative, but that starts to sound like philosophy rather than economics.) So I began thinking about the business cycle along with the full transactional circle. Of course, no business transaction can take place without the agreement of BOTH Alice and Bob. Alice wants something and Bob wants something. The relationship is circular but it is not symmetrical. What Alice wants (the good or services) drives the transaction. What Bob wants (the money) is secondary. So in the business flow, Alice always decides what she wants first. Only then can Bob tell her what he wants in exchange (Alice's cost). So in my mind, the value of a currency is strictly CAUSED by the number of transactional circles it can participate in. If you make the presumption that any given Alice could potentially want something from any given Bob. And also the presumption that any given Bob could deliver to any given Alice. Then return value part of every transactional circle is unconstrained. So then you must focus on how Bob's choice of currency (what Bob wants) constrains the number of circles that can be completed. Which obviously brings us to set theory. That's just a fancy way of saying if Bob wants a currency that Alice doesn't have then they can't do a deal. So if Bob wants EUR but Alice only has USD then the deal can't be done. And if the deal can't be done, the return value (goods or services that don't trade) can't support the value of either USD or EUR. So both of those currencies subsequently becomes worth less than it would have been if that deal could be done. Curiously, if you add a bridge currency like XRP into the transaction in order to complete the transactional circle, then the return value (which now does trade) equally supports the value of all three currencies. Which seems odd so lets do some simple "figurin". Alice wants (X widgets) from Bob. Bob wants (Y EUR) from Mak. Mak wants (Z XRP) from Mark. Mark wanting (Q USD) from Alice completes the transactional circle. So as we stated before by definition if Alice pays then she decided it was a fair (equal) trade. And Mark and Mak thought their deals were fair (equal) as well. So: (X widget) = (Q USD) = (Z XRP) = (Y EUR). But what would happen if both Alice and Bob used XRP? Well then you'd have: (X widget) = (Z XRP) So my lay man's conclusion (I am not an economist) says that XRP being used as a bridge currency supports XRP's value equally as much as XRP being used as a retail currency. But the set of transaction circles that can be created using XRP as a bridge currency is DRAMATICALLY larger than the set of transaction circles that can be created using XRP or any cryptocurrency as a retail currency. And actually, the set of all transactions that can be completed using XRP as retail currency is a proper subset of the transactions that can be completed using XRP as a bridge currency. So to maximize XRP's value, you must focus on the XRP bridge use case. And that is exactly what Ripple is focused on. But, can't the same be said of any cryptocurrency? Meaning if BTC became the de facto bridge currency then it would be the most valuable cryptocurrency. Actually, yes. If that came to pass it would be true. But, I proved to myself that you can't actually get BTC there from here. It just mathematically can't happen. BTC as a bridge currency will always initially be a more expensive transaction path than an alternative path without BTC. And nobody has enough BTC to force (subsidize or incentivize) BTC into that position. My same logic hold for all the currently popular cryptocurrencies. But, I believe, it is actually possible to force XRP into the position of de facto bridge currency. And that is what that patent is about. Of course, I could be wrong in my logic somewhere, or Ripple could fail in their execution, or a million other bad things might happen along the way. So let me repeat, no one should take trading or investment advice from me.
  6. 78 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    I am bullish on XRP and I am hodling XRP as well. I also own some Ripple stock. It is only fair for everyone to know both of those things, so y'all can weight my opinions accordingly. PLEASE NOTE: I have enough XRP for it to be a significant bet for me personally, but not enough to make me worth kidnapping. You would be disappointed.
  7. 76 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    I'm offended. What do you want me to do, put a shoe on my head? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Come on! Let's have some fun here!
  8. 76 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    I'm not sure I'm qualified to use fancy words like "geopolitical" correctly. :-) But there are huge improvements coming to the structure of banking. Please keep in mind that while I think of myself as a reasonably smart guy, I'm by no means smart about everything. However, in my various positions at Ripple, a lot of much smarter people than me showed up in our office to tell me the details of their particular problems. They then left it to me to figure out if Ripple or its technologies could help. That was one of my key contributions to the company. I could almost always figure out a way to deploy Ripple technologies to solve other people's hard problems. So "geopolitically" speaking, one of the weirdest things about banking is how the international relationships are structured. This is true especially among the smaller countries. Take a random made up example. Say Alice lives in Barbados and want to do a business transaction with Bob in Saint Lucia. It is just a standard two party business deal for services rendered. But Alice uses BBD and Bob uses XCD. So how do their banks settle that transaction? Well it turns out in many cases they use USD. That sentence sounds pretty sensible not earth shaking to anyone... But how does that really work? Well it turns out that important banks in Barbados keep "correspondent" accounts with a large US bank. Let's say Citi in this case. And some large bank in Sant Lucia also keeps a correspondent account with a US bank. Let's say BofA in that case. The settlement actually happens by the Barbados bank telling Citi to wire money through the FedWire system to the St Lucia's account at BofA. These requests are transmitted via SWIFT. But the crazy thing is that US law says that both Citi and BofA need to screen the transaction between Alice and Bob for compliance with US laws! And if a bad transaction slips through, both Citi and BofA can be fined huge amounts. So in effect, whether Alice in Barbados can do business with Bob in St Lucia becomes dependent on whether or not US banks want to allow it. Even though the transaction doesn't involve US jurisdiction at all! The side effect of the US bank's risk in these transactions is that they've started closing the correspondent banking accounts for entire countries. The risk is just seen as too high for the reward (fees) that they can charge. This is called in banking jargon, "the de-risking problem". A bridge currency like XRP changes that dynamic dramatically. Transaction that don't involve the US (or other third countries) don't have to travel through their systems to settle. That allows people to stop jumping through third party regulatory hoops and just get one with doing business. I hope that counts as "geopolitical"!
  9. 73 points
    Dear XRPChat, I had planned on making another prediction of Q1 sales before the quarterly report came out, but unfortunately, my day job has been keeping me very busy so I didn't have the time needed to attend to it - and I had problems with my analysis that I didn't understand and that I hope I have rectified now. In my previous posts Analysis of Ripple's XRP sales and 2018 Q4 analysis, I summed payments from wallets to XRP-II to see what the quarterly payments were, and to total them up to see if they matched the sales figures announced by ripple. I had expected to do the same for Q1 2019, but the numbers looked wrong, my correlations were not consistent and the sales figures as a % of coinmarketcap volume didn't look right. I have extensively rewritten (and improved) my software and now have new findings that I feel confident enough about to share them. First, lets remind ourself of daily sales by ripple - in previous threads I found a strong correlation between yesterday's trading volume on coinmarketcap and today's sales (transfers) to the XRP-II distribution wallet. I identified 4 wallets that appeared to sum to about the right amount to explain the sales figures in the quarterly reports. Those wallets were referred to as RP1, RP2, RP3 and RP9. I refer the interested reader to the links above to find further details. If we plot the daily payments from those 4 wallets into the XRP-II wallet (XRP-II being the legal entity licensed to sell XRP to exchanges and customers and is presumably responsible for the programmatic daily sales as well as any number of other sales that we know little about). Here's what the sales look like from April 2018 until today, Note the line plot (linear, left y axis) is the sum of all the individual payments represented by dots that are logarithmically plotted (right axis). I found a strong correlation between the sum of payments and the coinmarketcap exchange volume, scaled by a factor that was around the 0.3% mark. I was intrigued by the drop in sales around mid Sept 2018 that preceeded a large jump in price and volume a week later. My hypothesis was that the drop in sales might be responsible for part of the rise in price (supply/demand). The sales pattern continued, largely unchanged until this year, though there are many wallets that transfer into XRP-II and they change over time, so it is difficult to be certain as to the true nature/volume or reason for the sales taking place. Please be aware that the graph above shows payments INTO the XRP-II wallet, and not out - this is because there are many more payments out and I was trying to identify that portion of sales that represents the daily programmatic sales. For the reasons I've just mentioned, it's too hard to be certain of any motives for individual wallet payments, so instead, I shall focus on payments OUT of XRP-II. Let's have a look at another plot, this time I plot all transfers OUT of XRP-II going into exchange accounts. I am grateful for the google sheet provided by @Silkjaer for a list of wallets that I have used for my assumptions of exchange addresses. You can immediately see that the payments to exchanges is very numerous. The summed total is shown by the solid line and the axes are consistent with the first plot. The totals also follow the same pattern as the sales into XRP-II from the subset of wallets, but is much higher as we are now including other payments from other wallets that are passed through and then go on to exchanges. Let's now show a more interesting graph - this has plots of the total exchange volume from coinmarketcap in green, I have normalized the plot to have the same area under it as the summed total of payments into XRP-II with a time shift of 1 day to show the correlation of the two graphs. The lighter blue line is the RP1,2,3,9 payments into XRP-II and the darker blue line is the summed payments out to exchanges. You should hopefully be able to see that the correlation between XRP-II payments and exchange volume is very strong, however, the correlation starts to break down in Q1 2019 and deteriorates further in Q2 2019 - the reason why my earlier correlation plots failed to give (to me) satisfying results. I have highlighted 3 regions on this plot. The first is in Sept 2018 (grey bar) when the sales from XRP-II virtually stopped. I speculated at the time that the xrp price (shown in the above plot as the black solid line) dropped to a low value for the year and probably ripple wanted to support the price by holding off sales temporarily. If that was the plan, then it worked very well as there was a massive jump at the end of Sept that still defies any reasonable explanation. So many news announcements are constantly being made about partnerships with ripple and events taking place that it is hard to know what might have triggered the rise. The second (grey bar) highlighted region in the plot is in May of this year - the difference between the green (coinmarketcap) and blue lines become very clear. Ripple shut down sales significantly again this month, and we have seen the price rise from ~30c to ~40c. I begin to wonder if my earlier hypothesis might have been correct, but sadly, two events is not enough for a 5 sigma announcement! What else is interesting in the plot? - the red shaded rectangle represents a point where the price of bitcoin was pumping hard, the exchange volume for all coins soared, but the price of XRP did not move very much. Why is that - we can see that the two blue lines rise well above the green one as ripple increased sales significantly - I speculate that they did not wish to see the price shoot up as we saw in Dec 2017, only to fall down again after the pump/dump/fomo/madness was over. Another interesting piece of data is revealed in the plot - the red crosses are payments from exchange accounts BACK to XRP-II - this hardly ever happened in 2018, except for a few scattered points in the year and a cluster of them around Sept 2018 when the sales halted. It is my second hypothesis that ripple have changed strategy during Q1. Prior to this, we see an almost constant sale of XRP proportional to exchange volume, during Q1, particularly after Feb 2019, the sales deviate from a simple pattern and we see returns from exchanges back to XRP-II. It would appear that their algorithm is smarter now and is trying to adapt better to market fluctuations rather than just continuously sell every day. Do we have any way of corroborating this? well, I'm glad you asked. Here's another graph, this time I take a sliding window of 10 days worth of data from XRP-II sales, and the same 10 day window of data from coinmarketcap exchange volume and correlate them, normalize them and plot the scaling coefficient. This gives us the XRP-II sales as a % fraction of the coinmarketcap volume in a running plot and we can see the fluctuation in sales as time progresses. The solid line shows the closing price of XRP, the two dotted lines are the running scale coefficients of the daily % of sales from XRP-II - the red is RP1,2,3,9 the green is ALL payments from exchanges (subtracting the return payments shown by the red crosses in the plot above). Now we can see quite clearly the event in Sept 2018 and the massive drop in may 2019. what is now apparent is Feb-May 2019 there was a large increase in sales as a % of daily volume. Throughout 2018, the red line holds reasonably closely to 0.15% of daily sales, which is fairly consistent with the figures quoted in the ripple quarterly reports. In Q1, things start deviating, and Q2 is all over the place. The drops in Sep 2018 and May 2019 are both followed by XRP price rallies. I added a dotted line at 0.05% of sales just to show how low the sales have dipped. What do I conclude from this... Ripple have changed their selling strategy to better adapt to market conditions and during March/April they increased quite significantly the sales, presumably to smooth out market pump/dump peaks and troughs. Financial institutions do not want like price fluctuations as it increases their cost of holdings - something we should all be grateful for as we want banks to buy in, not run away. Price fluctuations can also increase lay-off costs for market makers which also negatively impacts the market. (We're in this for the long play after all). There has been a slight decoupling over the last month or two with BTC as sales from XRP-II have been historically speaking very high. The large volumes we've seen did not move the price as much as one would have expected. Now would be a great time to pump XRP if whales are reading this! with XRP-II sales very low, it will be easier to move the market. Please go ahead and do this if you can. I'd like to see how high you can push XRP EDIT: I forgot to add one point - why do I think that sales have dropped in recent days? My suspicion (pure speculation) is that with the bear market seemingly coming to an end, Ripple feel safer in allowing the price to rise slightly to accommodate the new corridors they are adding. Disclaimers. All the data has been collected here by a random amateur on the internet. I do not even know for sure if the wallets I examine belong to XRP-II. I do not know for sure if the exchange address I use are correct. All the data in this article could be wrong. I might have even made it up just for giggles (I didn't but how do you know? Do you trust me?) This is not investment advice. But IMHO price rises are more likely when XRP-II sales are low.
  10. 70 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    Sorry to answer out of order, but I think this is closely related to what I just got done writing about. I addressed this in my previous post. I would absolutely expect that to happen. Ripple has a team called "Product" and a separate team called "Development". The Ripple development team has created a set of core technologies. Rippled, RippleConnect, the Interledger Protocol, the ILP components (ledger, connector, notary). The Ripple product team has take these technologies and "productized" them for certain markets. (xCurrent, xVia, xRapid) The Ripple marketing and communication team and sales team then promotes these products. Marcom through the Ripple website, press and conferences. The sales team through direct meetings with banks and payment service providers. The marcom efforts are what tend to leak across to this site. What you don't really hear about are the core technology developments and how they underly current products. Once you understand that it becomes easier to guess about future products.So specifically, you hear xRapid is meant for non-banking financial institutions. That is absolutely true at the moment. What I hear is much different. I hear: We've put together glossy fliers to explain some core Ripple technology to payment services providers in these countries who serve these types of customers We're setting up press interviews to get word of this particular growth tactic into our targeted market We've also put together a sales team to approach payment service providers in those countries We've also put together operations and support teams to make sure anything they've deployed doesn't fall over We've also setup a markets team to monitory the prices and trading volume to make sure XRP is cheaper than alternative paths We've also has the markets team analyze alternative rebalancing paths than can compensate for one-way-flow price imbalances Note that all of the things I've bulleted build operation excellence. They don't actually constrain XRPs use to that particular market in perpetuity. At any given moment, the product and marketing teams might decide to take the exact same underlying core technologies and "re-productize" them towards a new set of potential customers. When this happens, all the operational excellence will transfer and the new teams will have a running start as they grow RippleNet. I think the "write a book" side is winning at the moment! What I'm trying to clarify is that banks as gateways is exactly what Ripple is trying to achieve! It just seems like Ripple is taking a rather convoluted path to get there. There are several reasons for that. Early on we tried to sell Banks on the idea of being directly on the RCL (Ripple ledger) and allowing their customers to open accounts (trust lines) with them directly on ledger. The banks pushed back on this pretty hard. It is pretty easy to see why. The Ripple client was a bit hard to use and understand for someone who wasn't a crypto geek. The already had their own "web banking" clients and preferred to keep their customers in their own walled garden. Secondly, the banks really didn't like the concept of a "public" ledger. Banks are used to keeping all their relationships and transactions private. And third, all high volume financial institutions kept asking, "Will it scale?" Questions like, "Can you support every credit card transaction during the Christmas season?" There is no getting around the fact that consensus based systems have limits. If everyone world wide needed to reach agreement that every Chinese lunch CNY payment happened and serialize them into a single globally agreed upon sequence that seems a bit silly if you are a European bank specialized in local EUR payments. Beyond transactional scalability, you need to think about user account scalability. If you want to put 8 billion people on ledger and each of them is going to have a couple of trust lines and maybe market orders then you are looking towards 100 billion ledger entries. That means server get larger and operational costs do as well. User scalability led us toward a "hosted wallet" model. Most customer fiat accounts are kept off RCL at the banks that currently hold them. Only a single RCL account root is needed for the bank. Individual customers. All transaction are processed via RCL using source/destination tags so the institutions can figure out which customers were involved. RippleConnect was designed to protect the customer's privacy even though the ledger transactions among banks were still public. It did away with the need for publicly visible source/destination tags. It implemented the concept of "pre-transaction negotiation" between financial institutions. Institutions communicate off ledger to: Determine who Alice and Bob are Exchange KYC/AML information Decide if all parties are willing to participate in a transaction PRIOR TO moving any money on the RCL This ability to reject a transaction before it happens completely avoids the lossy reversal problem inherent with market based payments. ILP was Ripple's attempt to address the other banks concerns of privacy and scalability ILP based networks use bi-lateral communication between account co-parties. No one else sees those messages. ILP based networks are highly scalable because your server doesn't receive messages for transactions you don't participate in. Every Ripple product you read about is built out of a handful of core technologies. The Ripple consensus ledger (XRPL now). This is useful when you need synchronized transactions and no counter party risk. ILP based components (xCurrent, xVia). These are useful when you need synchronized transactions as well and privacy and scalability. RippleConnect's pre-transaction messaging and payment object. This allows institutions to agree on what they are doing and the costs, prior to moving money. xCurrent, xVia, xRapid all use the payment object and pre-transaction messaging concepts. RippleConnect 1.0-2.0 implemented hosted wallets for RCL RippleConnect 3.0 implemented hosted wallets for ILP If you separate the core technologies from the product/marketing discussion it becomes much easer to see a roadmap that takes us all the way to the end.
  11. 68 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    Let's start with the easy ones: Please feel free to ask me anything compromising or not. I would really like to know what is on everyones mind. If I can't answer directly I promise to say so. I'll try not to spin ******** just to look like I outsmarted your hard question. That's not why I'm here. Ripple does have a lot of internal communication about what is happening. Mostly this relates to new contracts and meeting internal goals. Some of the "good developments" include the XRP price moving up. Interestingly, that is a bit of a double edged sword internally. The more the price moves, the more distracted people can get from what they are supposed to be working on. So I'd say that there is a lot less XRP price speculation talk inside Ripple than here. But there is probably more talk about the network building wins and how they fit into Ripple's overall strategy then you see on this site. Of course this site is mentioned. I lot of people at Ripple read this site even if fewer post. The same is true for Ripple's own forum. I wish there was more public interaction between employees and the community. But I can also see how difficult it is for the communication team to keep secrets long enough to have a well coordinated press strategy. The remaining two question are awesome, but they require long hard answers. Exactly the kind of answers I like to give. If this was an "ask me anything" I'd probably give the normal platitudes just to move on to the next question and finish up. But instead, I'll tell you why I want to defer answering these in detail so you'll all hold me to "getting around to it". The is really the topic I hoped to discuss on this site long term. You've just spun it in a different direction. I wanted to answer, "What advantages does Ripple have (after all these years) against the headwinds it and every other cryptocurrency must face." This is not a short answer. It presumes that we all have the same understanding about the direction that Ripple is flying and also which way the wind is blowing. That's rarely ever the case with Ripple. I'll expand on this as I can but if you want the nutshell version. The hardest thing in crypto and money in general is compliance. That is underestimated by everyone in the space. Ripple has build out a great team and worked hard over the years in discussing these issues directly with regulators. Few other crypto ecosystems have this experience. The second hardest thing in money is inertia. We think of banks as a single entity. But they're not. They are a bunch of departments headed by individuals. Most of these individuals are great people but each is looking out for their own personal self interest (just like everyone else). If you are the first to implement something new and different at a bank and it goes wrong--you can be fired! On the other hand, if someone else implements something first and it goes right--it's unlikely you'll be fired for implementing it second. So one of the keys is to canvas the world broadly enough to find the people whose problems are bad enough that the potential benefits overwhelm the perceived risks. Ripple has been awesome at identifying areas where the need it greatest. (by the way, that's what I mean by short answer) Again, this is a great question that is part of a much longer discussion. But I'll try to a short answer without sounding like a ... The phrase "xrp adoption" begs the counter question "adoption by whom?" But that's a ...ish answer. Currently, I think XRP adoption among the "right people" for the "right reasons" is getting better and better. In this case, the "right people" are exchanges and the "right reason" is to support xRapid. As xRapid volume increases more and more XRP holders and traders will be drawn into the ecosystem simply because there is money to be made trading the counterflow. Both the additional payment volume and additional traders should tend to put upward pressure on XRP's price. On the other hand, at the end of 2017 there were a lot of the "wrong people" buying XRP for the "wrong reasons". I have to admit that made me happy too! In fact, I'm a bit sad I didn't sell more at the high AND buy it all back at the low. ;-) But I'm pretty sure everyone else feels the same way. But don't mistake poor humor for cynicism. I'm hodling XRP longterm. I have complete confidence Ripple is well positioned to succeed. (Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion. I don't speak for Ripple the company and don't have insider knowledge of their current plans.)
  12. 66 points
    BobWay

