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  1. I used to work with Forex for many years and always distinguished one particular FX broker for its passion for new technologies. EBS (1) was a great broker which "was created by a partnership of the world's largest foreign exchange market making banks in 1990 to challenge Reuters' threatened monopoly in interbank spot foreign exchange and provide effective competition. By 2007, approximately US$164 billion in spot foreign exchange transactions were traded every day over EBS's central limit order book, EBS Market". EBS was bought by ICAP (mainly for its technology and the team behind it) in 2006 (2) and re-branded to NEX few years later. They recognized the potential and invested into the FX system heavily, e.g. "making it the fastest FX live-streaming data feed available from a primary market venue - spot FX data is currently provided at five millisecond intervals". Technology is still one of NEX' priorities (3). NEX looked into XRP in 2017 and the CEO made a bold statement - "there’s potential in the next-generation of cryptocurrencies like ripple. NEX is actively discussing building transaction platforms for cryptocurrencies” (4). Later 2017 NEX started “incorporating blockchain technology, the digital distributed ledger system that backs cryptocurrencies, in its system. Providing a trading platform for ether or ripple would be another step in its evolution” (5). The system in question, called NEX Infinity, has a very ambitious goal - “provide clients with a single platform that seeks to simplify trade processing, reduce costs and optimise their risk and capital across the entire transaction lifecycle. It will be capable of delivering both NEX Optimisation’s suite of industry-leading services and others available from third party vendors” (6). Interesting news from 2018, NEX will be bought by CME group soon (7), adding great spot platform to what CME already has which is XRP futures operated by Crypto Facilities (8). Together this could become the "Institutional Hedging" facility, hinted by Miguel Vias (ex-CME employee) in Q4 2017 XRP Markets report (9). Interesting times ahead, let's wait for "the second half of 2018" when the transaction is expected to close in, "pending on the approval of regulators and NEX shareholders". (1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Broking_Services (2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NEX_Group (3) https://www.nex.com/about-us/our-priorities (4) https://finance.yahoo.com/news/one-biggest-global-currency-exchanges-104726642.html?guccounter=1 (5) https://www.ft.com/content/9f2aefd4-3ec2-11e7-82b6-896b95f30f58 (6) https://www.nex.com/~/media/Files/N/NEX/nex-docs/21179_NEX_AR2017_Online.pdf (7) https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/29/cme-group-deal-to-buy-nex-for-5-point-5-billion.html (8) https://www.coindesk.com/ripples-xrp-just-might-next-big-crypto-futures-market/ (9) https://ripple.com/insights/q4-2017-xrp-markets-report/
  2. Shout out and attention for @xrptipbot for another awesome XRP related service.
  3. I understand that Ripple has done an incredible job establishing connections with banks worldwide but something has occurred to me. The blockchain technology used by Bitcoin is OUTDATED. That being said there are newcomers like Cardano and IOTA which are introducing the so-called "Tangle", in other words, Blockchain 3.0. I would like to know, how much significance is this really? Would it not behoove Ripple to update their blockchain technology as well, or even convert to tangle? I think that the combination of strong connections with banks and other companies, and using the top technology would be great, but it seems Ripple has great business tactics and services, with what is ultimately subpar technology. Do you see what I mean? Ripple trumps other cryptocurrencies in the service they are providing in conjunction with the banks. Nobody is doing that. But Cardano and IOTA clearly have better technology on their hands so....what do you think? Please let me know. Also please share your thoughts on TRON, which is led by Ripples former Chief Representative in Greater China, Justin Sun. There must be some significance there.
