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  1. There's an old joke among economists: two economists -- one younger, one older -- are walking down a sidewalk, when the younger one points out a hundred-dollar bill lying on the ground. "Nonsense," the older economist replies. "If there were really a hundred dollar bill on the ground, someone would have already picked it up." Looking at the long-term plan for RL and XRP, XRP seems like an excellent investment opportunity at its current price. Think of it as the hundred dollar bill, lying there on the ground for the taking. And yet the majority of two key groups -- firstly, the cryptocurrency community; secondy, the traditional investor class -- have eschewed it thus far. On the surface this seems puzzling. Why wouldn't they jump on board -- particularly after the spectacular run of the past few weeks? Why won't they pick up the hundred dollar bill lying so obviously in front of their feet? The members of the traditional investor class are actually the easiest to explain, so we'll start with them first. Three months ago, I sat down with my father -- who is nearing retirement -- and tried to explain to him what XRP was, how it worked, what the long-term could hold for it, etc. It didn't go well. "I don't get it -- they're just making money up... where's the value?... how do I know they won't just disappear tomorrow with my money?" etc. I did my best to address each of his concerns in turn, but it didn't matter -- I might as well have tried explaining heaven to a bear. My point is: many of the investor types grew up in an era when paying with a credit card involved calling some company on a land-line with a rotary-phone, then hauling out some heavy device and *chunk-kerchunk* making a carbon copy of the card itself and then filling in the blanks with a ball-point pen. These are people who only recently warmed up to buying things on Amazon. They are old dogs and blockchain is a very, very new trick. I know what you're thinking -- surely after I went to him and told him what my initial investment was, and what it's worth now (4000% later), he would jump on board, right? "Is it in your bank account?" Me: "well, I'm not converting it back into dollars yet, because I expect it to keep going up." Dad: "So basically, you've got monopoly money. It could crash tomorrow and you'd be back to square one." (Nevermind that his retirement account could do essentially the same thing, but that's a separate topic...) All that to say: the blindness of people like my dad is understandable and not particularly surprising. Because of the blinders they have on when it comes to blockchain, they are going to be blind-sided by (to use crypto-yoda's term) "the greatest transfer of wealth in human history." But what about the rest of the blockchain crowd? Surely they have no excuse. They understand the technology. They witnessed -- and many of them got rich from -- the meteoric rise of first Bitcoin, then Etherium and others. Why, then, do they not see the potential that is right before their eyes? Humans have a notable tendency to mentally block-out any information that conflicts with their own views of the world or -- more relevantly -- how it should be. Many of you are probably familiar with what I'm talking about here: cognitive biases. Anyone who has experience debating people of different political or religious views will have experienced this firsthand. No matter how logically you make your case, you often find the opposing party digging their heels in further and further in the face of your arguments. To people who are deeply entrenched in the Bitcoin and Etherium communities, the very nature of Ripple -- its cooperation with the banks, its willingness to work within the financial system in its current manifestation rather than attempt to overthrow the system in its entirety, etc -- is anathema. You might as well try to convince a conservative Catholic of the merits of abortion, a socialist of the merits of free-markets, a libertarian of the merits of the Federal Reserve, an environmentalist of the merits of fracking, a vegan of... well... you get the idea. Regardless of your philosophical outlook, we all cling to notions of how things should be -- and any evidence that contradicts must be either error or a lie, mustn't it? Mustn't it!? The crypto-anarchist undercurrent that drives a significant portion of the crypto-community is, beyond question, a philosophical outlook. I say this as someone who is largely in agreement with the crypto- and privacy-advocacy communities. In fact, I have personally wrestled with the apparent disconnect between my commitment to privacy along with my personal skepticism toward the big banks, one hand, and the vested interest I have (via my investment in XRP) in seeing Ripple/XRP succeed. And I'll be honest: I haven't fully reconciled that. I still wrestle with those questions. But nonetheless, despite my skepticism of the financial system as it currently operates and toward the big banks in general, I cannot deny the mounting evidence that suggests that XRP is a sound long-term investment, with a clear use-case, a solid team of developers, and enormous growth potential. Lets go back to the joke at the beginning. The hundred dollar bill is lying there on the sidewalk, with the face of Ben Franklin looking up at you with that dour, slightly disapproving look that suggests he just finished reviewing your browser history. A hundred dollars, just there for the taking -- yet hundreds, maybe even thousands, have walked by without picking it up. Some of those people don't believe in paper money, and so they walk on past it, dismissing it as a folly. These people are the traditional investors. Some of those people thing money is the root of all evil, and so they walk on past as well, rather than sully their hands with the devil's scrip. These people are the die-hard members of the bitcoin establishment. And then you come along. And it's not just a single hundred-dollar bill. It's a whole #$%&ing stack of them. There for the taking. Under normal circumstances, that pile of money would have been snatched up or scattered to the winds as a hundred greedy hands fought over it. Under any normal circumstances, the surplus XRP would have been gobbled up until all the growth potential was fully priced in. But because of the peculiarities of the world-views of the investor class and the bitcoin establishment, they've both walked on by that pile of money. In short: there's tremendous profit to be made here, but because most of the potential investors are too damned blinkered, that profit potential has not yet been fully priced in. I'm not a stock market analyst. There are many here and elsewhere who can tell you far more about trend-lines and waves than I could ever hope to understand. But it doesn't a background in finance and trading to see the way most potential investors are probably missing out. Could I be mistaken? Of course. I ask myself that question several times a week, wondering whether my biases might be blinding me to any potential pitfalls. So far I haven't seen any, though -- and so in the meanwhile, I'll continue to invest, believing that there is a great long-term profit to be made here. Only time will tell.
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