    Answer: My Dinner with David

    I just wanted everyone to know that Dinner with David (and four other great guys) was awesome! I really did come away pumped after our long discussions. The fact that everyone at the company is in agreement that David & Arthur's original (and later my) "long term" vision for XRP acting as a bridge currency has/is/was/will always be the guiding star forward. At least that is the way I heard it in my head. David can make his own public statements. But what PUMPED ME UP the most was that it is no longer seen as a "long term" vision. It is a focused activity that the company NEEDS to pursue now. But best of all, they ARE all actively pursuing it, NOW! To David, they all seem unified in the realization that, XRP as a bridge currency, has changed from a “WANT to happen” to become a “NEEDS to happen.” Or else TIME will shift from working with Ripple, to working against Ripple. The early Ripplers really, truly BELIEVED in the concept of a cryptocurrency and everything the fine folks on this forum believe. However, Ripple, for all the right reasons, hired the true cream of the crop from the financial services industry. Their experience gave Ripple insight into MANY many ways to improve payments and communication within the financial networks of the world. But they were not intrinsic fans of cryptocurrency. They were open to the idea of course. But still harbored some skepticism. For a long time it was fine with everyone if Ripple was seen as an enterprise banking software company. But that silly pipe dream evaporated as everyone realized how much more value could be created by shifting the focus back to XRP. Ripple still makes great enterprise banking and payments software. That will never stop. But Ripple is most definitely a cryptocurrency focused company again! --- Keep in mind, some of what I said above is perhaps owed to my interpretation of what David said and its personal impact on me, colored by my history with the company. I'm not a reporter quoting David's exact words. He speaks for himself. I'm writing my personal impression of what I heard along with my feelings about it. This may not be the official company position. But know that nothing we talked about was private. At best it was semi-private. We were all in the middle of a crowded restaurant talking pretty loudly. We were also all talking openly to people at the table neither David nor I had ever met before that moment. So I'm not selling out my friend or saying things whispered to me. (David didn’t say this next part.) I personally believe that the company is dramatically revisiting every situation where the software licensing cost was seen as a barrier to entry for institutions. I personally believe that was a case of “false economy”. Ripple the company benefits much more from the customers that small and medium size banks bring, then they do from any licensing fees they could charge the banks. Hearing what David has to say made me ecstatic… (But I want to be clear about why. I don’t want anyone mistaking what I’m saying as, “XRP to the moon, next week.” XRP will go to the moon, absolutely, in my mind. But I have no idea when.) … The reason it made me ecstatic, was that a long while back Stefan nicknamed me Cassandra. In Greek mythology, “Cassandra is cursed to utter prophecies that were true but that no one believed.”mI actually got a substantial raise that on my review said, “I have to rate you highly, because your initial ideas always end up being the ones we implement... wait for it ...after trying every other possible alternative. So truly believe me when I say me being ecstatic was not financially related or something you should trade on. The reason was pure vanity.
  13. 66 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    This is a great couple of questions. I feel handicapped by not having a whiteboard to draw on in answering. Excuse my ASCII art... The best way to think of XRP usage is in the context of Alice and Bob. But in the current world where neither Alice nor Bob know anything about XRP. Alice is part of an ecosystem of payment senders. The Alice's of the world work their day jobs and receive and hold their money in the local fiat currency. (Alice) ----@ (Bank A) So in Ascii art, "Alice hold her money in an account at Bank A" Bob is part of an ecosystem of payment receivers. The Bob's of the world also hold their money in their local fiat currency. (Bank A) @----- (Bob). "Bob holds his money in an account at Bank B" In drawing it out, you ALWAYS end up with a graph. That graph tells you if and how money can flow and how much it will cost along each path option. (Alice) ----@ (Bank A) @---- (Mark) ----@ (Bank B) @---- (Bob). "Mark holds accounts at both Bank A and Bank B" He allows money to flow through his accounts. Note: These are the types of diagrams the Ripple graph was intended to explore. So notice that I didn't list XRP anywhere in the above diagram. That seems like it sucks at first. But it is worth realizing that what I've done goes beyond Alice and Bob as individuals. What I've done is connect EVERY customer of Bank A with EVERY customer at Bank B. Meaning I've connected two whole ecosystems. If I replace the banks with something larger, then the payment potential gets larger. (Alice) ----@ (SPEI) @---- (Mark) ----@ (IMPS) @---- (Bob). "Now anyone with a bank account in Mexico can send synchronized payments to anyone in India" But what about XRP? Isn't Mark just going to get rich here trading fiat? Yes, but the first step is to get money moving through OUR system (RippleNet). The least scary way (for banks) to do that is via fiat like they are used to. XRP comes in as an alternate lower cost path. (Alice) ----@ (SPEI) @----------------------- (Mark) ----------------------@ (IMPS) @---- (Bob) We want this path to cost more (SPEI) @---- (Mark) ----@ (XRP) @---- (Mak) ----@ (IMPS) We want this path to cost less You can add that path without upsetting the original topology. If a bank is scared of crypto they can pay more. if they want to pay less, they can route through crypto. I'll leave it to you to decide how long you think banks will want to pay more for transactions. So a good way to think about Ripple's strategy is as multiple teams building out operational volume in different sections of the graph. The xCurrent part of RippleNet is building out operation value on the top line. This includes growing the total pool of "Alices and Bobs". The xRapid part of RippleNet is building out the operation that will assure that the XRP path always costs less. Initially this looks like two disconnected ecosystems, Banks vs Payment Services. But I think it is more insightful to think about it as building operational mastery in different conceptual areas. The payment services xRapid is targeting already use the top line banking ecosystem. They are not closing their bank accounts. They are just augmenting them with additional lower cost paths. One you realize that, it become easer to see how banks can adopt these same lower cost paths with few additional operation changes. With that as background, keep an eye on Japan, India, Mexico, and Canada. Then I'd start looking for large markets in South America and East Asia. As I mentioned in a previous post, any countries that are current clearing payments through US banks, but are at risk of "de-risking" account closure are very good candidates to use XRP. This allows them to dis-intermediate the correspondents looking to de-risk them. Again, I don't have first hand knowledge of which partnerships are farthest along. But that is the way I analyze the larger financial ecosystem as a whole.
  14. 65 points
    The ECB (European Central Bank) released an annual report on Target2, the RTGS system for all European banks where they settle all payments in central bank money. The ECB published it about two hours ago and it can be found here: https://t.co/GLJNtzrR19 The timeline for banks with all the milestones can be found here; https://t.co/tBB9WoDswF The big bang approach requires that all national central banks and their communities are prepared to migrate on time. All banks in Europe, will all be, at the same time, able to use XRP for domestic and international settlement of payments and securities within Europe, but also across other RTGS systems like Japan’s or the Federal Reserve’s. It means also the migration of TARGET2 (payments) with TS2 (securities) and TIPS (instant settlement) into one gateway for al European banks. All banks have to be signed with a contract to their selected Network Service Provider of choice BEFORE July 2020. RippleNet with it’s xCurrent (4.0) is one of those NSP’s. EDIT: 28/5/2019 - Ripple is NOT a NSP, since they have not participated in the tender, however RippleNet could probably be accessed though the two chosen NSP's. The new European RTGS system with integration to multiple NSP’s (like RippleNet for instance, currently Swift is the ONLY integrated NSP) will go live, with a “big bang migration” (as they like to call it themselves) in the whole of the EU on November 22, 2021. EDIT: 28/05/2019 - XRP usage "official"? The ECB paper Brad Garlinghouse referred to in his tweet: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpops/ecb.op223~3ce14e986c.en.pdf%3Ff2e9a2596a8f9c38c95f4735c05a0d47&ved=2ahUKEwjCsKP-gL7iAhXEalAKHZQFAskQFjAAegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw0myveAY0kP7vl4vj81wZJa Somewhere in there, you will find one specific sentence which, in my opinion says A LOT about whether banks under the ECB may use XRP for settlement or not. Dyor and decide for yourself.
  15. 62 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    Just a quick note to everyone... I'm enjoying all the accolades and the really great welcome I've received here. Thank you all! I'm realizing that I really am quite vain! But really I'd appreciate everyone here being very skeptical. Just know It won't scare me off. This holds for questioning me and my presumptions... Really question EVERYTHING you've ever seen in a press release. I'm not a huge fan of puffery. There are too many awesome technical and ecosystem developments going to waste time puffing silliness. I'm happy to explain thing in either high-level marketing speak, or way too low-level technical talk. I love it when people understand and appreciate the Ripple Ledger, and ILP, and Synchronized Payments, and consensus algorithms, and... It's all quite beautiful once you see it clearly. My role is to help everyone see it clearly. I used to tell all the new Ripplers that I trained, "DON'T presume that you SHOULD BE able to understand everything we say. Lots of the words we use don't actually make any sense. Many phrases have weird connotations that you can't possibly understand. We are horrible about naming things and tend to explain easy things in quirky terms. NOBODY IN BANKING EVER ISSUES YOU A BALANCE! They simply credit your account. But we continue to say these silly things everyday." You can all presume that I think I'm right and also presume that I think I'm telling you the complete truth. But be skeptical! Make me explain it to your satisfaction and bring your own insights. That is where I get the most benefit. The fastest way for me to realize when I'm wrong is to have smarter people than me tell me so! I hate being wrong, but I hate more, being wrong without people telling me so. Anyway, I'm looking forward to some great discussion!
  16. 60 points
    JoelKatz

