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Hypothesis: Ripple has decided to seize upon the looming messaging app payment revolution in addition to their known efforts to engage payment companies for cross border remittance. 1) A Year ago Ripple hired Amir Sarhangi away from Google. "Sarhangi joined Google through its acquisition in 2015 of Jibe Mobile, a startup he founded and led that developed technology for wireless carriers to adopt Rich Communication Services." Beyond whatever organization and leadership skills he may possess (which I am in no position to assess), his innovation with RCS is very important. 2) RCS is the SMS replacement that allows for robust data and provides important business opportunities for both consumers and business messaging. It aspires to be more interactive and interoperable than SMS and has the potential to replace apps - you wouldn't have to download the Domino's app to order a pizza and collect cholesterol points if you can do it in the same chat your train tickets are in. Same with passes, travel, etc. This, in turn is handy for corporate expense accounts and group chats. With instant, trackable data, it could make customer engagement easier. 3) Sarhangi's Jibe Mobile was an RCS innovator providing cloud-based virtual IMS, IP messaging, video chat, and developer API gateways to mobile network operators. Building on this, Google announced it has worked with every major cell phone carrier in the world to adopt RCS as of 2018. Here is a slide from one of his presentations with Google (and GSMA) about the potential benefits: 4) Why does Ripple care? WIth great potential for mobile payments and mobile banking, it pays to care about RCS. Mobile payments are inclusive and open up, quite literally, the whole world as a market. Remember, Asheesh Birla said that Ripple considered giving away XRP to everyone in India but decided instead to target telcos & mobile phone providers where banking actually occurs: In a recent interview, he expressed exciting ideas about the global nature of cross-border payments that comport with this: 5) Messaging apps are the future of payments, and the competition has a head start. WeChat, the holy grail of messaging apps (well, it's big any ways), is the kind of thing Ripple enthusiasts hoped would adopt XRP. Facebook and iMessage already allow for P2P money transfers but increasingly the push is towards using messaging for POS. LG recently entered the RCS payment race with a trial of the Cross-Carrier Payment System. The system uses blockchain because, " it works via APIs it can be effectively coupled with RCS enabling frictionless yet cheap local and overseas payments." While MoneyTap is a push into the arena utilizing Ripple, there is great incentive for Ripple to bring the instant settlement of an XRP based product to market over RCS. 6) Sound like lot of data? It is, hence carriers rolling out 5g. Somebody has to pay for all that RCS data. This, too, is an arena where mobile operators are looking into DLT for streaming charges, and cross border digital wallets; again a perfect XRP use case. This report is from Accenture, a Ripple enabling pay channel. Imagine both consumer payments over RCS and the and the charges for the data moving over the XRPL independently 7) There are two snags with RCS. One drawback is that like SMS, messages are not end-to-end encrypted. Second, Apple has resisted RCS preferring their integrated apps. There are hints though that they are coming around - if every carrier adopts the RCS protocol, then pressure will mount to join. 8) Sarhangi is an RCS pioneer, someone who can help Ripple integrate into mobile networks. Perhaps his hire was an indication of a direction Ripple is pursuing to capture mobile payments. (apologies for stilted posts - were originally tweets, but just too long) References 1) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ripple-moves/blockchain-startup-hires-away-googles-messaging-tech-leader-idUSKCN1N02QA 2) https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/what-is-rcs-messaging/ 3) https://www.gsma.com/futurenetworks/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Google-Amir-Sarhangi-MaaP-Seminar-MWC18.pdf https://www.rcrwireless.com/20190408/opinion/rcs-texting-reader-forum 4) https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/987173/Bitcoin-price-ripple-india-cryptocurrency-ethereum-BTC-to-USD-XRP-news https://dailyhodl.com/2019/09/11/ripple-exploring-entry-into-global-micropayments-industry/ 5) https://cardconnect.com/launchpointe/payment-trends/messaging-platforms-pos https://ripplecoinnews.com/lg-corps-and-cbsg-consortium-plans-to-rival-ripple-trials-cross-border-payment-solution 7) https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/06/16/what-is-apple-business-chat-and-why-is-it-important/#2136c30b19c0
Just an observation I've made, notice the roll out of integration on both apps. Santander: https://www.coindesk.com/santander-uk-ripple-payment-app/ Apple: https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/24/apple-pay-cash-nears-its-first-international-expansion/ This is on the the eve of SBI Insurance introducing Apple Pay as a means of payments. https://prtimes.jp/main/html/rd/p/000000082.000002623.html And some recent Tim Cook comments, https://gizmodo.com/sagelike-tim-cook-dreams-of-seeing-money-die-1822969860