Meanwhile it's interesting to remind ourselves of the pickle (excuse me) Bitcoin has got itself into through greed in the face of their delusional egalitarian fantasies.
When the 4% decide their ship is sinking uncontrollably they will kill the dream themselves in their stampede to get out.
Bear with me...this will be a long, but I think very interesting, post. I read the article that came out today from Google talking about Google Pay and how it's already available on Airbnb, so I went down a rabbit hole for about 8 hours and dug a hole to China. Literally. And it basically was facts that I've read before, but never connected them all together. Take a look:
The craziest thing to me is how everything is connected in terms of companies, investors, you name it. And I should start by saying that I'm assuming the investors I mention (big name investors) probably have some power behind them and obviously they want a great return on their investment.
So we start with Founder's Fund. Founder's Fund (owned by Peter Thiel) is an early investor in Ripple, and also Airbnb. Founder's Fund and CapitalG (Google) are early investors in Lyft. Lyft uses Cross River Bank to pay their driver's, and Cross River Bank has implemented Ripple's software. Lyft uses Stripe as their payment processor, and CapitalG and Founder's Fund are early investors in Stripe, which also had an early investment from American Express Business Travel - this was acquired by Standard Chartered Bank who also invested in Ripple. So right there you can see how using Ripple links a ton of people, and has the potential to save companies money, which makes the big investors in those companies happy.
EDIT: Cross River payment solutions currently integrate with and are used by Stripe. In September, Cross River announced its partnership with Earthport, and Earthport announced its gateway partnership with Ripple in 2015. Earthport also has Stripe as a client...going to come back to this in the morning, there's a lot there.
Then we go a little deeper. A vc firm, 500 Startups, founded by ex Google and PayPal employees invested in WePay, which is considered a market leader among payment providers for crowdfunding site and small business tools. WePay already partnered with Apple Pay and Android Pay (now Google Play), and they were acquired by JP Morgan at the end of 2017. At the end of 2017 there were also 15 JP Morgan executives in Ripple's office one day.
Google Ventures is an early investor in Ripple and Uber. dLocal is a payment provider who integrated Ripple's software in the second half of 2017, and its customers include Uber, AliPay, WeChat Pay, and Union Pay, which are China's 3 major digital payment providers and they're ******* huge.
AliPay is part of Alibaba, Union Pay has a partnership with PayPal, and WeChat is part of Tencent Holdings, which is the world's biggest investment corporation. Tencent also has Tenpay, a payment system similar to PayPal. It was reported that Tencent was working closely with China's Central Bank in 2017 to develop a central payments clearing platform for online payments. In August 2017, key leaders from China's Central Bank met with Ripple at their HQ. AliPay and WeChat are the payment providers for DiDi Chuxing, which is bigger than Uber in China - in fact Uber sold their China operations to Didi for a minority stake in Didi. AliPay is also accepted by Uber and Airbnb. Remember - Alipay uses dLocal which integrated Ripple's software in 2017.
EDIT: China's central bank announced in August 2017 that all banks and payment companies must connect their systems with the Online Settlement Platform for Non-Bank Payment Institutions. All payment transactions handled by third-party providers will go through the new clearing platform beginning in June 2018. TenPay and AliPay each hold a 10% stake in the clearing platform. From above, Ripple has worked with China's central bank recently (fall 2017).
EDIT: Referring to the above ^^, I would not be surprised in the least bit if Ripple came out with an announcement and said they're partnering with China. Just China as a whole is a partner. It already looks like it could happen the way things are connected.
Alibaba and Union Pay also invested in Ucar, a rival to Didi.
Tencent invested in Uber and Lyft, Alibaba and Didi invested in Lyft, and Softbank Group invested in Uber. Softbank Group also has a 30% stake in Alibaba. So again, because of the savings, if Ripple is saving these companies money, I would imagine everybody wants Ripple to be used in the companies they've invested in, especially if they are already linked to Ripple in some way.
EDIT: I missed some juicy stuff last night. In 2017 Stripe announced a significant global partnership with AliPay and WeChat Pay. The integration will now enable all Stripe merchants in over 25 countries to make money from Chinese consumers.The partnerships directly connects China's growing cash-less consumer base to hundreds of thousands of Stripe-powered businesses and merchants all over the world. Remember, Lyft uses Stripe, and Founder's Fund/CapitalG/Standard Chartered/Andreessen Horowitz are investors in Stripe, Horowitz in Ripple as well.