    Hi! I'm Bob

    No, nothing like that. Community credit is about "money" arising from interactions between peers rather than between issuers and users. For example, suppose you do something for me and I allow you to "owe me one". The idea is for this to act as a currency. Someone who wants something from me (and who I don't trust enough to let them owe me one) wants me to owe them one rather than owing you one. So if they do something for you, you could give them the "marker" you got when you did me a favor and now I owe them a favor. These "markers" can function as a currency. It's kind of like a system where all that exists is balances between people. You may trust me enough to extend me credit. So when I want something from you, you may let me owe you $50 but no more. You now have a +$50 balance and I have a -$50 balance. Now if I want something else from you, I'm out of credit. So I need to find someone who either you owe money to or who will let you borrow from them and give them something for which they in return will restore my credit. So, for example, say you have Alice, Bill, and Charlie. Alice is highly trusted because she has a valuable commercial network and both Bill and Charlie are willing to let Alice owe them money. Alice needs something from Charlie and in exchange Charlie lets Alice owe her $20. So now, Charlie owes Alice $20. Alice can borrow from Bill or Charlie. Now, say Bill wants something from Alice. Alice won't extend Bill any credit because she doesn't trust him. But Bill can give Charlie $20 and in exchange for the $20 Alice owes him and now Alice owes $20 to Bill. Bill can pay Alice $20 with her own IOU. This is precisely how all assets other than XRP work in the XRP Ledger. They're always balances between accounts, either account can extend credit to the other, and balances can "ripple" through accounts. By having XRP in the mix, credit can be settled and restored immediately. For example, Alice can place an offer to give out a $10 IOU for 32 XRP. Now if someone owes Alice $10, they can buy a $10 IOU from Alice and the two IOUs cancel out. This will restore their credit. This is an implementation of Ryan Fugger's original vision of money arising out of community relationships and providing people a network of assets and credits they can contribute to and draw off of. Arthur's genius was to provide a system of gateways to allow the system to be easily connected to external financial systems to help avoid the problem of long paths or unidirectional flows.
  17. 58 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    I really hate this question because don't actually have a "gambling gene" in my body. Watching the price of XRP go up and down gives me a huge amount of anxiety. I've actually spent the past six months deliberately NOT looking at the price. I had more than enough stress in other areas of my life. But it is a fair question. I think the best answer I can give is to make a parallel with technology. "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run," Amara's Law. I expect there will be price spikes in XRP and other crypto currencies in the near term. However, it is impossible for me to say what the right price is at any instant. I'd like XRP to set new highs over the next year, but really that is just my wishes. I don't have specific information to say "it will happen because of this, that or the other thing". In reality, all cryptocurrency prices are set by one thing and one thing only. People's perception of the asset's future utility. I personally believe that XRP has a uniquely huge utility value. I'm going to do my best to explain to everyone why I believe that. But do keep in mind that while Ripple the company and XRP the asset are uniquely placed and resourced to succeed. It is possible that individually or collaboratively this all ***** up. I'm going to do my best to make sure that doesn't happen. I hope everyone here will join me in that. --- Now that I re-read the question I see the part that says "internally at ripple"... Several people left fancy jobs and joined Ripple because (I paraphrase) "If we capture even a minor fraction of the international payments market, do you know the value XRP will need to have to support that! Do the math, (really, really big trade number) / 100 billion XRP = Wow! Those sort of conversations always buoyed my spirits and made me smile. But really they also gave me anxiety and made me remember that my job was to "make sure we don't all **** this up!" Curiously, XRP price speculation conversation are a bit of a sore spot internally at Ripple. The reason for this is the strange imbalance in XRP ownership among employees. It turns out how vested in XRP you are as an employee depends on the time period in which you started working for the company. If you started in Ripple's first year or so, you probably bought XRP on your own initiative. If you started after our pivot toward banks and away from the consumer client, you probably didn't buy XRP at all. If you started during the 2017 price run up, you might have bought XRP regularly in your first few months. Keep in mind I bought XRP at around a penny. Then watched it sink over three years to a low of 0.3 cents. That was not too long ago in my mind. So XRP @ 30 cents is up 100X since I took my last vacation. I have to keep that in mind when I'm pining away for XRP @ $3.
  18. 58 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    I did a lot of analytic work on "XRP as a bridge currency" as I mentioned in a previous post on this tread. I found two distinct upward pressures. 1) new traders buying XRP to enter the market and compete as a market maker. 2) people holding XRP to reduce their international payment cost. (the 1/2 fee argument from above) Vijay and Miguel from Ripple's trading team in New York however created a lot of detailed trading models and simulations. It wasn't that they were trying to create upward pressure on XRP's price, more so that they we trying to understand what actions might but unnecessary downward pressure on price. Of course, so no one would accidentally make those mistakes. Thank you cmbartley and everyone else as well! Actually you all are! One of the things I've been trying to judge is if I should write a book or perhaps start a blog about Ripple, blockchain technology, crypto, money, the future of banking, etc. Does anyone feel something like that would be useful?
  19. 57 points
    Hodor