  4. In this post, I want to discuss technology 'diffusion' in general terms and share some reflections about current and potential partnerships, speed of platform adoption, and incentives. The path to technology adoption Ripple is a technology and innovation company. New technology typically follows a 'diffusion' path to market penetration. Below is the well-known Rogers technology adoption curve, with the timeline going left to right. Later modifications to this graph show a gap between early adopters and early majority, called a 'chasm', that takes significant work to bridge. And this is a table describing typical characteristics of organizations falling in one of the 5 groups under the Rogers curve. With that out of the way, and credit where it's due (these were borrowed for illustration purposes from hundreds of similar Google images and are not mine), I come to my own comments and questions. What's in a partnership? The Ripple Cheat Sheet (thank you, @tomb) shows the by-now 100+ partnerships with banks and FIs, mostly large ones. Now, in trying to classify any of them under one or two of the categories above, I would tend to put banks under the two rightmost ones, that is, slow adopters and laggards, burdened, additionally, by much regulation. No surprises there, I believe. As to these 100+ partners, I ask myself: are they truly innovators (according to the characteristics above), or are they just being thought of as such because they signed up, yet, despite it, are still traditionally slow and even reluctant adopters? Is there a contradiction there, or not? Can you partner with someone while not really committing to doing much for quite a while? I seem to recall recent news to the effect that, among those presumably on board, hardly anyone is using XRP and that there are no plans to start using it -- yes, there's Cuallix. Speaking of Cuallix, was it a one-off event or are they now in full-blown XRP usage mode? And, if Cuallix is a KYC/AML-compliant player, how hard can it be for others to become so? As to XRP, I also hear that '....and there's no need to use it,' but that it would be cost-effective to do so and that this should become self evident in time. I always think of time as the one commodity that we never have enough of, and where complacency equates to likely extinction at the hands of others with a greater sense of urgency or just better aim. Think you are always behind the eight ball, act accordingly, and you may not end like a turkey at Thanksgiving, or the dinosaurs, who should have been looking up, not down. Quiet confidence and far horizons are great things, but wear a helmet and carry a big stick just in case. I have been through various corporate enterprise transformations. It's always some sort of 'journey.' These days, whenever I hear of a long journey with approximate dates (3-5 years) to reach level Z, I want to know what this means in terms of level W six months from now, level X a year from now, and level Y two years from now. Journeys without specific milestones, fleshed-out steps, and clear deliverables are more wishful thinking than plans to execute to. In this sense, I admit to my unabashed preference for 10 very active partners today, as opposed to a growing list of 100 or even 200 partners in name, who may be essentially observers. What do these partnerships commit Ripple's counterparts to doing, if anything, and in what time frame? What is their value? And what is needed to go from stage-one passive partners to stage-two active users of the platform and product (XRP)? What about potential partners that may fall under the leftmost two categories under the curve? Do any of the current ones qualify there, or is Ripple actually targeting the sector that is always the last one to come on board? Are these current partners forward-thinking firms, chomping at the bit to get things done, or are they idly curious hedgers no different from their not-yet-partnered competitors? Is this an attempt by Ripple to completely reverse the technology adoption curve (because of who is being targeted first)? If not, what is being done to 'seed' interest among those who may already be found in other sectors more to left under the curve? Of incentives and potential partners I wonder about the recently announced financial incentive/accelerator program meant to encourage partners to start using different bits of Ripple's platform and technology, and to the actual size and agility of potential partners, as follows: 1. Incentives: Are the incentives needed because of the very conservative attitudes of many/most/all of the 100+ partners? Are the incentives a roundabout way for Ripple to try to move laggards to the left under the Rogers curve and make them more 'innovator-like'? Is this a sensible thing to do or hope for? Who are these incentives targeting, specifically? How likely is a financial incentive to actually get someone who refuses to cross a go/no-go gate to actually do it? Does money work at all in this instance? Has the 'mental (or other) hurdle' been correctly identified, and is a financial incentive the right approach? Better to have a war chest than not, but it does not eliminate the need to clearly understand what may be behind the resistance. If one insists on defining early partners as those being innovative and eager to embrace change, why are incentives needed at all? What is it about the overall concept that is not persuasive enough that a subsidy is needed to get their attention? I am wary about incentives and how they are used, and the corresponding expectations. If banks are waiting for the final word on regulations to take a step, and if this is unlikely to happen for a number of years, why would incentives work now? Throwing money at a problem can help, do nothing, or even backfire, depending on the circumstances. 