EDIT: Let's dig deeper into Alibaba, shall we? In November 2017, they acquired a 36% stake in Sun Art Retail Group, a Hong Kong listed business that is the largest operator of supermarkets and hypermarkets in China. Alibaba believes it can use the colossal amounts of data it picks up through its e-commerce and payment services to improve the consumer experience in-store, while also leveraging AliPay. The Auchan Group also has a 36% stake in Sun Art Retail Group. The Auchan Group is a French international retail group with a ton of supermarkets and hypermarkets. In 2017 the Auchan Group started operating BingoBox in China, which is China's version of Amazon Go. Customers at BingoBox pay through AliPay or WeChat Pay. GGV Capital is an investor in BingoBox, and a very early investor in Alibaba (2004). Side note, but Source Code Capital is an investor in BingoBox and Kakao - Kakao runs Korea's dominant messaging service and has a Fintech project called Kakao Pay which Ant Financial invested in. The partnership will leverage Ant Financial's strengths in digital finance services.
EDIT: Tomorrow I'll try to dive into AliPay and WeChat Pay and just how connected they are to the world, because it's huge.
And now onto India. Alibaba and Ant Financial (affiliate of Alibaba, most valuable fintech company in the world, and operates AliPay) have a 62% holding in Paytm. They also have a majority share in the parent company, One97 Communications. Paytm is trying to become the Alibaba of India. They have Paytm Mall, which is a clone of TMall, online retail operated in China by Alibaba. They also have Paytm wallets - could they follow in the footsteps of Alipay? Alibaba and Ant Financial are literally copying what they did with Alibaba but in India. Softbank also has a 20% stake in Paytm...remember they have a 30% stake in Alibaba. You can also use Paytm to pay for Uber...It's all connected. Patym is becoming Alibaba's vehicle for their ecommerce play in India.
Alibaba has a laser focus on payments because it sees payments as a key strategic battle to winning ecommerce. Up until a couple of days ago they were going to acquire MoneyGram, a top 5 global money transfer firms, but that was blocked by the US government. Remember, Ripple stated 3 of the top 5 global money transfer firms are on board with Ripple, so this move would have made a lot of sense seeing as Alibaba is already connected with Ripple. Alibaba said they're still going to work with MoneyGram even though they can't acquire them.
EDIT: Because why not do some more research. Alibaba has an 83% holding in the ecommerce firm Lazada. As of summer 2017, Lazada serves in six countries in Southeast Asia, and while it is primarily focused on online ecommerce, they did acquire Redmart to get into egroceries. Sounds very familiar to the Alibaba/Paytm relationship in India. The really interesting part of this is that Ant Financial (AliPay) merged with Lazada's helloPay platform to bolster payments processing capabilities. It goes even deeper. Earlier in 2017 Lazada announced an alliance with Netflix and Uber on a membership program called LiveUp. Subscribers get a range of deals and services across its platforms, Alibaba's platforms, as well as discounts on Uber rides and a free six-month subscription to Netflix. LiveUp started only in Singapore, but plans to expand throughout the Southeast Asia region. The alliance also helps Netflix find footing in Southeast Asia.
Also in India - Flipkart has big investments from Tencen/Softbank/Axis Bank. Axis Bank started using Ripple's software in 2017, Tencen's WeChat Pay runs on dLocal which uses Ripple's software, and Softbank obviously has a huge stake in Alibaba, which has AliPay running on dLocal as well.
And then for ***** and gigs, Bezos has personally invested in Uber and Airbnb. Amazon has Instacart through their acquisition of Whole Foods, and Andreessen Horowitz is an investor in Instacart...and Ripple. If we want to dig a little deeper, Sequoia Capital, which may just be invested in every company ever, has invested in Airbnb, Google, Instacart, PayPal, Stripe, and Yahoo. If we really want to stretch it, the President of Sequoia Capital's wife worked at Yahoo at the same time Brad was an SVP at Yahoo...which happened to be the same time Yahoo invested in Alibaba.
And this honestly might just be the tip of the iceberg, I'm sure there are so many more dots to be connected and a ton that I missed. But, it makes you wonder. If the companies are saving a lot of money through using Ripple's software, and eventually XRP, I can only imagine that the big name investors behind these companies using Ripple could potentially be encouraging their other investments to start using Ripple as well, if they aren't already. Is Alibaba, with their majority ownership, steering Paytm in the Ripple direction?
Welp, my brain hurts. This was a fun project though. Crossing my fingers for an announcement that Alibaba is completely using XRP, and somehow all of these actually are connected because I can't wrap my head around just how massive that would be.