    Cessation of the Hodor Blog

    Final message! XRP Chat is where it all begin, so it's fitting that for this avatar, it's where it ends as well. It's been a journey with countless twists and turns, and try as I might, all the details have melded into a chorus of voices of the XRP Community, who, at their core, are all pushing for the same thing: Change. Sometimes I wonder how members of other coin tribes feel about the project they're supporting. Does it inspire them? Do they believe in it past their surface financial goal of 'getting rich' off of it? Because, for XRP, it's more than just a 'good stock pick;' XRP represents the technology that delivers on Bitcoin's promise, without the environmental destruction. Without the limitations of scalability ... and so much more that I have to resist reneging on my decision for one more, long, convoluted rant! You get the picture! We're here for the investment (XRP), but we're also here because we believe in the Internet of Value, and pushing this technology forward. It can change the world for the better, and not just as part of a slick corporate advertising campaign; when people can send money to their family in seconds instead of days, it can significantly improve lives for millions of people. And just look how the XRP is changing the face of crypto communities, with its teamwork, awards shows, clubs, social media presence, and charitable fund-raising. These are all extraneous to the IoV and XRP, but they also work to give us a legitimate feeling of community. And with the developments in the last month, my right-brain, intuitive side, which normally performs a lesser role in my day-to-day activities than my methodical, step-driven left-brain side, took the reigns and decided to make a key decision; how do I want to contribute going forward? I could continue to struggle to cover all of the increasing onslaught of news items, or I could turn and survey the growing ranks of our collaborative team of supporters and let somebody else 'take a turn' at the front. I could take up a keyboard and mouse once more, but this time to create new websites and applications. Ah well, I'm getting repetitive of the content in the blog. My apologies for being temporarily self-indulgent, but I know my companions on the forum will not judge me harshly about my last post. At least I hope not. Hope to be back soon, with some announcements of a new project of my own!
  20. 56 points
    Although arguments can be made against the notion of future adoption of the XRPL by the financial system thru supporting the retention of the current international payment system or emphasizing the technological progress in the SWIFT payment network, they fail to address critical flaws in today’s system. Hackers, political pressure, regulators, and the shrinking correspondent banking system are all legitimate issues that are impacting banking operations. Most international payments are facilitated through the SWIFT network today. SWIFT is a messaging network used to send and receive information on financial transactions between financial institutions. Currently, more than 11,000 financial institutions from around the world are linked to the SWIFT network for operations. Typically, the originating bank is required to have a working relationship with the destination bank in international wire transfers. If there is none, the originating bank can search the SWIFT network for a correspondent bank that has one with both banks.(2) Once found, the transaction is transferred through Nostro accounts held at the intermediary bank for a fee to the destination bank. Although SWIFT’s inception has proven to be beneficial in enabling international payments between banks globally, it’s reliance or the monopolistic position has become a double-edged sword. Due to their international relationships, SWIFT was viewed as an apolitical organization that was independent of any country’s domestic foreign policy. Unfortunately, this has not been proven the case the past few years as political disputes now threaten to fragment the international payments space. Regardless of your political views towards Iran, the United States pressure on SWIFT to disconnect Iranian financial institutions from the network has been unprecedented. While the action undergone by SWIFT contradicts the European Union’s desires. Although the EU intends to maintain trade with Iranian institutions, SWIFT complied with the US requests.(3) With the consequence being that now the international payment network has become weaponized to exert political pressure onto countries or regions. This undermines the trust within the network as participants can ultimately be on the wrong side of political discourse. Along with Iranian FIs, there has been heavy speculation from US media sources and diplomats that Russian financial institutions might face similar sanctions to their Iranian counterparts in the future.(4) Further eroding any participant confidence in SWIFT remaining apolitical. SWIFT’s inability to remain impartial to the network’s participants is already beginning to have repercussions. In Europe, there has been a political push back on the US influence over the payment network. Germany's foreign minister, Heiko Maas, has publicly stated that the EU should "strengthen European autonomy by creating payment channels that are independent of the United States — a European Monetary Fund and an independent SWIFT system".(5) Even more striking were Maas’ comments that the EU had already begun the process of developing an alternative payment system. Both Iran and Russia have also taken similar responses to the EU. Iran has begun implementing an alternative banking platform for banking transactions with foreign institutions.(6) Meanwhile, Russian financial institutions have prepared themselves to be disconnected from the SWIFT network at a moments notice and have begun to adopt another alternative payment system CIPS. CIPS or the Chinese Alternative Global Payments System is also an alternative payment platform provided by China. CIPS was intended to make transactions between China and Russia easier while enticing other countries to utilize the system.(7) Russia has also begun to develop its own payment system called the “System for Transfer of Financial Messages” (SPFS). Essentially, the global political environment has pushed regions or countries to develop or adopt alternative solutions to SWIFT. Creating an ever growing, fragmented international payment network that will require interoperability between systems. SWIFT’s security has also been exploited these past several years, further testing the participant's trust of the network. Along with the frequency of these hacks occurring, the severity of them is increasing. Of the top five biggest SWIFT hacks by money lost, four of them have occurred within the past two years.(8) The sophistication of these attacks is becoming so advanced for SWIFT’s liking that they have begun to issue warnings and urge participants to increase their security measures.(9) In some attacks, hackers have been able to order payments to banks in other countries by copying preformatted payment requests into the SWIFT messaging software. Even further eroding trust in the network’s security, it was discovered that the NSA had breached SWIFT’s security and have developed tools for its operations. Thru leaked documents and files by a hacker group, the public was made aware of how the NSA had accessed the messaging system. Possibly setting in an uncomfortable feeling for financial institutions located in Eastern countries that the SWIFT network is a possible vector for attacks. Structurally, the correspondent banking system has been on a gradual decline for several years while total volume and value of payments through SWIFT are increasing. The Financial Stability Board conducted a study in which the FSB found that from 2011 to the end of 2017, active correspondent relationships declined by 15.5 percent across all currencies.(1) While for 2017 alone, it declined by 4.1 percent. More recent studies have concluded that 2018 saw declines in active relationships and corridors of about 3.5% and 2% respectively.(11) With the global correspondent banking network now declining by about 20% and the number of active corridors having fallen by roughly 10% the past seven years. This decline in active correspondent relationships has also coincided with the increased concentration within the correspondent banking market. Remaining participants in the network have their market share increase as competing banks exit the system. Both these trends pose respective risks and issues to the banking system. An increase in the volume of payments with the decrease in the number of correspondent relationships is theorized to increase the length of the payment chains. Implying payments will need to be facilitated thru more intermediary parties to reach the same destination. Possibly adding more exchange or transaction fees along with increasing the settlement time. Meanwhile, a concentration in the correspondent banking market introduces an unwelcoming scenario. Theorized consequences include a decrease in the competition of services, leading to higher costs and more fragile networks. As the payment network relies on fewer participants to facilitate payments, the failure of a participant will have greater repercussions as they are more relied on. Ultimately, the global political environment is causing a fragmentation of the global payment system while the financial system is gradually entering a delicate state. Both trends have already begun to force global and financial institutions to adapt and find alternative systems. Regardless of what SWIFT can develop to enhance it’s services to its participants, there will be issues the organization cannot resolve. Interoperability will more than likely be the key in enabling the future global payment space to withstand any geopolitical shocks, along with providing a crucial capability if the financial system is under strain due to the structure of the correspondent banking system. Placing Ripple’s xCurrent or ILP in an advantageous position. 1. https://bankingjournal.aba.com/2018/11/basel-decline-in-global-correspondent-banking-relationships-accelerates/ 2. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/correspondent-bank.asp 3. https://www.ft.com/content/8f16f8aa-e104-11e8-8e70-5e22a430c1ad 4. https://www.voanews.com/a/us-diplomat-russia-should-release-ukrainian-sailors-by-christmas-/4688911.html 5. https://www.businessinsider.com/germany-wants-european-rival-to-us-backed-swift-payment-system-2018-8 6. https://en.mehrnews.com/news/139715/Iran-welcomes-foreign-banks-to-join-its-alternative-to-SWIFT 7. https://ethereumworldnews.com/after-ripple-chinas-cips-now-competes-with-swift-departure-from-us-dollar/ 8. https://medium.com/@kvantorcom/top-5-biggest-swift-hacks-52fca78145c 9. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cyber-heist-warning/swift-warns-banks-on-cyber-heists-as-hack-sophistication-grows-idUSKBN1DT012 10. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-swift/hacker-documents-show-nsa-tools-for-breaching-global-money-transfer-system-idUSKBN17H0NX 11. https://www.bis.org/cpmi/paysysinfo/corr_bank_data/corr_bank_data_commentary_1905.htm
  21. 54 points
    International Money Transfer, Remittances & X-Border Payments Conferences Link to the page Link to the agenda (pdf)
  22. 54 points
    https://www.xrparcade.com/news/swell-summary-for-the-xrp-community/
  23. 54 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    Sure, full disclosure wouldn't hurt. No, I'm not working for Ripple in any capacity at the moment. Not that I'm against doing so (do you know how much my COBRA insurance costs!) If they'd like me to come back and do exactly what I'm doing now for pay (or even just insurance) I'd be happy to do so. But that position would have to come with the independence to say and do what I personally think is best for the community (and myself). I retired from Ripple for three reasons: Stefan was leaving to start Coil with many of the others from the research team that I was on. I really love Stefan. We are the best of friends! We both have huge respect for each other's skills. Together we make a great team. He sees the world one way. I seem to see the world from exactly the opposite direction. (like looking through different ends of a telescope.) But together we manage to synthesize our different initial viewpoints into amazingly unexpected final products. But Coil is in SF and I was/am happy to be back in Texas. Stefan had a specific vision he wanted to pursue and I knew that and support it. I have a different specific vision I want to pursue and he knows that and supports it. So I did not want to go work at Coil and distract them. But I'm not ruling out collaborating in the future. Ripple offered me two great options: I could stay working remote in another position I could take a very generous (in my scale) severance package. I had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer and I've been struggling with diabetes. Ripple didn't know this at the time. I chose to take the nice severance package (Thank You Ripple!) and concentrate on my health. Since that time I've had radiation treatment for the prostate cancer and that seem to be responding nicely. I've also been (with huge help from my wife) changing my diet and getting more exercise. My weight is starting to fall and my glucose levels are responding nicely. Of course, leaving also gave me the opportunity to pursue my "new crypto moonshot" as well. It turns out that will require me to step up publicly as a leader in order to promote that project. I'm not particularly comfortable being a "public frontman". So coming here gives me the opportunity to practice (pretending) being comfortable in public. And it also allows me to serve my own long-term personal financial interest as well by promoting Ripple and the RCL (I'm not a fan of the name XRPL) So that's all about me. Let's talk a little more about Ripple. As I mentioned in an early post, I was the first integration engineer for OpenCoin. I worked on the business development team for Patrick Griffin. My role was to talk to EVERYONE who was interested in doing anything with the Ripple ledger. I'm not inherently smart about the things I'm telling y'all. I'm only informed because very smart people kept asking to me with us to discuss their problems. My job was to figure out how to help all of them, no matter the industry, at that time. So if you go back to 2013 or 2014 with Ripple, you probably know me. I was also asked by Nilesh Dusane to join his brand new sales team as the first sales engineer. We had worked together in BD while I was the only integration engineer. It turns out we split my original position into three separate departments. (Integration Engineering, Sales Engineering, and Customer Support) So I was happy to jump in and support Nilesh. He was the one that proposed that Ripple "try to sell our system" rather than give everything away for free. He postulated that having a zero price was actually a barrier to entry for banks rather than a facilitator. He formed the sales team to test that hypothesis. He was absolutely correct! In my role of sales engineer I talked to almost every bank and banker we could get a meeting with. Sales is an interesting process. The grownup decision makers talk and decide there might be value in the proposition. But often the people high enough to green light a project don't have enough technical foundation to know if they are being bulls***ed. So at some point during the sales process, the grown ups always say something like, "It all sounds good, but I'd like you to talk to our technical lead and see...(reasons change here) ...but what is really doing is calling in a tech expert to play "tech jeopardy" with me in order to sniff out whether what we promised is real. The only way I know to play tech jeopardy without being called out for bulls*** is completely honestly. Sometimes painfully honestly. Because really, I'm not a sales guy, I'm an integration guy. I DIDN"T want to do a deal if the goals were impossible for the integration team to meet. Did I mention that I was very outspoken within Ripple? I believe in being brutally honest with every Rippler. Even about our warts. This is because everyone commits to work WAY TOO HARD when they come onboard. You really need to make a strong personal commitment and you can't make it based on bulls***. So curiously, some here might get a laugh out of this, while I talked to crazy numbers of people in my official capacity as sales and integration engineer... ...I was never officially allowed to speak to the public or press about Ripple! Go figure huh? I think the term I heard was loose cannon. Maybe because I was boring here. So, 100% no. My discussion here is not Ripple sanctioned.
  24. 53 points
    Late last year, Xi Jinping gave a speech declaring that blockchain technology presented an important breakthrough on several key areas within China and that the government intended to utilize the technology. Xi Jinping claimed that the development of distributed ledger technology provided a pivotal moment in which it allowed the Chinese state to reform and improve the inefficiencies found within the Chinese financial market. Stating that “It is necessary to explore the application of ‘blockchain’ in people’s daily life, and actively promote the application of blockchain technology in the fields of education, employment, pension, data-driven poverty alleviation, medical health, anti-counterfeiting, food safety, public welfare, social assistance, etc”. (1) Xi’s speech was in stark contrast to China’s previous posture on blockchain technology, specifically on cryptocurrencies such as BTC. But the public statement displayed that the Chinese government had finally come to an understanding on the potential blockchain technology can provide to the state. Unfortunately, most crypto evangelists took the speech to mean that the Chinese market was opening itself to the publicly traded cryptocurrencies found in crypto exchanges. An appreciation in the total crypto market capitalization only reinforced this notion that China was simply going to adopt the current, open source blockchains present. Weeks passed and China’s historical stance on cryptocurrencies was further fortified when several crypto exchanges halted or ceased services amid speculation of a crackdown within the country. (2) A contradicting development to Xi’s previous speech earlier in the year. However, there has been collaboration and developments by the state in the background that would corroborate Xi’s statements. Financial Access 2020 The foundation was laid at the 2015 World Bank Group–IMF Spring meetings. These meetings resulted in the establishment of the Universal Financial Access 2020 (UFA2020) initiative. The World Bank Group along with both private and public sector partners, committed themselves to promote and enable global financial inclusion in a multi-year program. With the intentions of enabling individuals who are not currently connected to the financial system, to have access to a transaction account to store money while also being able to send and receive payments. Setting a goal of enabling one billion unfinanced individuals to gain access by 2020. Their approach being the development of a platform that has a biometric identity database, virtual payment addressing, and digital payment interoperability. (3) At the time, there were over 30 partners that committed towards the UFA2020 initiative. Participants that now include the likes of Alipay, Du Xiaoman Financial (Baidu), BBVA Microfinance Foundation, CFPA Microfinance, Confederation of West African Financial Institutions (CIF), MasterCard, Pakistan Microfinance Network, State Bank of India, VISA, etc. (4) With each of these partners doing independent projects or collaborations to meet the UFA2020’s target. One such program that was spawned from the UFA2020 initiative, was the Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI). A three-year program formed by the collaboration between the World Bank Group, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructure (CPMI), and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The program is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (5) Their collective goal is “to support and accelerate the implementation of country-led reform actions to meet national financial inclusion targets, and ultimately the global ‘Universal Financial Access 2020’ goal”. (5) This subgroup plans to utilize the “work of the CPMI-World Bank Group Task Force on the Payment Aspects of Financial Inclusion (PAFI), the BMGF’s Level One Project, and the ITU Focus Group – Digital Financial Services, to deliver implementation solutions, deep topical analyses and practical investigations, working toward the goal of Universal Financial Access by 2020”. (5) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Level One Project is recognized by followers of Ripple due to the project’s development and intention of utilizing the Interledger Protocol to address interoperability between financial systems while helping lower the costs in developing inclusive payment platforms. Thru panels held at the FIGI symposiums, there is apparent dialogue and collaboration between the FIGI organization, the World Bank, and Ripple. (6) China The main purpose of the FIGI receiving grant money from the BMGF in 2017, was to accelerate financial inclusion in developing countries. With three countries being selected to be the focus of the initiative. Those countries being Mexico, Egypt, and China since they contain millions of unbanked individuals. (7) Ultimately, the development and progression of the initiative will be used as models for digital financial inclusion innovations around the globe. And regarding the selected countries, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) specifically requested support from the World Bank Group to aid in bridging the gap between the Chinese financial system and their citizens found in remote areas. (7) Interesting enough, the FIGI initiative aligned with other partnerships and projects in 2017. Partnerships that were composed of Ripple, Huawei, Mojaloop, etc. As some in the Ripple/XRP community might remember, officials from the PBOC visited the San Francisco Ripple offices in August 2017. (8) The community speculated on numerous possibilities on why Ripple was being visited by PBOC officials but there was no disclosed explanation of the meeting between Ripple and the PBOC. But looking at other announcements from 2017 chronologically, some perspective on the PBOC and Ripple meeting can be gained. First, the PBOC sought guidance and help by the World Bank Group to foster financial inclusion innovation within the country. The FIGI under the UFA2020 initiative, choose China to be one of the three countries focused on fostering innovation early 2017. In August 2017, the PBOC visited the Ripple offices in San Francisco. Two months later, BMGF and Ripple’s collaboration and development on Mojaloop was publicized. (9) Yet one aspect of the announcement on Mojaloop that was overlooked was that four mobile systems companies were brought to help develop an Open API for mobile money interoperability. Those companies being Ericsson, Telepin, Mahindra Comviva, and Huawei. (10) And with a document from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on “Digital Currency including Digital Fiat Currency”, we know that the Mojaloop API was designed by the four mobile companies that included Huawei. (11) Huawei and the BMGF have also been collaborating on promoting interoperability and financial inclusion since the previous year. Late 2016, Huawei announced partnership with the Gates Foundation on the Level One Project. (12) With the partnership focusing on developing “scalable, low-cost, interoperable and fraud resistant payment systems will be based on open Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) and help people in the world’s poorest regions improve their lives and build sustainable futures by connecting them with digitally based financial tools and services”. (12) Coincidentally occurring right when the Mojaloop API was being developed in the same Level One Project. Nonetheless, the Mojaloop API seems to be both an innovation and solution both Huawei and the BMGF sought to develop in their partnership. We know that the BMGF and Bill Gates himself, have been aware since 2016 ,of the potential revolution the Interledger Protocol can bring to the financial system1d. With Bill Gates even recognizing how Ripple’s technology can move money across countries efficiently and cheaply. (13) Although Ripple’s known involvement in China is thru LianLian Pay and some possible penetration thru third parties such as AirWallex, there appears to be a potential utilization of the Mojaloop API thru Huawei in FIGI’s project within China. This can potentially explain why Ripple expanded into China with the opening of offices in the country. (14) Outside FIGI Outside of FIGI’s scope in China, there are other developments with UFA2020 affiliates forming and investing in projects that could leverage the Interledger Protocol. A recent example involves a group of Ripple investors and partners raising capital for Currencycloud. Currencycloud is a UK startup that has developed remittance APIs that allows any financial business to integrate money transfer services thru Currencycloud’s platform. A duo of Ripple shareholders in SBI and Siam Commercial Bank participated in the Series E round for the UK startup. But interesting enough, VISA and the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation also partook in the series round. (15) Two key members of the UFA2020 initiative. These investors intend to promote and utilize Currencycloud’s API for cross-border payments. While VISA has also entered a partnership with the UK startup. Thrugh the partnership, VISA plans to expand and improve their services by using Currencycloud’s platform. (16) Yet Currencycloud has another notable partnership with the Ripple associate, DWOLLA. DWOLLA is not only known for sharing a seat with Ripple on the US Faster Payments Council but more importantly, for their collaboration in developing the Mojaloop platform. (17) DWOLLA will be leveraging the UK startup’s platform to expand their network for coverage on 38 currencies in 180 countries. (16) And on a final note, Currenycloud has an impressive group of clients that includes The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (16) Furgther adding another affiliate to the assortment of UFA2020 and Ripple partners involved with Currencycloud. (16) Looking at announcements or projects through the perspective of promoting and expanding the Universal Financial Access 2020 initiative, one can conceivably see the purpose and structure of collaborations done by Ripple associates to possibly promote adoption of the Interledger Protocol. 1. https://medium.com/@mablejiang/xi-jinpings-speech-at-the-18th-collective-study-of-the-chinese-political-bureau-of-the-central-1219730677b2 2. https://cointelegraph.com/news/china-5-crypto-exchanges-halt-or-shut-services-amid-perceived-crackdown 3. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/financialinclusion/brief/achieving-universal-financial-access-by-2020 4. https://ufa.worldbank.org/en/partners 5. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/financialinclusion/brief/figi 6. https://twitter.com/DougMPearce/status/936176649963388928?s=20 7. https://www.devex.com/news/3-model-countries-selected-for-a-new-financial-inclusion-initiative-90778 8. https://twitter.com/Ripple/status/902201846592184320?ref_src=twsrc^tfw|twcamp^tweetembed|twterm^902201846592184320&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcointelegraph.com%2Fnews%2Fripple-talks-with-peoples-bank-of-china-key-to-chinese-blockchain-market 9. https://ripple.com/insights/news/ripple-the-gates-foundation-team-up-to-level-the-economic-playing-field-for-the-poor/ 10. https://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2017/10/Bill-Melinda-Gates-Foundation-Releases-Open-Source-Software-to-Expand-Access-to-Financial-Services 11. https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/focusgroups/dfc/Documents/FGDFC-O-003.pdf 12. http://carrier.huawei.com/minisite/software/mobile-money/foundation.html 13. https://ripple.com/insights/why-bill-gates-believes-2016-will-be-the-year-of-financial-inclusion/ 14. https://www.asiacryptotoday.com/ripple-plan-expansion-to-shanghai-china 15. https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/26/currencycloud-nabs-80m-from-visa-world-bank-group-and-more-for-its-cross-border-payments-api/ 16. https://www.currencycloud.com/company/clients/ 17. https://modusbox.com/announcing-mojaloop-io-an-open-source-software-platform-for-financial-inclusion-to-uplift-the-worlds-poor/
  25. 53 points
    TiffanyHayden

