As I am writing this, the last of my market orders have been filled. To all those, who kept calling for me to sell, - congratulations on the job well done. Your continuous well wishes manifested in a way that had only one possible outcome. As of today, I have no stake in XRP.
I am aware I maybe following in Vinnie’s footsteps (the fact that many of you have no idea who Vinnie is deserves a separate topic entirely), so feel free to gloat, once this too comes true.
If this is the only thing you will take from this post, you may stop reading now.
I discovered Ripple after bitcoin found its way into the news. Used to stare for a long time at the animation of the IOUs that moved on the map of an old version of the website. Was surprised at how often Israeli shekel blinked on the screen. And how alien the concept of IOU felt for the nascent cryptocurrency crowd, where one token on one blockchain was the modus operandi, and the problem of debt settlement was a foreign banker’s concept that should be shunned.
Coming from a society where cash rules everything, it was especially hard to understand why one has to pay fees for paying for the use of the money one has already earned, and why the same dollar at one gateway may be worth less than on the other. And yet it opened the road towards questioning the nature of relationships between money and value.
Something magical happens, once you understand that fiat is not the only form a value can take.
I remember the vigor xrptalk had towards building the future on RCL: the dream of JaiChai’s island, frequent brainstorming and grass roots initiatives, how people thought HaydenTiff was a dude.
Back then Ripple had an idea of thousands of gateways turning RCL into some sort of global FX cauldron. But they never made an effort to understand what drew the community (however small) to their solution. It was always “we built rippled, here’s some docs, now buy our xrp; why don’t you buy? ”. Once they figured out, that people are not paying enough for their token, the pivot happened. There was no mention of XRP on the website, ILP took the spotlight ever since.
But before, we had an actual German bank transact on RCL, public and verifiable. Fancy a look? ~fidor-hot through snapswap-us allowed for eur/usd transactions. However, it stopped without notice quite soon.
Ripple never acknowledged why. Same story with ZipZap and other ‘partners’. Eventually, Katz disclosed that banks abhorred the idea of being forced to purchase XRP (wonder why).
I miss the people, who left, because with Ripple it was always “Witness me, the 20XX is the year live production happens”. I hope they held at least to see the “ten cents by Monday”. I hope they sold at the dollar parity and beyond. I wish we could chat again.
Donch’s front-running bot became the reason of months of insomnia-induced dive into technical side of things. Because of it, I gained enough knowledge to annoy Ripple’s PR detail (guilty pleasures), whenever they utter another concept that fails to pass reality check. In my country there’s a saying that someone somewhere is mentioning you, when you hiccup. I hope whoever is responsible for ‘blockchain-based xCurrent solution” is having a constant stream of hiccups for misleading people.
NBAD was an unbelievable surprise. At first. The biggest bank that chose RCL over ILP felt like a validation of our choice to stick around all those years. The excitement in the air; it felt as if we were ready to watch the baby make their first steps. Only to discover that somewhere in between hype-y news articles and inquiring tweets, there will be no RCL usage.
Months later Brad will laugh in an interview about some Middle Eastern banker that called him alarmed that all his transactions will be public for the world to see. Didn’t the banker know about public side of RCL from the trials they carried before going live? Why did they chose to go into production regardless? Spent all those money to call off the use after announcing it to the world? For cheap publicity? Why there was no transaction in the ledger on the day and after the announcement? Why didn’t Ripple address it afterwards?
I was incredibly saddened by Katz’s tweet
There were millions of crypto exchanged for XRP, people bought it with the fiat they earned. Without those people XRP would have the value of exactly 0. And suddenly “they don’t get to judge”?!..
Bitcoin distribution looks fair, because everyone had to solve the same task to obtain the reward. Satoshi didn’t gift himself 21M btc with a click of a button, and retained the 85% between his friends and the company.
He had to pay for those btc like everyone else with the power cost and processing time.
It feels like Ripple found their high horse attitude. Again. Good for them to have the reason to look down on people from position of strength. I guess.
…These years passed in a blink of an eye. I am so tired. I can finally try to untangle myself away from being overinvested into an entity that clearly doesn’t need it.
I have had a privilege to be around most intelligent and kind people from all walks of life. I wish I had more time to ponder them with questions.
The uncertainty is terrifying. But I have no choice, other than to make this leap of faith.