I will break down my post from 1/4/2018:
1. Investor demand - Favorable and active
2. Strong business fundamentals - Favorable and active
3. Geopolitical events - This is the variable which caused the drop which I predicted January 4th - hence 'Be prepared'. The recent CoinMarketCap disclosure will work in favor of XRP short and longterm. XRP listed on Coinmarketcap is inconsequential; trivial at best.
4. Investor expectations - The recent price drop has unmistakably led many XRP investors to apprehensively sell their positions. This is beneficial to Ripple. Jerry Butler said it best in the 60s, 'Only The Strong Survive'. Consequently, individuals who sold in angst will be forced to either buy-in higher or regret their decision forever.
5. Momentum - Favorable, active, current, and dangerous. Coinmarketcap is immaterial to the success of XRP. In addition, the current upward momentum has become the Achilles' heel for countless, weak investors. Expecting higher and higher prices, today's slight drop in price (which was only 30% from the days open), caused panic in the markets and countless news sources to exclaim, "Is XRP done for?"
Rest assured, XRP is not 'done for' and is still on track for $5.02. As stated days ago, "A temporary price recession is absolutely necessary to propel XRP beyond $5."
A price recession was absolutely necessary and absolutely occurred exactly on schedule.
To those of you whom are new and struggle to HODL, just hang tight. When the price is $6 and the swings drop down to $4.50 it's going to look super painful, but it will be easier to hodl when you know all of your initial investments are in the green.
I think many of us struggle to hodl at first when we buy, because the swings rampantly run right through our buy points. we see green and the next day our entire investment is red. you must hold on tight though because after some time the negative swings will still be far above your cost average and it will be much easier to HODL through the storms. I am very fortunate in that even with todays turmoil I never saw anything near a negative ROI because I invested at such low entry points. everyone who hodl's today will enjoy that same experience in the coming months.
Well I'm completely $&%@ed for the next 24 hours. I get to "work from home" tomorrow, which really means "stare at BitStamp Tradeview, spam F5 on CMC, and post GIF's all day on XRPchat". Actually it's quite similar to what I do when I actually go to work now that I think about it...
2018 is going to be the year of XRP. With that comes the responsibility of ensuring the money you do make, not only lasts, but makes you wealthier. After speaking with some members privately, one of them (thanks @GlenHodl ) suggested we start a life after XRP thread and share ideas on how we can best ensure our new found wealth will last.
Here are my thoughts, and ideas that could help. I'm not an oracle and these are just my opinions - so make sure to do your own due diligence and research before investing your hard earned money. While I wouldn't recommend pulling all of your funds out of XRP at once you could take a percentage out at specific milestones and these could be some further investment options:
Invest in a domain name. If you aren't familiar with domain name investing, head over to NamePros.com (free), or DNAcademy.com (paid course) to learn more. You can turn $10,000-$50,000 into six figures by investing in domain names. Take a look at some of this years biggest domain name sale here: https://www.dnjournal.com/ytd-sales-charts.htm, if you can invest in a high quality 3 Letter .com domain name, or a 1 word .com domain name, you can turn it into some phenomenal profits. Don't go jumping in head first of course, it will take some time to learn how it all works before you spend a penny. So start learning now if this interests you so you're ready when the time comes.
Invest in a web based business to generate recurring revenue. You can find web businesses on Flippa.com, and DealFlowBrokerage.com. Be very, very careful when buying an internet business as 90%+ are complete wastes of money. If you have no background in running, maintaining, and operating web businesses this may not be for you.
Buy a physical business. Head over to BizBuySell.com and see whats around you that you could acquire, and optimize. Again, same goes for physical businesses, due diligence is key.
Invest in real estate. Whether it's land, condo, vacation rental, apartment complex or otherwise.
Invest in a startup you believe in. Imagine if you had a chance to be an early investor in Amazon, Uber, Microsoft, Apple, Instagram, so on. The opportunities are out there.
Put some into a low risk index fund for steady year over year returns and let them compound.
Find another early stage crypto currency that is delivering a state of the art solution to a problem that needs solving.
While this list isn't by any means the end all be all, it's a decent place to start the thinking process of how to generate more wealth from the money we are all about to make this year. I know it's fun to talk about Lambos, yachts, trips to Monaco and hookers... the reality is, that a lot of people who make a lot of money usually go broke in a very short amount of time.
I have my milestones and percentages set, and I'm in the idea phase of what to do with the profits. But I don't know everything (even though I've traversed the universes and literally turned myself into a pickle) so I would love to hear of everyones thoughts, ideas, and opportunities that we can invest in to further our wealth.