    Tiffany Hayden

    I think it's strange how much people care about this. After carrying kids around on my right hip for so long, I am used to using my left hand for things. Since I don't actually have a camera crew that follows me around, that's how left-handed pictures turn out. I don't like posting pictures of myself nearly as much as people like to chide me for. I don't like it all. I hate it. Try and find a picture of me in my 20's or even in my early 30's. Do you think any woman thinks "Now that I'm 41, it feels like a good time to start taking pictures of myself to share online in a predominantly (young) male industry, filled with vitriol, that scrutinizes every breath I take, and actively hates me?" No. I do it DESPITE that. Contrary to what dude's with middle-aged, single mom fetishes may think, I post pictures for the women. Like attracts like. I want to be visibly present and this is the best that I can do. People who like to talk about all of the attention I crave are never able to explain why, then, have I turned down every single interview request over the years? I push myself to be as personable as I can be because I want to be understood and I want to be visible to the other "regular people" in the world. Agreed. I was embarrassed at some of the comments and behavior coming from XRP supporters. It would be analogous to one flavor of Bitcoin making fun of another flavor of Bitcoin because their mempool was full. Same thing could happen to you, dude. Even more importantly, those people failed to recognize that the Stellar network SUCCEEDED, as designed, and stopped forward progress until it was safe. That was a victory for anyone championing Consensus over PoW. Thank you for this. Up until recently, I have never *only* liked XRP. One of the main features of the XRPL that originally attracted me to it is that it's currency agnostic. I am uncomfortably open about things so people don't have to speculate. I try really hard to do the right thing, knowing full well that not only are strangers online watching closely and judging, but my 2 kids as well. They are teenagers now and I have to atone for all that I do. They read every word written about me. I am sad at the way Bitcoin turned out. I didn't get involved in crypto to make a financial investment. I have always been poor. When the financial/housing crisis hit, I had a baby and a toddler and I felt terrified and helpless. The houses on every side of me went into foreclosure. They stayed empty for a long time. When somebody bought the house next door, they bought it for $12,000. When learned about Bitcoin, I latched on like it was a life raft. This is the Bitcoin that I was out evangelizing for: The entire article is good but it turned out to be ********. I was hopeful when Bitcoin forked that there was a chance to salvage it, but then Craig Wright showed up and there was just more infighting than I have the energy and capacity for, mostly because being an XRP supporter has been so damn taxing as well. And it's gotten worse lately. Nonstop **** like this. I don't know why, but as crypto enthusiasts poor into this space and grow in their knowledge, thoughts and reasoning, new XRP supporters have taken a different route, embracing ignorance and deciding to hunt cartoon bears and create conspiracies instead. Jed reached out to me, in a sincere way, because he felt misjudged by me and wanted a chance to be heard. I have no reason to hate him and everything he touches into eternity. Life is short and I don't enjoy fighting with people or holding onto hate. The second news broke about Steller and IBM, everybody was trying to make it sound like a loss for Ripple/XRP. Good news for Stellar doesn't mean bad news for Ripple and vice versa. I'm not willing to spend one second getting into an XLM/XRP ******* match. And I don't want to participate in the cheering that goes on whenever another project stumbles. I learn by doing and I'm here to learn. Because, for the most part, if one of you gets screwed over, nobody will care. I have a small platform and try to use it to amplify the voices that don''t get heard. I disagree. Neither my opinion of Ripple nor XRP has changed. It's because I am secure and feel confident in XRP that I don't feel the need to hate everything that isn't XRP. There are lots of cool projects popping up everyday. I think it's exciting and I definitely want to be a part of it. I don't view crypto as a spectator sport.
  26. 52 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    Yes, Ripple employees are allowed to speak on social media. David has been very active. I do have more freedom to talk about this stuff now, but mostly because I have much less actual work to do. But let me take the question a little more seriously because I know it seems like Ripple doesn't care about this community. One of the reasons you don't hear more from rank and file Ripplers (besides them being heads down working) is that Monica Long heads up a mind bogglingly effective MarComs team. Internally at Ripple I was known for being pretty outspoken about my opinions. My highest complement to Monica was that, "I have no idea how you do what you do. But you exceed my expectations by such a wide margin that I'm actually comfortable not knowing the details. I can't say that about any other groups in the company." Yes, I'm a detail freak. I expect to be able to grok everything. But one of the secrets to Monica's magic is that she has to give great stories to great reporters and great publications. The conundrum is, no story is "great" if it's already been told before. So there a lot of times when news is spread internally though company meetings, but everyone knows to keep it under raps so Monica and team can do their thing. So from an employee perspective, what is there to talk about. The most interesting stuff is what you just learned, but that is under embargo. Once the embargo has been lifted, everyone has already read a better written version of what you wanted to say published by a more authoritative source. So that makes you boring and yesterday's news. The except of course are geeky technical questions. Employees are generally happy to answer those. But of course what everyone really wants to know is "Should I buy XRP now? Or should I sell XRP now." Not only do employees risk trouble with either answer, it also reminds them they have no ideas which would be the correct trade. That tends to make them doubly uncomfortable. --- The second reason the community hears less from the company now than in the early days, is (in my opinion) that the company isn't sure what they'd like you to do. Of course the company might benefit if everyone buys and hodls more and more XRP, but Ripple has never encouraged people to do so. And now that Ripple doesn't operate a public client, it is hard for even me to tell people how they should use the system or what they should do with it. It would be great (from my perspective) if more people started business which interacted directly with the XRP ledger, but knowing what I know about financial regulation, it's not clear that I know what types of business to suggest. When you see the Xpring initiative think of that as a type of community outreach. From my perspective the Ripple community needs a really great consumer focused client. That is table stakes to give people the "rippling" education they need in order to recognize new XRPL based business opportunities. From my perspective this is all FUD theater staged by people who have bet on other cryptocurrencies. I wouldn't expect to see any particular XRP specific clarity announcements. The law is really funny in this regard. (IANAL) The law doesn't really care what something is. It cares what you tell people it is. So for example, if you create an ERC20 alt coin token, then tell people that then need to get in now because the price is going to go up. You've made it a security. What's more interesting is, say you haven't actually made that ERC20 token yet. It's just a figment of your imagination. But you go ahead and tell people they need to get in now because long term you are going to create token and then give them some and the price is going to go up. Well you've still created a security even though you haven't created a token yet. On the other hand, FinCen has issued guidance (section c) about users of virtual currency and also some clarification more recently. It's worth reading the last page to see that the SEC or the CFTC or FinCEN might be the controlling regulator depending on "the facts and circumstances" of the case. My personal opinion is that Ripple as a company has worked very hard comply with the laws regulating every possible interpretation of "the facts and circumstances". There are compliance teams and lawyers and specialty outside council keeping everyone away from even the grey areas. There have been stories published in the press about Ripple's various meetings with regulators and Ripple participation on various financial system committees. At this point I think regulators and other authorities see more potential benefit in Ripple than in potential harm. But that's just my personal opinion. Please keep in mind, I'm not asking you or encouraging you to buy XRP or to use Ripple technology in any way. Those are decisions everyone should make based on their own personal finances, appetite for risk, and/or need for awesome new payment technology. All I want you to take away from this, is that the team at Ripple isn't a bunch of naive idiots. I haven't met anyone who wants to risk jail time in exchange for a get rich quick scheme. Everyone I've met respects the law and feels a duty to stay compliant. That's probably all I'll say about that.
  27. 51 points
    XRPKronk

    US Banks are Getting Frantic

    Alright guys, its been a hell of a week for Ripple and crypto in general. We are witnessing the beginning of a banking revolution- its only going to get crazier as we head into 2020. PART 1: Let me start this post by telling you a conversation I had with my mother, an executive loan officer and branch manager of a regional bank in the south: After the usual mother/son conversation, I asked her how her job was going since she just came back from family leave. APPARENTLY.... "The top executives are freaking out. The projections for loan income are completely off due to the FED announcement." If you're not in the US, basically the central bank wants to lower interest rates next month. The effect? Here is an excerpt from a Yahoo Finance article: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/fed-interest-rate-cut-horizon-121512567.html So, US banks will be struggling to make the quota for this fiscal half because the banks projected the rate to actually increase rather than decline. This meant that many banks gave adjustable rate loans to borrowers in hopes that the prime rate would increase over time. PART 2: Responses from other banks have ranged from nonchalant to panic As you can imagine, banks want to keep a lid on their panic state. Most have released statements that say they were prepared for the rate decline. Some are in denial and think the FED will call back on its majority vote to cut the rate https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/20/one-major-bank-is-holding-the-line-saying-the-fed-wont-cut-rates-this-year.html Once Goldman Sachs executive went all the way to say smaller banks are screwed https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-20/goldman-sachs-executive-says-legacy-retail-banks-are-screwed Based of the conversation with my mother, I would agree that the banks are concerned and stand to lose a lot of money. PART 3: ENTER CRYPTO- Libra is announced, and the Moneygram Move Okay so, unless you live under a rock, the news this week has been amazing. Facebook announces Libra under much criticism. The announcement had a few effects: Whether you love it or hate it, it has helped bring crypto into the spotlight this week. All press is good press for crypto, that much is true. Regulators have sprung into action. Already making statements about the regulation of Libra and crypto in general. (See quotes below) https://www.apnews.com/ee872c2a79494a1183866bd1dc9c9083 https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/20/facebook-libra-cryptocurrency-faced-with-central-bank-warnings.html https://cryptonews.com/news/fatf-decides-to-tighten-crypto-regulation-report-4092.htm There are plenty of other quotes, but i think this suffices. A final effect is that banks will be looking for an alternative or an edge against their competitors. Ripple and Xrapid already exist and has gone through extensive trials over the past 5 years. Brad Garlinghouse has already made the statement that Ripple has has a "record week" due to the Libra Announcement: BOOM- Thank you, Facebook. Ripple is also in the spotlight for the Moneygram Deal. MoneyGram's Stock rose over 150% and huge announcements for new corridors were made as moneygram is expanding their footprint in India. Ripple is making other moves as SBI Remit and SCB Thailand are featured in their Paying Forward promo videos (check twitter, i'm too lazy at this point to embed them lol) Conclusion TLDR: Banks are hurting from the potential FED rate drop and crypto appears this week to banks as a way to cut costs. The financial transformation is on the horizon and is approaching fast! If your read all that, congratulations. You're amazing!
  28. 50 points
    Since 2012, Ripple has been committed to advancing the XRP Ledger as an open, decentralized system for payments. We have worked together with the community to dramatically increase the decentralization, performance, and feature set over the last seven years. Ripple’s vision for the XRP Ledger is for it to continue to provide the best interoperability with Interledger. Key to this vision is for the XRP Ledger to remain best in class in security, performance, and settlement features. We’ve been working on a number of possible features and design changes that could be introduced to the XRP Ledger, and we want input from the entire community about these features. How helpful are they to the use cases that the community is currently pursuing? What changes are developers and contributors to XRP Ledger interested in implementing? Today, we are posting descriptions of many possible enhancements to the XRP Ledger. They fall broadly into three categories: Consensus: Consensus is the heart of the XRP Ledger. It’s the way the ledger makes forward progress in a decentralized way. While PoW has provided only limited decentralization and appears to be a technological dead end, distributed agreement algorithms such as the XRP Ledger’s consensus algorithm provide real decentralization and continue to improve in their performance and reliability, year after year. Several of the suggested enhancements focus on improving the robustness of the XRP Ledger’s consensus mechanism. Performance and Resource Consumption: Due to the nature of public ledger systems, every on-ledger transaction imposes some resource costs on every participant. This creates a trade-off where increasing the transaction rate and lowering transaction fees can increase operational costs and drive some participants out of the ecosystem. Keeping resource consumption down increases the set of participants who can run their own server nodes, improving decentralization. Some of the suggested improvements aim to increase our understanding of the software’s resource consumption, reduce the consumption of bandwidth and memory, and improve network reliability. Features: The XRP Ledger currently has a sophisticated feature set including account management features, powerful multisigning, a decentralized exchange, and best-in-class support for off-ledger scaling. However, there are always more things it could do. The suggested improvements in this category add new capabilities such as an XRP-collateralized stablecoin and ways to ease the burden of the 20 XRP account reserve. We would appreciate members of the XRP Ledger community looking over these suggestions and providing feedback. Suggestions for other features are welcome as well. Let’s build a roadmap to continue innovating together. You can find all of the suggestions in one place on Xpring's blog post. There are also links there to the individual forum posts for each feature for discussions.
  29. 50 points
    Q3 - Paradigm shift on the buying pressure of XRP Janna's interpretation After a very exhausting 2018 year during which the XRP/BTC chart was going in oblivion and a half of the 2019 year also quite frankly unsatisfying considering the +/- 300% surges of some of the top 15 coins, reading the Q2 2019 XRP Markets Report I personally felt a huge relief, which I have not really expressed because I am quite the private person. But here I will explain my reasoning and my own interpretation of what is most likely happening. Q2 2019 XRP Markets Report Before going any further, I will point out some key information which are coming straight out of the report. Since 2017, Ripple began providing XRP to meet FI's demand through the OTC desks in response to a lack of liquidity. The direct impact was obviously felt from everyone who had invested in XRP and even today. The price plummeted not only because of the BTC 85% drop, since XRP price is highly correlated to BTC, but in a more stealthy way from the strategy implemented by Ripple. During the past weeks, many members, myself included, were collecting information regarding the XRP exchanged on the network. Personally, I was trying to find comfort, because this is how I cope with it. Being still a fresh member, of this community and also an investor in this asset, my understanding of the network is ongoing. What was the most devastating to me and most likely to some other members was that the XRP exchanged and thus sold (for the most part) were a direct cause of the price being dropping / stagnant / sluggish compared to BTC slightly dropping / stagnant / increasing. Although, as stated in the report, this very strategy is the necessary step prior to what is coming. Since 2017, there is institutional demand for XRP which has heavily been sourced by the OTC desks, resulting in sale pressure (mostly observed on the XRP/BTC chart). I was explaining the XRP/BTC chart with mainly one factor, the performance of XRP compared to BTC throughout the whole bull phase (2015 - 2017). BTC bottom: 180 (January 2015) BTC peak: 19,000 (December 2017) BTC multiplier: 105 XRP bottom: 0.004 (December 2015) XRP peak: 3.8 (January 2018) XRP multiplier: 950 While this factor is a heavy participant in the equation of the XRP/BTC chart going downward to oblivion ever since the bull run was exhausted, throughout 2019 the trend was still ongoing while other top 15 assets were drastically increasing. In the report, Ripple states they decided to make a switch pulling back from providing XRP over-the-counter at scale toward the end of Q2. The key word is "decided", it does not mean they did it right away. Although, toward the end of Q2 it is true the sales had decreased, but it is only 1 of the 2 parts of the equation. Provide XRP to FI through the OTC desks Provide XRP to FI through the open-market (exchanges) Paradigm shift Throughout the month I observed a new trend on the XRP/BTC chart, starting the 11th July. The trend is ongoing and obviously translates into XRP gaining traction over BTC, but this is pretty new and I have not all the necessary information to confirm my theory, so I cannot say with full confidence I am right. As I said earlier, this is all my own interpretation. I think Ripple started providing XRP to FI through the open-market this month, meaning there is now enough liquidity from the exchanges for the current institutional demand. This results in buying pressure which translates into the XRP price soaring. We do not see the effect as of yet because XRP is still heavily coupled to BTC and BTC having recently surged a lot now needs momentum to find some new grounds. So in fine, BTC price dropped from 14k to 9k, which resulted in XRP price going from 0.5 to 0.3. But, now I want to focus on the 07/11/2019 to 07/26/2019 time frame and compare both BTC and XRP performances over the past 2 weeks. 07/11 Midnight UTC +2 BTC: $12,044 XRP: $0.36000 07/26 10 am UTC +2 BTC: $9760 XRP: $0.31300 BTC lost 19% of its value XRP lost 13% of its value I had noticed both BTC and XRP were finally moving in tandem, but given the information provided in the Q2 report together with the very recent trend I observed, it looks like the buying pressure from the institutions could be resulting in the XRP price slightly gaining traction. Again, this is all too new and I cannot confirm everything. But if Ripple started not only to decrease their sales OTC and also started providing XRP to FI through the open-market, then the direct consequence would be XRP/BTC moving upward, or at the very least a relative reduction of the XRP/BTC downtrend (depending on the % of the XRP allocated to OTC and open-market). Obviously, if the trend for BTC was moving upward, we would notice it even better. I am eager to see how the trend will play out but I feel much more positive after reading the Q2 report coupled with my observations of this very recent trend.
  30. 50 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    Just to give as well as I get... Anyone can accumulate fat stacks of XRP. But can you accumulate THIS! If you look closely at the two pictures, you notice that I'm wearing the original Ripple t-shirt from 2013.
  31. 49 points
    Hodor

