“There’s clearly a lot of homework going on. The White House in particular seems to be thinking about what it means to have 80% of bitcoin mining taking place in China and the majority of ether mining taking place in China, “ Johnson said. “When you look at XRP, there is no mining, so from a foreign-control aspect or from an environmental aspect, XRP is a very different beast. And in conversations we’ve had with the administration, they seem to get that and think it might matter.”
While it is not perfectly clear what this means for Ripple’s trajectory in the short and long term, it suggests, along with other recent announcements, rising momentum for both the the XRP currency as well as for the real-time digital payment platform.
Recent SWELL Conference Generated Excitement
Former US President Bill Clinton delivered the keynote speech at Ripple’s two-day SWELL conference in San Francisco earlier this month, where he praised the possibilities of the blockchain. “This whole blockchain deal has the potential it does only because it’s applicable across national borders and income groups, the permutations and possibilities are staggeringly great,” Clinton said.
The SWELL conference also brought announcements that three companies — Mercury FX, Cuallix, and Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union are now using xRapid, which enables XRP to carry out transactions in “a matter of minutes.” This marks the first time XRP will will be used in commercial application by financial services firms.
“I’m really excited to bring the product into the market at a time when there is a lot of skepticism about digital assets and their real use case,” said Asheesh Birla, Ripple’s senior vice president of product. “Here’s something where we’re finding a ton of value and providing a ton of value to our customers to move money more efficiently.”
Upcoming Bakkt Launch Could Have Major Impact
Amidst all of the excitement surrounding Ripple, there is a larger launch scheduled in a few weeks that is projected to be the biggest crypto event to happen this year: Bakkt.
The International Continental Exchange (ICE), which is the driving force launching Bakkt, describes the cryptocurrency startup’s mission “to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant, and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security, and utility.” With a timeline to begin testing and onboarding in November, and trading and warehousing in December, Bakkt, too, could help drive the momentum for Ripple and other cryptocurrencies as 2018 comes to a close.