Alluding to the spate of controversies that have beset the project, Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, has argued that Ripple’s “transparency has opened us up to attack.”
In an interview for the Off the Chain podcast hosted by Morgan Creek Digital Assets co-founder Anthony Pompliano on Oct. 9, Garlinghouse said there is a “bunch of misinformation” out there, but claimed that this is in part because Ripple is “ten or a hundred times more transparent than anyone in the crypto community.” He said:
“Our transparency has opened us up to attack […] Ripple has tried to lead by example.”
Pompliano revealed that by far the most listener questions related to the high-profile controversy over Ripple’s handling of XRP token sales, to which the CEO reiterated his earlier reassurances that the firm would choose to dump tokens and depreciate XRP’s value given that it is “the most interested party in the success and health of the Ripple ecosystem. We own a lot of XRP.” He outlined how Ripple manages its XRP token holdings, noting that the company had created 55 escrows, each containing 1 billion XRP that become unlocked once a month.
Once released, he said Ripple returns 80% of the XRP into newly-created escrows for the future. He emphasized that while Ripple may own the escrows, they have cryptographic signage on their contracts, meaning that the firm can’t open them at its behest. With the remaining released XRP, Garlinghouse said Ripple either sells the tokens programmatically or over-the-counter (OTC) to institutional clients wanting exposure to XRP. Now that the market has become more liquid, however, he said these OTC sales are declining and Ripple often refers to such clients elsewhere. Overall, Garlinghouse estimated that Ripple sells XRP at 10 basis points of daily market volume — i.e. 99.9% of XRP volume is not connected to Ripple.
Garlinghouse also claimed that Ripple is the “only example of crypto and blockchain being used at scale, period.” While he conceded that he was himself long on Bitcoin — “it is working, it is scaled” — he said that when it comes to blockchain enterprise solutions, Ripple is the only project out there that has passed experimentation and moved onto scaled implementation. In a sign, perhaps, of the prevalence of Ripple-related controversies, Garlinghouse’s discussion of the relation between Bitcoin and XRP circled back to another contentious issue. The CEO noted that several former Bitcoin engineers, as well as Ripple founders, were involved in the creation of the XRP ledger, yet underscored that “the XRP ledger was created before the company Ripple existed.”
As reported, community members have previously taken the company to task for ostensibly attempting to obfuscate the nature of its relationship to XRP. Cory Johnson — a former Bloomberg TV anchor who worked roughly a year as Ripple’s chief markets strategist — has come under fire recently for his controversial analogy that “Ripple’s relationship to XRP is akin [to] Chevron’s relationship to oil.” Garlinghouse himself had previously used the analogy in an argument against yet another controversy: XRP’s possible security classification. “Exxon owns a lot of oil,” he noted. “That doesn’t make oil a security.”
Ripple’s Xpring Creates A Developer Relations Forum
Ripple’s Xpring will launch a community web page and forum referred to as “developer relations,” or DevRel, for its developer platform. Most of Xpring’s employees work on the engineering and product side of the table, explained a Feb. 1 blog post on the Xpring website. “We think of DevRel as the ears and mouth of Xpring,” the post reads.
Xpring originally functioned as Ripple’s investment branch. In October 2019, Ripple also launched an Xpring developer platform, giving creators a venue for digitizing money. Several months later, in December 2019, Xpring added features to its platform, including SDK, which added compatibility for programmers’ apps.
According to the blog post, Xpring mentioned communicating with builders via content, events and support. Xpring aims to present developers with helpful materials like sample code and tutorials. The blog post also mentioned hosting conferences, as well as giving technical support, all in an effort to engage the community around the Xpring platform. accordingly should a response come in.
‘I Think XRP Is a Scam’ Says Ben Askren Former UFC Star And Bitcoin Advocate
As regulatory concerns over XRP — the world’s third-biggest crypto asset — have intensified, some celebrities are stepping in to voice more FUD about the coin. Ben Askren, former UFC fighter and known Bitcoin (BTC) bull, has driven more scepticism toward XRP with a short tweet on Jan. 28: “I think XRP is a scam.”
Askren’s latest cryptocurrency verdict builds on a background of previous endorsements of other cryptocurrencies. The famous former Olympic wrestler is not only bullish on Bitcoin, but also supports Charlie Lee-founded Litecoin (LTC), the seventh biggest cryptocurrency by market cap as of press time. In January 2019, Askren was purportedly sponsored by the Litecoin Foundation as the mixed martial arts fighter for UFC 235 event. Subsequently, the UFC fighter appeared on his Instagram wearing a Litecoin-branded t-shirt. The celebrity has also promoted Bitcoin on his Twitter in October 2019:
“Just bought more BTC using @eToro was really easy, now all of you twitter geniuses can tell me Crypto is a scam while my assets go up!”
As Askren has been known as a shill for BTC and LTC for a while, a user on Twitter asked him a question: “The fact @Benaskren is staying quiet on XRP tells me its going to take it a long time if ever to moon.” Askren’s verdict didn’t take long, and a part of the crypto community on Twitter expressed some negative stance toward XRP, while the tweet has amassed over 2,000 likes as of press time.
Askren’s statement about XRP comes amid an already worsened situation around the coin as XRP dropped over 40% from $0.364 in 2019 to $0.183 in December, marking a two-year low. The situation has been exacerbated by rising concerns over the unclear regulatory status of XRP’s issuing company, Ripple, which faces a class-action lawsuit alleging that it held an unregistered sale of securities. Despite all this, CEO Brad Garlinghouse has recently hinted at an initial public offering for Ripple, which undoubtedly has some implications for the fate of altcoin. At press time, XRP is trading at $0.238, up over 1% over the past 24 hours, following a major green trend on crypto markets.
The CEO Of Ripple Drops A Hint About An IPO
XRP investors were surprised to hear Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse drop a bombshell comment during the World Economic Forum in Davos regarding the company potentially listing on the public markets in the near future. This comment came close on the heels of news regarding the company raising a whopping $200 million from private investors, as well as reports regarding their Q4 XRP token sales being the smallest seen in nearly three years.
Although it remains unclear as to what implications a Ripple public listing could have on XRP, investors in the embattled token don’t seem to be too enthused about the news. During a discussion at the Wall Street Journal’s “Journal House” panel in Davos Switzerland, the Ripple CEO made the comments regarding engaging in a public listing in the near future, telling the panel host that Ripple won’t be the first nor the last to go public, but that they will be on the “leading side” of blockchain companies being listed. He said, as reported by Asheesh Birla, the SVP of Product at Ripple:
“In the next 12 months, you’ll see IPOs in the crypto/blockchain space. We’re not going to be the first and we’re not going to be the last, but I expect us to be on the leading side… it’s a natural evolution for our company.”
This is certainly notable news, as it signals that the company’s recent $200m Series-C private capital raise might be their last round of fundraising before they undergo an initial public offering.
XRP has long been critiqued as simply a fundraising mechanism for Ripple, and the latest news regarding the company’s potential IPO has led some analysts and investors to note that the company may not need to build utility around XRP after they list on the public markets. Cantering Clark, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, called Garlinghouse’s recent comments the “ultimate fade” on investors in the embattled token. He facetiously noted:
“[Brad Garlinghouse] just pulled the ultimate fade on $XRP holders… Oh, uh guys, yeah we are actually going to IPO now, and offer shares that carry equity..so,…uh….about those coins. (Obsolete)”
Of course, there’s no guarantee that a public listing will impact Ripple’s eagerness to build utility around the XRP token, but it will make it much easier for them to operate without having to add value to the XRP ecosystem.
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