    Welcome To Our World, Bob

    Blog URL: https://xrpcommunity.blog/welcome-to-our-world-bob/ Bob Way, a Ripple alumnus, indicated he's starting work on an ambitious new project! Learn more about him - and his new project - in today's blog. I hope you enjoy the read: Please feel free to share my blog with a friend or share it on any other platform - and thanks for doing so! My blog announcement links on other platforms: Twitter Reddit r/Ripple Reddit r/CryptoCurrency Reddit r/CryptoMarkets Reddit r/xrp Reddit r/RippleTalk Reddit r/alternativecoin Bitcointalk - alt coin sub forum Bitcointalk - XRP speculation thread
  32. 49 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    OK, in the spirit of txID or it didn't happen. I submit: 4E1D594E045A92CBFDB6BC1698D3AD50F939B51D4DA0B6F1FD3F34D3CF2D7482 I noticed some unnamed individual sent me a XRP yesterday. So I sent it back to him. If you are still suspicious, I set the destination tag to "23155" which matches my profile on this site. https://www.xrpchat.com/profile/23155-bobway/ I also set the invoice ID to: 486920585250436861742E636F6D2049276D20426F6257617920202020202020 If you are too lazy to decode that yourself it says: Hi XRPChat.com I'm BobWay
  33. 48 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    I do understand Codius. I'll start a thread to talk about it in the appropriate form when this thread dies down enough for me to get out of my chair. But just to get you started, you probably know that Stefan, Ben, and Peter founded a new company called Coil. What you probably don't know is that the name Coil was Ben's idea. It is a contraction of "Codius" and "ILP".
  34. 47 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    I'm trying really hard not to give away too many details before I've established the background ecosystem so everyone can understand the wonkiness. But because you asked in such a well thought out way, it would pain me too much not to respond directly. I'll respond with some brief bullets here. That way you think deeper about it while waiting for me to document the background. The core problem and goal is establishing XRP as a bridge currency. The key questions you have to ask yourself are: Can it conceivably be done? What is needed to make that happen? Everyone with a cryptocurrency believes theirs will become the de facto bridge currency owing just to popularity. Bitcoiners have been presume in this from the beginning. But they are wrong. It is really, really hard to unseat USD as the world's bridge currency. Why? Because USD has a stable predictable value. Stable valued things are great to price and compare other things against. But mostly because volatility means RISK to market makers. They want to buy low and sell high WITHOUT the market moving. And it is these traders money, the deep tips of the book, that defines the concept of liquid. But it gets worse. Using any cryptocurrency as a bridge asset in the way everyone proposes seems ALMOST impossible. Why? You need to deploy TWICE as much capital to create the same liquidity needed for a non-bridged payment. To send $1,000,000 through the EUR/USD book for delivery in EUR requires $1,000,000 of EUR be available for sale in that book. To send the same amount of money, first through the USD/XRP book AND ALSO through the XRP/EUR book requires $2,000,000 of capital be deployed. $1,000,000 worth of XRP must be available for purchase in the USD/XRP book. And, $1,000,000 worth of EUR must be available for purchase in the XRP/EUR book. That EUR and XRP has been invested by market makers who are looking to make a profit on their investment. This profit is represented by the spread they are willing to offer. Think of the spread as a type of "fee" that will be paid in order to deliver the payment. So if you want to make the above payment and you have two otherwise equal "instant" payments pathways, which of the two above options do you automate your choice? Well, you choose whichever one is CHEAPEST of course! Hum, so how does pricing actually work? The first path has to pay one fee. (equal to half the market spread in that book) The second path has to pay two fees. (half the spread in the USD/XRP book, plus half the spread in the XRP/EUR book) So, if you want the second path to be cheaper than the first path, each spread has to be less than half as wide as the first path. And worse... Crypto volatility INCREASES the spread! Each market maker needs to account for the pricing uncertainty in the spread they quote. They have no more idea than you do, if the market is going to move up or down over the next few minutes or seconds. If it moves rapidly, their market making profits can be quickly eaten up by the fact that they end up on the short end of every trade. Market making is a zero sum game. The best price gets the trades. If one trader always quotes the narrowest spread, that trader gets EVERY trade. The second narrowest spread trader can end up with no profits at all. So this is VERY competitive. But in aggregate, successful traders CAN'T quote spreads narrower than the volatility will allow. Or by definition they become unsuccessful traders and don't last long in the business. So what is required for crypto as a bridge currency to even be considered plausible? First you have to remember, "It's a profit deal!" Market makers are going to do what makes THEM the most money. Wider spreads don't necessarily result in higher profits. (see zero sum game above) Spreads * Trades = Profit So having a lot of trades at a small spread, can easily beat having a few trades at a higher spread. Deployed capital matters hugely. If I need $1,000,000 on deposit and I make $50,000 a year trading, I might think that sucks. If I only need $10,000 on deposit and I make $50,000 a year trading, I might think that is SUPER! In fact as deployed capital goes to zero, return on investment tend toward infinity. That is fun for competitive people. So let's be clear here: Market makers can't quote a very narrow spread in a volatile market or they'll lose money. They can't deploy a lot of capital against few trades or they'll lose the opportunity to make more money. Nobody can artificially manipulate the market to stabilize the crypto bridge currency, or they'll go to jail. And obviously, everyone in crypto wants their asset's price to rise overtime and never go down. So without manipulating the market or even inadvertently causing the price to "temporarily" drop as you bootstrap... Is a cryptocurrency becoming a bridge currency even plausible? I'm telling you, I think it is. I'll leave the details up to you graduate students to work through.
  35. 47 points
    JoelKatz