2. Size/nimbleness of potential partners: Are there any payment providers under the leftmost two categories that, perhaps due to their small size, are not being explicitly targeted by Ripple as potential partners in the cross-border payment space? Is going after mega players and mega players alone a comprehensive enough approach, or would it be valuable to target smaller payment providers as well? Do they even exist, and are there any among the current partners? If not, why not (is it due to the need to focus limited marketing resources on firms perceived as more relevant because of sheer size), and would it be worthwhile to try to bring some of these into the fold, so to speak? What about those who might have a strong use case for Ripple and XRP, just not in cross-border payments? Conversations are going on in fintech about viewing payments as one thing, with borders eventually becoming part of the old way of thinking and framing problems. Does this very narrow current focus pose a threat long term? Small businesses: definition and impact US Census Bureau data, as reported by the SBA (Small Business Administration), show that in 2014: -- there were 5.83 million employers/businesses in the US. -- 5.81 million businesses (99.7%) had fewer than five hundred (500) employees, and were therefore classified as 'small businesses.' -- 5.21 million small businesses (89.4%) had fewer than twenty (20) employees. -- small businesses were responsible for 46% of private-sector output. -- small businesses made up 98% of businesses exporting goods. -- small businesses made up 33% of businesses exporting value. Ripple itself is a small business. Are there potential partners in that peer-space? The focus on Asia and huge FIs makes me wonder if potential US-based partners of smaller size are being overlooked and if that may be a marketing strategy worth pursuing. Conclusion Many people might have waited until there was definite proof that Earth was not flat before venturing from Europe towards the West Indies and risking a terminal fall off the edge. Such proof would never be available until someone had gone and run the risk of never coming back. These wait-and-see laggards, those that dread making mistakes and shy away from innovation and breaking new ground until their true genetic makeup as terminally risk averse is eventually confirmed via an anticlimactic and butt-dragging 'me too', are alive and well today. In executive circles, especially in the US, where originality is frowned upon, not losing your bonus and your job is a top priority, leading to groupthink and usually losing the race to those smaller players more willing to take the plunge. Columbus just up and went, and got the deed done on the strength of sheer commitment while literally navigating a sea of uncertainty and adversity. Are we looking with false expectations to significant outcomes from some of these partnerships, and are there any latter-day, overlooked Columbuses out there that, even with KYC and AML and the rest of the constraints, can more quickly move to Ripple's platform/ILP, and full-blown XRP adoption and usage while needing no additional incentives to do so? I refer here to a broader spectrum of true innovators, nimbler than the financial Goliaths and perhaps focused on areas complementary to cross-border payments or even beyond. These are some of the questions I ask myself today.
  5. This from YouTube (under 10 minutes in length): Top 20 reasons why startups fail and Ripple won't While the author does not offer a lot of detail as to 'why' Ripple won't fail, at least according to some of the reasons in the bottom half of the list, they are still valid points to keep in mind when framing one's thinking about Ripple vs. the companies, organizations, or teams behind other crypto assets, be they budding or 'established.' Also, the author presents a critical summary of SWIFT, and briefly reviews Ripple partnerships. Although the focus here is not explicitly on XRP, it all adds to the context. Overall, this is the point of view of someone whose work in banking goes back to the 1980s, who has experienced first-hand the limitations of current options for money transfer, and who clearly believes in Ripple's potential, per previous videos as well.
  6. https://m.cacm.acm.org/news/219436-technology-that-could-revolutionize-banking/fulltext?mobile=true
  7. https://cointelegraph.com/news/ripple-overtakes-ethereum-to-become-second-largest-crypto-after-japanese-bank-consortium-formed
  8. http://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/news/bitgo-develop-secure-enterprise-wallet-ripples-xrp/
  9. https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/ripple-targeting-entirely-different-market-bitcoin/
  10. source of this document here we go, SBI Stake holders presentation on this year's projects and milestones. www.sbigroup.co.jp/english/investors/disclosure/presentation/pdf/170301presentations.pdf SLIDE 34, 35, 36 and 37 Source:
  11. Source: http://support.ledgerwallet.com/knowledge_base/topics/general-ledger-nano-s-faq
  12. The Birth Of A Blockchain: From Ripples To Making 'Crypto' Waves: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogeraitken/2017/04/03/the-birth-of-a-blockchain-from-ripples-to-making-crypto-waves/#18321c26418b Blockchain Boom Begins: Ripple Locks In 10 More Financial Institutions: https://www.forbes.com/sites/madhvimavadiya/2017/04/26/blockchain-ripple/#96e1a4379f11
  13. Guest

    Global Entrepreneurship Summit

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/06/24/email-daymond-john-why-ill-be-todays-global-entrepreneurship-summit Obama spoke with global entrepreneurs about improving the world's financial system!!
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