    Hi! I'm Bob

    I think that any technology can be used for good or evil. Obviously, I would hate to see social credit develop in that direction. I was definitely one of those people who believed that the Internet would inherently democratize the spread of information. Until a few years ago, i was thrilled with the idea that anyone could publish a web page or start a blog and get a huge following if people wanted to hear what they had to say. Seeing the gatekeepers of information lose their power was a wonderful thing. As you all know, in the past decade or so, new gatekeepers emerged with a small number of companies not only having huge control over what information can and cannot be easily shared but also having a revenue model based on gathering massive amounts of information that it has become impractical to keep private. I'd hate to repeat this pattern with the democratizing of the flow of funds and hope we can correct this with the flow of information over the next decade or so.
  36. 46 points
    I've seen a number of youtube personalities discuss the idea of the XRP escrow being preallocated for use by global central banks as collateral for the issuance of digital fiat currency and effectively creating a montary value 'reset.' I've gone on their streams and tried to indicate a number of issues that rise with the use of digital assets as collateral, but I do think excitement has taken over the space and folks are just not taking the time to see this through. Somewhere back in the past, I wrote comments about how I thought companies like OMNI were really important for the XRP ecosystem, because they were providing redeemable contracts on the XRP ledger attached to tangible assets. When you establish a contract whereby an asset becomes redeemable in XRP - for example, by making a deposit for a leased object redeemable in XRP, or issuing a loan that is payable in XRP - you are increasing the market value of XRP by the amount of the redeemable asset. This is one of the thing that make open and free exchange markets so valuable to fiat economics - there are tangible assets, services, contracts, etc. that are redeemable. Take a 5 USD silver note - that was redeemable to the bearer, at one time, for $5 worth of silver. Asset-backed currencies have value because their notes are redeemable memos that can be settled for real assets. Now consider the role that crypto lending in CDP or collateral debt positions play in transforming the landscape. When you have a mortgage on the book in your name that is secured by the home you have possession of, there are limitations to what you can do with that home. A home with liens against it is taken out of the inventory pool. It no longer contributes to the available assets that can be redeemed with fiat currency. In many ways, a cap on tangible productive assets (and people) introduces a cap to the aggregate value of the fiat currency of a country. No assets to trade = no monetary value. Money is worth nothing when there is nothing left to buy. This is a significant issue for the digital asset space, because you have the transformation of asset classes into representative units of exchange (securitize assets, tokenized assets) that produce lien-like impositions on the underlying asset, and representative debt position that use digital assets as collateral (CDPs). And you will very soon have cascading combinations of both. One day, you will have the ability to take Apple stock in your portfolio tokenized, and you will be able to draw digital asset credit lines based on the deposit of those tokens in your digital wallet. As the tokenization economy expands, more and more conventional stocks will be encumbered, translating the stock exchange mechanism from one of stock trading to one of securitized token trading. It will not be possible, one day, to own actual stock. It will only be possible to own and trade representative tokens of a given stock on various platforms. The impact this will have on the price during the shift will be volatile and then normal as volume shifts markets. Today, you can deposit your tokens with a company like Nexo, get a credit line advance and spend it. This is non-taxable - its secured credit. But this also takes those assets out of circulation - staked tokens that have liens against them are off the exchanges, so far as I can tell. I have asked a question on Quora and requested David to respond regarding hte potential of rehypothecation of assets on the ledger. For those who are unfamiliar with the practice, and how it contributed to the housing bubble and the inevitable collapse of the hyperinflated price bubble - the best way to think about it is like this: blockchain has many features that prevent the double-spend problem from occurring. Rehypothecation of collateral assets is a form of intentional double-spend - where the same underlying collateral asset is treated as if it is owned by two different parties (or more) at the same time. Max Keiser has done videos discussing how rehypothecation has been used between physical delivery and metals and paper metals contracts to manipulate the price of precious metals. So assuming that blockchain ledgers, as a feature, make rehypothecation impossible - this single feature alone makes digital currency one of the most powerful asset classes in history - if ownership cannot be subverted and the books built on it can be made that much more sound, it is an absolute game changer and you can bet that banks are doing whatever they can to allocate and build their positions in it, even if they are dormant and waiting on regulation to actually put those assets into motion. They are buying the fields but waiting for zoning clearance to build houses. What to do in the meantime? These banks are incentivized to keep prices low and sideways, particularly after a protracted bear market where investors have hyped in and are now overleveraged. Companies like Nexo (not saying they will do this) will be very clear about how safe their custody solutions are, and how large financial powerhouses like Lloyd's of London will back their deposits. People will read articles about how they can use a fusion of dollar cost average in bear phases and collateral debt reinvesting during bull phases to grow their stacks without adding more capital in changing market conditions. But consider the impact this ever-increasing CDP market will have on scarcity of inventory, and the inflated pricing effects this creates for deflationary digital assets. More and more liens against digital assets that are not available for rehypothecation and are effectively digitally segregated from corporate funds are locked away from retail markets. Sure, the debt contracts can be traded - and you know this is going to be a new source of banking revenue. But if digital assets are not subject to the same dubious supply issues as precious metals, price increases are inevitable. This is the first wave of the slow bull drive, but it is not the real issue. In times of crises, we have already seen that the transition from asset-backed currency to others results in the confiscation of real assets when times get tough. Owning gold can be made illegal illegal. You can be asked to forcible sell your ounces of gold and silver for face value prices, only to watch the values of metals skyrocket once they are in government possession. History has taught this lesson, are cryptocurrency investors paying attention? Mark my words, as more financial institutions get involved in the business of operating digital asset holding accounts backed by the FDIC we will see unusual shortages, hacks and losses that will amount to voluntary digital asset confiscation. Sorry, your assets are in another castle! ~the FDIC. If I enter into agreement with Nexo by depositing my funds that the collateral assets I yield for consideration are protected to market value by Lloyd's of London, make no mistake that in the event of a fiscal crisis or pending shift in economic situations I will not be able to withdraw my digital asset, but will instead be bought out at market price by Lloyd's - who will then own my digital asset and I have cash. I'm not picking on Nexo - I use them a little bit. I may use them more when I wish to cash out without cashing out. I think the service that they and Binance and others will offer is a valuable service. But I keep the big bags away from these services. Because there will be a voluntary confiscation event where you will have your digital asset deposits cashed out because the terms allow for it. Folks will go to their account one day and see the cash equivalent of all of their crypto assets in their account. This may be caused by a manipulated price event that allows these financial institutions to liquidate your positions to pay off outstanding debt. It may be a "massive security event" that forces insurance to buy out your positions. PR folks are creative. Terms of service that include bail-in clauses are not the only tripwire to watch out for for investors right now in finance. But to go back, there does not need to be a preallocation event for this to occur - it is already starting now. Go look at nexo's growth numbers, just as an example because they seem to be playing a leading role in the hype behind crypto loans. It would only take a few major household name banks to start offering remarkable credit lines and paying out on crypto loan investments to pull many of these assets off the market while stablecoins are floating around. The volume of encumbered assets of just a few major financial institutions would be enough to significantly increase the scarcity of inventory for most of the top ten assets - and who knows how far down the chain this value would trickle as the top ten coins grow out of reach. The idea that XRP - the escrow - of 55 billion XRP is preallocated to banks and slowly being released to prevent scarcity from spiking is an interesting one, but seems both unrealistic and unnecessary. It would drastically cut the supply of available inventory for trade and ledger functionality - and that is likely going to happen anyway as crypto loans take off and fill the economic role that housing did in the 2003-2007 era. It's not xrapid that is going to explode the price - its the lockup of digital assets in loans. Loans people are taking out now because they needed that seed capital - or someo f it - or they just don't want to sell and deal with taxable events. Etc. Etc. Eventually there will be a time when the underlying digital assets we are able to buy today will simply not be available for purchase - only their derivative products. It's going to be a totally remade financial landscape. And if digital assets do become part of a collateral plan to convert to digital currency, hold on to your butts and resist every temptation/trick to sell until you are absolutely ready to let your assets go - I definitely assume that any crypto I put up for loan collateral - even if I have no outstanding credit lines - will eventually be converted to fiat without my consent before this is all over. But those cold storage hodl bags... not your keys, not your crypto.
  37. 46 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    I wrote about how I got to Ripple in my most recent treatise above. The rest of the story is on linked-in and some on my vanity blog. (Start the blog from the very beginning if you are really interested. It tries to tell a coherent story. It's not finished yet though. Maybe I'll get to that if I ever get finished here. Glad to hear that you find Ripple, and blockchain fascinating. I do too! You are never too old to learn to program if you find yourself compelled to do so. But I'd say you are too old to start learning to program with the intention of finding a paid entry level programming position. That's just the nature of programming, it isn't the least bit "fun" for most people. So if you haven't been fascinated by it in the past, don't expect an epiphany by force to happen. Entry level programming positions aren't necessarily fun, even if you find programming itself fascinating. But don't be discouraged. The Ripple and blockchain ecosystems don't need you to be a programmer. They need you to be an intelligent experienced "grown-up" that understand the needs of the real-world. This is the most valuable skill in the space. You need to deeply understand WHAT the programming geeks made these systems do. You don't need to be will versed in the behind the scenes programming magic of HOW they made the systems do it. The biggest need is to take a real-world value creating business idea, and integrate it to the Ripple DLT or other blockchain technology in order to help that business REALIZE the value it is creating. That sounds hand wavy and vague. So let me give you an example from your own field of education. Many people absolutely LOVE educating others. (I'm having fun here!) But what's the hardest part about the profession of trying to do so... ...well, getting paid, of course! For many people, being an educator means going to work for a big bureaucracy, jumping through hoops, doing paperwork and earning less than you feel that you are worth for doing so. Why? Because the payment system for teachers is Broken As Designed (BAD). So make a new one! Take micropayments, or crypto, or swap teaching hours for bill payment. A fascinating thing for you to wrap your head around is what Stefan and team are doing at Coil inventing "streaming money". As an educator, you probably get paid twice a month, or worse once a month. But WTF! They want you to show up and teach everyday. Isn't it a pain in the ass to have to wait for others (you employer) to settle up on the money they owe you? Your grocery bills and other expenses don't wait on you to feel ready to pay for them. So why should you wait on others who owe you? Streaming money is a CRAZY idea, but as you start thinking about it, people tend to go "hell yeah!" The reason you get paid monthly or bi-monthly is that accounting used to be hard. Banking was hard. People needed time to calculate how much you worked, do the withholding send transactions to the processor for direct-deposit or printing check. Submitting the withholding to the appropriate agencies. But now computers do all of that really fast. And money moves faster. So start to think, "Why couldn't I get a direct deposit into my bank account everyday instead of every two weeks?" There really isn't a technical reason you couldn't. And if you get really wonky you start to think, hey! What about getting paid every hour! Or even every minute! How would that change my life? And what if my Uber driver didn't have to wait. And what if the YouTube author of the video I just watched didn't have to wait to get paid. And Holy ****! What if I was an educator via video and my students streamed money to me! F*** the bureaucracy I have to deal with everyday! Then you realize, I know lots of educators that feel the same way as I do, but they don't know anything about blockchain or streaming money. So what if I start a project to benefit us all? There has to be some fresh out of school jr programmers who would jump at the chance to help! That's the way I think you and many of the people on this sight should be thinking. Sorry this turned into such a huge rant.
  38. 45 points
    I realized a while back that I always had a bunch of "great ideas" that I clung to (very privately) because I thought they were "valuable". The problem was I wasn't acting on those ideas. As I learned more about "value" I realized I was completely wrong. Nothing is valuable unless it is "liquid". Meaning you can trade that value for some other type of alternative type of value more handy at that instant. So I changed my entire way of looking at the world! I decided to capture the value of my latent ideas by making them more liquid. In financial terms, I use them to buy a type of "future" benefit. Here's how my system works. It's a type of contract or promise between you and me. I promise to tell you all my "great ideas" openly and honestly at no charge or up front obligation. You promise that, if you take my great idea and run with it as a business or a project, you'll invite me to help you. (I love cool projects) You further promise, that if you get rich and I don't... I get invited to stay on your yacht. So if you accept these terms (or even if you don't), please introduce yourself below.
  39. 45 points
    It has been a long time since I wanted to write this post, but there are just so many ideas in my head I always felt overwhelmed with doing it. So bear with me it is going to be a tad technical and a rather long post. To those who have studied international trade or logistics it will be piece of cake. TL;DR: Skip to the back-office section way down this post. When I discovered Ripple business plan, it did not take me long to think about the amazing opportunities it offers with the Forex market. We know Ripple wants to tackle the Forex market and is already penetrating it. The daily FX, despite its recent slowdown, is estimated to have a 5 Trillion daily volume (Source: BIS). When we think about the FX market, what do we picture ? A bunch of dudes in suits ? Red and green numbers ? Yeah me too But who really uses the FX market ? Banks The greatest volume of currency is traded in the interbank market. This is where banks of all sizes trade currency with each other and through electronic networks. Central banks Central banks, which represent their nation's government, are extremely important players in the forex market. A central bank is responsible for fixing the price of its native currency on forex. This is the exchange rate regime by which its currency will trade in the open market. Exchange rate regimes are divided into floating, fixed and pegged types. Investment Managers and Hedge Funds Portfolio managers, pooled funds and hedge funds make up the second-biggest collection of players in the forex market next to banks and central banks. Investment managers trade currencies for large accounts such as pension funds, foundations, and endowments. Individual Investors The volume of forex trades made by retail investors is extremely low compared to financial institutions and companies. However, it is growing rapidly in popularity. But there is one actor I would like to give a particular attention in this post: Corporations Firms that are involved in importing and exporting conduct FX transactions to pay for goods or services. Much freight transport is done by ships. An individual nation's fleet and the people that crew it are referred to as its merchant navy or merchant marine. Merchant shipping is the lifeblood of the world economy, carrying 90% of international trade with over 100,000 commercial ships worldwide. On rivers and canals, barges are often used to carry bulk cargo. Shipping formulas Depending on the stuffing and unloading operations, the container will be: FCL start - FCL finish: From sender A to recipient A; FCL-LCL : sender A then unbundling on arrival to different recipients; LCL-FCL: grouping initially to a recipient; LCL-LCL: initial grouping and unbundling on arrival. FCL: Full Container Load LCL: Less Than a Container Load Many firms send large amounts of products at once, or send multi-million-worth products by ship. The associated risk is huge and therefore that is why the Incoterms exist. To further enhance the feasibility of such trades, firms which send expensive or massive products from one part of the world to another can decide to use a Letter of Credit (LC). A letter of credit, also known as a documentary credit or bankers commercial credit, or letter of undertaking (LoU), is a payment mechanism used in international trade to provide an economic guarantee from a creditworthy bank to an exporter of goods. Letters of credit are used extensively in the financing of international trade, where the reliability of contracting parties cannot be readily and easily determined. Its economic effect is to introduce a bank as an underwriter, where it assumes the credit risk of the buyer paying the seller for goods. Here is a very simplified diagram of the LC process: Now we are getting to the interesting stuff. What does it mean for us? The reason why I created this topic is: Forex exchange risk Companies trade forex to hedge the risk associated with foreign currency translations. Foreign exchange risk (FX risk) is a financial risk that exists when a financial transaction is denominated in a currency other than that of the base currency of the company. The exchange risk arises when there is a risk of appreciation of the base currency in relation to the denominated currency or depreciation of the denominated currency in relation to the base currency. The risk is that there may be an adverse movement in the exchange rate of the denomination currency in relation to the base currency before the date when the transaction is completed. Let's take an example: You are a French wine exporter (yes French, it's me who decide here ) and you concluded a contract with a US customer on March 1st of 2019. The deal is processed for an amount of $ 50,000 with a payment term of 3 months. As of March 1st, the exchange rate between the dollar and the euro is $ 1 = 1.5 € On June 1st, the exchange rate has changed; it is now $ 1 = 1.0 € The claim of the French exporter thus goes from 75.000 € to 50.000 €: the miss to gain is thus of 25.000 € So how to protect yourself from the FX risk? Many opportunities are available to protect you against foreign exchange risk. You can indeed: Bill in your national currency and therefore transfer the risk to the other contracting party. This solution is the simplest for a company. However, firms should be particularly aware of the impact this choice may have on the competitiveness of their products / services: a competitor who agrees to invoice in the buyer's currency may be more attractive to the foreign buyer. Insure against this risk to a greater or lesser degree depending on the arbitration you have to exercise between security (minimum or no risk of exchange that you agree to take) and the profitability of the operation (impacted by the cost the coverage you will have to pay). Take advantage of the various hedging instruments offered by the banks: Advance in export currency: this technique allows you to eliminate the foreign exchange risk (for a transaction actually paid at maturity) while financing the payment period granted to your buyer. The sale of forward currencies: you can establish in advance with your bank the price at which you will sell the currencies you receive in settlement. Currency risk is fully hedged provided that the timing coincides with the settlement. The forward exchange with profit-sharing: allows you to partially benefit at the end of a possible favorable evolution of the currency used, while guaranteeing you a minimum price. oThe exchange option: a hedging method that gives you the greatest flexibility to benefit from the favorable evolution of the currency rate. The last part is the most interesting for us as it is the solution the most widely adopted and it involves a lot of FX transactions. The forward exchange (futures) The forward exchange is an exchange of 2 currencies on a date (the value date) and a traded price (futures). This type of contract makes it possible to fix in advance a price between 2 currencies, and thus to hedge against the FX risk. The characteristics of a forward exchange transaction are defined in relation to a spot price (the price used for the spot exchange) for the day's transactions. The difference between spot and forward is called "term points". When the futures price is higher than the cash price, it is called "report". When the futures price is lower than the cash price, it is called "offset". But how is the futures price determined? Calculation of the forward rate (you can skip this to the Back-Office part if you want) Futures prices are not quoted as such in the market. For each currency, however, we know the rates of loans / borrowings on different maturities. These are the rates that will be used to calculate futures prices. From the point of view of the trader who quotes the transaction, the forward exchange amounts to combining 3 transactions: A "spot" exchange in the same sense as the futures transaction A loan of the currency purchased over the same term as the futures transaction (the loan repayment flow, a cash flow, coincides with the forward purchase) A loan of the currency sold (the repayment flow coinciding with the forward sale). The following graph illustrates the reasoning in the case of a forward purchase of the currency D1 against D2. Beware the dotted flows are fictitious and are only there to support the reasoning, only the flows at Value Date are real. Let's suppose the trader who is quoting the transaction is working on the following prices: Spot price D1 / D2: S12 / S21 (which means that the trader buys at S12 and sells at S21) D1 rate: t1e / t1p (which means that the trader lends the currency D1, over the period considered, to t1p, and borrows from t1e) D2 rate: t2e / t2p And that he must quote a forward purchase of an amount M1 of currency D1. In order for the repayment of the notional loan of the currency D1 to correspond to this amount, he would have to lend today the amount M'1 such that: M 1 = M'1 + M'1 * t1p * N / 36000 = M'1 (1 + t1p * N / 36000) Where N is the loan term, in number of days. Similarly, the amount M2 paid in the future corresponds to an amount borrowed today M'2 such as: M2 = M'2 + M'2 * t2e * N / 36000 = M'2 (1 + t2e * N / 36000) and the term course sought is such that: T12 = M1 / M2 = (M'1 (1 + t1p * N / 36000)) / (M'2 (1 + t2e * N / 36000)) We know that the spot price S12 is such that: S12 = M'1 / M'2 So !! T12 = S12 (1 + t2e * N / 36000) / (1 + t1p * N / 36000) Or S12 is the price of the spot purchase t2e is the rate of borrowing the currency price t1p is the loan rate of the negotiated currency And conversely for a forward sale: T21 = S21 (1 + t2p * N / 36000) / (1 + t1e * N / 36000) Or S21 is the spot sale price t2p is the loan rate of the currency price t1e is the borrowing rate of the negotiated currency It's a bit complicated but once you enter the formula in an Excel sheet you do not think about it anymore! This means that the futures price, contrary to what one might think, is not an anticipation of what the spot price will be in the future. However, it is based on an evaluation of the value of currencies, via market rates. And finally we get to the juicy stuff. What is happening in back office ? The Back - Office system has the function of materializing the trades negotiated by the trader: Vis-à-vis counterparties: Emissions confirmation: currency exchange transactions are confirmed by SWIFT MT300 messages. Issuing payments: generation of a payment order (MT202) for the correspondent in the paid currency, a notice of entry of funds (MT210) for the correspondent in the currency received. If the counterparty is internal (customer, deal between 2 desks), the payments are made via accounting (debit / credit account). The chart below illustrates the flow of information between 2 banks and their correspondents in the event that Bank A sells Currency 1 against Currency 2 to Bank B: It is literally a maze of flows of information and payments. Why did I create this topic ? To enlighten all the flows of information and payments banks have to deal with when the FX is involved, and most particularly in the event a B2B relation (International trades). Ripple's solutions (messaging + xRapid) hopefully will help circumvent the issues we know. I am sure I forgot a lot of stuff, I didn't talk about all I had in mind on purpose, it was a lot to write in a single post, so please be kind. Thank you
  40. 44 points
    On June 1 we were made aware of a theft of 201,000 XRP (transaction F6E9E1385E11649A6C2F88723A821AF209B54030886539DCEF9DDD00E6446948) and immediately started investigation. It turned out that the account robbed was managed through Gatehub.net, and that the offending account (r9do2Ar8k64NxgLD6oJoywaxQhUS57Ck8k) had stolen substantial amounts from several other XRP accounts, likely to be or have been managed through Gatehub.net. The same day we made contact to Gatehub to make them aware of the potential security breach while continuing our independent investigation and contacting exchanges where the offender appeared to have laundered money. On further investigation, we found several other accounts connected to the theft, leading us to 9 primary suspect accounts: rU6EsDCiHHYbTtA4uGGo8zaaiRz2sbDBST rN5Gm1FijbTVeYFfpTRfGKfNZQY7hc9TbN rprMix9uYyQng5vgga1Vg8HTeBMCzaeM2i rUvPCdYJMzzGu9AFKrNeKgCTpxrpFc3RHt rJpKe5rbjgzzGJc1wm1xqKj6j4UjBQ6s48 rGSWKo2oiJnJiPEoHvDZTK2XG7RtE62Cbh rpBDxqWArAQTEfPeWwkUvBh1cbc885nirX r9do2Ar8k64NxgLD6oJoywaxQhUS57Ck8k rKZ14F9KT65chQ382M33U41a4eniGMAyfG From analysing the data, we found the first likely victim to be 10,000 XRP (transaction 30FBBD47F6791A00BF0C1DCFF6CBD8AECBF9EF71141544C031B8FAF3EACB4C41) on 2019-05-30 12:25:40 UTC. As of writing this report, 2019-06-04 12:30 UTC, we gather that ~21,700,000 XRP has been stolen from 50-60 victims, of which ~12,300,000 have already been laundered through exchanges and mixer services. We have while conducting the investigation kept contact with some of the victims, with Gatehub and with the exchanges used for laundering. Scenarios While there is still no conclusive evidence pointing to the centre of the attack, here are scenarios researched in our investigation: 1. Gatehub account hacks From analysing access logs by victims and transactions made on the XRP ledger, it does not appear that any accounts were breached on gatehub.net directly, using client login credentials. 2. Phishing From interviewing victims, it does not appear that any of the victims had been victims of phishing attempts through, e.g. e-mails impersonating Gatehub.net 3. Repeating nonce Since all victim accounts are older than December 2017, and while old accounts are more likely to be vulnerable to bad encryption implementation by transaction signing software, it seems not to be the case. To our knowledge, only a handful of accounts are vulnerable to this attack, none of which is the victims of this case. 4. Incremental nonces While repeating nonces do not seem to be the core of the attack, it is still a possibility that a poorly implemented signing library has used incremental nonces, which makes brute force hacking a possibility. We have not been able to confirm or deny this theory. 5. RippleTrade migration Since all victim accounts are older than December 2017, and many carry a RippleTrade username, bad practice in handling migration of user accounts could be the cause of the account access – however, it does not appear that all accounts are old RippleTrade accounts. Hence this is also unlikely. 6. Browser client hacking While it is possible to retrieve user information by exploiting a vulnerability in the Gatehub.net API, we find it improbable to be the cause of the attacks. The victims are spread globally, and any such attacks would likely occur by sniffing access on a shared WiFi. 7. Old database leak Since Gatehub.com is a hosted wallet provider, they store encrypted private keys. It is possible that an unknown database leak in the past has been exploited and private key brute forced offline until the offender found the funds retrievable sufficient. Exchanges and platforms used to launder money (not complicit) We have identified some of the largest recipients: changelly.com: 6,064,900 changenow.io: 2,976,192 kucoin.com: 1,081,500 huobi.com: 930,000 exmo.me: 136,940 hitbtc.com: 115,028 binance.com: 111,000 alfacashier.com: 58,000 Overview Yellow: Exchanges and accounts used to cash out exchanges Blue: Victims Red: 9 suspected accounts Note: A few victims may have not been channeled through the suspect accounts and have had funds sent directly to exchanges. A theft that involves multiple victims needs to be handled via law enforcement in various countries. We strongly advise victims to file a complaint with relevant authorities in their jurisdictions. On behalf of XRP Forensics https://xrpforensics.org (Public members: @alloyxrp, Bithomp, @Silkjaer)
  41. 44 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    It really depends on what you mean by "mass". At the moment the focus is not on getting XRPL wallets for all 8 billion people on the planet. The more immediate goal is to have all 8 billion people's international payments routed through XRP as a bridge currency. To make this work requires exchanges and traders (on ledger and off) to acquire and trade XRP. It also requires connecting fiat-in and fiat-out service providers to that core network. Traders are competitive folk by nature. When it becomes clear that other traders are making piles of money making XRP markets, then you'll see a mad rush of new traders wanting into the game. The is the kind of "mass" adoption I'm looking for. Keep in mind, traders making bridge currency markets are NOT looking to profit on XRP's price appreciation. What they are doing is profiting on the spread as payments go back and forth. One of my friends at a major bank, developed a system that trades more than a trillion dollars a day making markets. The spread (as a fee) adds up pretty quickly no matter how small it seems. However, you can speculate on potential side effects that happen in response to "mass" XRP market making. The most important thing is that it makes XRP very liquid to more and more currencies. Here "liquid" means that you can sell larger amounts on demand without moving the price in the market. This fact alone MAY draw people to use XRP as a longer term store of value. As they move in and buy up XRP, the increased demand MIGHT drive up prices. Again, as everyone here has witnessed, sometimes when prices begin to move for a sensible reason things can build on themselves. I've said before in this thread that I'm personally bullish on XRP adoption (in the above sense) this year. But like everyone I'm just speculating. Please don't trade on my opinion. My opinion in NO WAY reflects inside information about what Ripple (the company) is currently working on or going to announce. In fact, for the purposes of these forums, I'm much happier not knowing because it allows me to speak more freely without inadvertently saying something I shouldn't.
  42. 43 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    Wow, it is pretty clear I can't keep up with this thread! I go to sleep and there are two more pages. I was already two pages behind! Anyway, I'm not sure I've had a shower in two days. I think my wife deserves that. So expect me to start responding in earnest in a little while. I have read all your posts. Thank you for all the good questions and kind words!
  43. 42 points
    A few days ago, I opened a topic regarding the vast positive effects in regards to the FX market and International Logistics. One of the key elements I highlighted was the Letters of Credits issued by banks to help exporters / importers conduct their operations; because of how highly tied the Letter of Credits are with the Correspondent Banking system. As being one of the core of my studies, I always was passionate about International Trade and its organizations (IMF, WTO...). Hence I wanted to give the people another look of the DLT potentials. You can find more details on this here: Today, after researching within the World Trade Organization website, I stumbled on a hefty and interesting document: https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/blockchainrev18_e.pdf If you go to page 21 - 22, (pictures below), you will find the traditional trade finance process, which is extremely cumbersome. Also, you will have an overall distribution of the players within the International Trade as well as the contracts and documents these players use to perform exports / imports. Among those documents there is the Letter of Credit, to which I gave a particular attention a few days ago. The document is a gold mine of information that resonate with Ripple technology and how their employees are marketing their solutions. Here is a couple of quotes: Blockchain can revolutionize international trade towards paperless trade: Blockchain could facilitate national G2G (Government to Government) and certain B2G (Business to Government) border procedures: There are many mentions to Ripple throughout the document, but nothing unknown in that perspective. The bottom line is, the developments provided by DLT far surpass what we commonly think and, in that regard, Ripple' solutions, given its compliance with banks, are a perfect fit to upgrade the International Trade and Logistics as a whole. As I see it, I am definitely convinced DLT, and Ripple, will dramatically enhance International Trade as we know it and alleviate its highly fragmented system. And below you will find 2 other documents, published by the Boston Consulting Group that works closely with the WTO. These documents also emphasize on how International Trade and Logistics need blockchain. Resolving the Blockchain Paradox in Transportation and Logistics https://www.bcg.com/en-be/publications/2019/resolving-blockchain-paradox-transportation-logistics.aspx Pairing Blockchain with IoT to Cut Supply Chain Costs https://www.bcg.com/en-be/publications/2018/pairing-blockchain-with-iot-to-cut-supply-chain-costs.aspx
  44. 42 points
    Today Galgitron posted a very interesting snapshot from his spreadsheet. I analyzed it quickly to give a better understanding of the numbers behind the chart. The main focus are: Remittances And Payments between: 20 - 1,500 XRP (6 - 500$) Medium Payments between: 1,500 - 15,000 XRP (500 - 5,000$) Multiple things are interesting: The increase for both segments began at the same time, around mid February (Some event may have happened to trigger such strong surges) The increases are proportionally similar, slightly stronger for small payments, which seems logical in regards to remittances There are twice more small payments of 500$ max than payments of 15,000$ max, which again seems logical (low value, high volume) April 20ᵗʰ May 1ˢᵗ May 25ᵗʰ
  45. 42 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    I'm actively working on the club now. 47 pages is too many to expect people to wade through. I'm going to reply to all of your questions here so please keep asking if you are curious about something. But I'm going to split or copy your questions into their own thread in the club when I reply.
  46. 40 points
    Lumpy

    The Jed Attack

    (1/2) - 22 February 2020 Although never confirmed by Jed McCaleb, the "tacostand" XRP wallet (rEhKZcz5Ndjm9BzZmmKrtvhXPnSWByssDv) is well-known to belong to him. A quick look at the wallet and its transactions (https://bithomp.com/explorer/rEhKZcz5Ndjm9BzZmmKrtvhXPnSWByssDv) and you will quickly notice that Mr McCaleb manages his funds following a very strict routine. Every morning at 08:02 UTC, 1.7M XRP are sent to another wallet. The so-called wallet, activated by Jed, is then "in charge" of selling the XRP. A rigorous routine is also in place. Wait 09:00 UTC and you will see on the ledger the first "create offer". Offer that is usually selling 1M XRP for USD Bitstamp (IOU). Keep an eye on the XRP:USD.Bitstamp orderbook and you will see that the order is algorithmically managed. The price (exchange rate) of the limit order is, if needed, constantly adjusted. As an example, last Thursday (2020-02-20), the limit order was canceled and re placed 13 times. Jed aims to sell the XRP. The more the offer is at the edge of / at a competitive price on the orderbook, the more chance it has to be filled. However, this Saturday morning, 22 February 2020, Jed's automated bot sold 1.7M XRP for ... $188,456 USD, meaning that it sold at an approximate XRP:USD price of ... 0.11 USD. The price this Saturday morning being around 0.271 USD. The candle below highlights the magnitude of the slippage. Details of the transactions: https://bithomp.com/explorer/E470541E262C6DA171CFCBBD7A115A0F12EADE6B21360DDDC936723093CF6528 https://bithomp.com/explorer/4D705B1F0EC0C4B3DD01198EBDC01345528067F5CC3C280FB16D1C1FED9A8636 https://bithomp.com/explorer/AD536145D6F76EF8E019E897C200F4635DD20ABEE8EC2B20C9140706057C5E5D A trade has two participants, a buyer and a seller. Selling at a discount of 0.59% means that an individual (or group of individuals) made approx 270,000 USD of profit this morning. Luck or Jed's bot generosity is not, as you guess, the explanation of the dramatic event. The attacker (https://bithomp.com/explorer/raBmhBNmYFGe5hJ5Gez2MbpNspewctCAGv) has been preparing his/her/their coup de grâce. Although only successul today, the attacker has been groping for the flaw. Transaction activities of the wallet indicate that the wallet has been active on the XRP:USD.Bitstamp trading pair for at least two months. The wallet sold this morning around 1M XRP, cleaning all the liquidity / depth of the bids of the orderbook, then placed the first killing order (1) that Jed's bot decide to take, then the second killing order (2). Jed's bot also hit the bid for the latter. (1): https://bithomp.com/explorer/FEDC30F932389FC34D126172E26ACD10D79CAD78ACEA360B44B82ABA25868087 (2): https://bithomp.com/explorer/0E3372A2F43154B02100CEF29C941FBC85084EF2BDCA65FA7DCD4ACA709F214E The attacker does not act alone. Sub-wallets 1 (https://bithomp.com/explorer/rHjzw8L2ZBNhLfWw3yv8AY1hf1QYnRMriR) and 2 (https://bithomp.com/explorer/r9ujfsgebDGPEoQP7WFYcVrhEKQZPKVGd7), activated by the one mentionned above, looked like to have specific roles. Mostly create counter orders, allowing front running kind of strategy. To be continued... Many interesting unanswered questions: - What was the specific technical flaw the attacker took advantage of? - What is the profitability of the attack? (taking into account potential front running costs - previous tests / iterations before finding the flaw) - Will the attack repeat itself tomorrow? / Had Jed noticed the event? (2/2) - 25 February 2020 Yes. As you can see below, the attack was repeated every day since the first successful attempt. More active market participants during the week than the weekend has probably a positive impact (less slippage) on Jed's bot loss, although today's data indicate that the attacker had a +10% discount on the XRP bought. When yesterday, on Monday February 24th, many bids populated the orderbook, therefore reducing the potential slippage and the arbitrage gain, the attacker does not seem to be discouraged. The malicious wallet even sent few payments with some interesting memo (here below) to push for more cooperation... Cooperation that was indeed tried, successfully or not, in the past. Look at the memo below regarding a payment sent early January. A payment got some echo (payback, as a sign of approval for cooperation?) on at least one receiver. Please note that the client description below recalls some other events (https://medium.com/@john.cantell/hi-renier-8f887aee027b). John Nash would have been proud. Even in a decentralised exchange the concept of game theory can stand. Memo can support text messages, allowing market participants to communicate with each other and therefore, look at decision not in isolation but as being part of different interactions. As regards Jed's bot flaw, it seems that the algorithm takes decisions based on: the distance to the best ask: replacing the order to make sure that it is at the edge of the ask side the bid ask spread the volume depth of the bids: Jed's bot hits the attacker bids (in all examples), meaning that Jed's bot decides to hit the bid if the slippage is not too important and if a tight spread (mentionned above) is true Note that the above are assumptions and educated guesses. Digging into the transactions is probably the best way to know more about it. I am quite surprised that (my assumption) there is no outside / off ledger element Jed's bot relies on. For instance, the XRP:USD spot price of another (liquid) market, making sure that the decision to place an order on the ledger at x price is not irrational compare to the latter. The best for that being probably the BitMex XRP:USD spot index (https://www.bitmex.com/app/index/.BXRP). Peace.
  47. 40 points
    Once again people are freaking out because XRP has dropped below the $80 support level. $70 is on the cards in the next few days...and I can only imagine the retail panic if and when we get to that price. Yes, we hit $100 - briefly. We all knew sell orders would kick in and we'd come tumbling back down. We'd been on an incredible run, and we are due a massive correction. It'll happen, people will panic, and I think a year long bear market COULD be on the cards. Don't shoot the messenger, just my opinion. Now I've said that - just breathe in, breathe out. And let me give newer investors a quick history lesson and overview of the last 4 years, and encouraging words. I'll go over some technicals too. Apologies if you already know this, but it's all relevant. The last proper bear market was in 2018 / early 2019. Read that again. Fairly much we've been in a 4 year bull market (we used to call these "runs" as they were so short!). We've had a few bear "seasons" since then, but nothing decent. We've been spoiled rotten. Ever since the SEC gave XRP the green light in September 2019, it's been fireworks ever since. What followed was a cascade of events that were clearly just waiting for the SEC to drop the flag. The biggest reveal was xPool. This blew away the idea that public exchanges would be used for xRapid liquidity, and that banks wouldn't hold XRP. Instead, banks bought up XRP - causing its price to spike up to just under $10 by December 2019 (from a low of 50 cents in September 2019!). Banks used their XRP with a non-public exchange known as xPool. Central banks provided xPool with fiat liquidity. Banks could trade in and out of this single exchange - facilitating cross-border payments. Though non-public, xPool was fully transparent. Every bundled transaction was publicly visible. Transactions were bundled via Cobalt, with each bundle sent as a single transaction via the XRPL - where each bundle was then unpacked on private ledgers to maintain privacy for bank's customers. The transparency of xPool meant that accounting firms could audit everything with certainty (with access to each bank's private ledger too), and that governments had full transparency themselves over every single international payment made. A perfect storm for XRP was brewing. In fact, the demand for XRP became so great - from banks, central banks, institutional investors, retail investors - that XRP quickly overtook BTC and ETH in a huge wave of speculation that saw the space introduce the "XRP dominance" metric....which has never dipped below 50% since late 2019 (as an aside I met someone yesterday who flat-out didn't believe me that we used to have a "BTC dominance" metric!). XRP's price was propelled by one good news story after another. The whales who got in under $1 were waiting for a correction that never came. And so the price just kept climbing. History lesson over. I say all of this because even though XRP is due a big correction, the demand for XRP is only getting started. Microtransactions is where XRP's new wave of demand will come from. Coil is now 5 years old and since its partnership with Google - it's been the number one monetising platform for publishers. Coil has proven that microtransactions have a solid future. Next up will be M2M microtransactions on the ILP which will explode volume by at least x1000 what it is now. You read that right. Furthermore, STOs will finally be bridged via XRP so you can use your STOs to pay for anything - soon you'll be buying your happy meal with your STOs. Not only that, but the fast food restaurant will reward your loyalty by loading up your wallet with some of their own STOs. As mentioned, every transaction bridged by XRP. It's all coming - be prepared for a $1000 XRP in 2026 or so, with a nice long ride up to that price (I might take a quiet moment of reflection when we pass the $589 mark, more experienced readers will know what - or who - I'm referring to here). However, before we see those numbers, I'm sure we're going to revisit a low of $50, so hold on to your hats and do not sell. There's a decent number of whales who got in under $1 and have been waiting for this correction to sell into. Let them sell, let them enjoy their gains. Take a breather, and get ready for the REAL ride.
  48. 40 points
    BobWay

    Answer: My Dinner with David

    So true story. I met Wim Raymaekers and talked to him for more than two hours on the floor of the Bitcoin Amsterdam conference in May 2014. He was fascinated at all the things I demonstrated to him that Ripple could do. Our pitch was "Access, Speed, Certainty, Cost" at that time as well as now. Well the next day Wim reappeared with this other nice fellow named Gottfried. Wim asked me to demonstrate to Gottfried what I'd shown him. I was very keen to tell the both of them how interested Ripple was in working with SWIFT. I saw the two technologies as quite complementary (actually I can still make that case). The three of us talked for almost two more hours. Now keep in mind I had no idea who either of these guys were. Usually just rank and file employees walk the floor at conferences and discuss details with tiny new companies for three and a half hours. If they weren't SWIFT employees I would have thought they were monopolizing my time. The rest of the people manning the booth actually got annoyed I was talking to them for so long. Also keep in mind these were not meeting planned in advance nor did we have a quiet room. The stood shouting over the noice with me that whole time. (How could those guys be particularly important?) Also note that in Banking and Finance everyone has pompous titles. I never knew what to think. In banking, VP means "entry level". So these were very productive conversation and I tried very hard to sell them on the idea of a partnership. When they finally left, both deeply understood what Ripple (now XRPL) could do. So I expected them to call Patrick and set up an "important people" meeting. But no. Shortly afterward SWIFT announced the Global Payments Innovation Initiative (GPII) now (GPI). Look at the dates for GPI on Wim's resume. Even their collateral matched Ripple's almost point per point. (I couldn't find the initial release online.) Of course, I thought it was highly improbable that I had anything to do with their decision. SWIFT is a big company and probably works on lots of things for years before talking about them. But later, I was introduced to a SWIFT employe who was actually on the GPII team. So I told him the story and asked if it was correlation or causation. He said, "No, we had nothing like that going on. Wim and Gottfriend came in right after their trip and said, "We have a new number one priority..." and that turned into GPII. So it was in direct response to the (unintentional) fear I caused in both of them.
  49. 40 points
    BobWay

    Hi! I'm Bob

    It's late and I need to get some sleep. I apologize if I haven't replied to your post yet. I'll do my best to catch up in the morning. Thank you all for your warm welcome and great questions. But I have read all your posts even if I haven't responded yet. And based on that reading I'd like to say one last thing: @Hodor in the house!!! I can't tell you how honored I am! I've read lots of your articles. Thank you for having me!
  50. 39 points
    Hodor

    David Schwartz and 'Facebook Coin'

    Blog URL: https://coil.com/p/Hodor/David-Schwartz-and-Facebook-Coin-/UiNoDHA-J Curious about Facebook's new coin, Libra? I've collected David Schwartz's recent comments on it in my latest @coil blog! I hope you enjoy the read: Please feel free to share my blog with a friend or share it on any other platform - and thanks for doing so! My blog announcement links on other platforms: Twitter Reddit r/Ripple Reddit r/xrp Reddit r/RippleTalk Reddit r/CoilCommunity Bitcointalk - alt coin sub forum Bitcointalk - XRP speculation thread
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