Ripple CEO Brad Galringhouse: Not Against Banks, But with Them

Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse has had quite a lot to say in the latest episode of Recode Decode with Kara Swisher, especially about the progress in the way the world views cryptocurrency and the need for banks to support this new digital phenomenon.

After a broad array of careers spanning across industries and domains, including @Home Network, SBC, Yahoo and Hightail among others, Garlinghouse now functions as the CEO of one of the most prominent crypto companies, Ripple.

Ripple sells software that allows a connection between banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges, and corporate entities, with the help of RippleNet. This ensures a frictionless experience to send money globally. It also operates one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitilization, Ripple (XRP).

With the System, Not Against It

Garlinghouse is of the opinion that the uncertainty surrounding blockchain and cryptocurrency comes from the understanding that people use it as a way to circumvent the government, while Ripple focuses on working with the system and the banks.

The idea is to make the transfer of large chunks of money easy. Currently, sending a large chunk of money from one bank to another bank in another country without breaking it into smaller packets is next to impossible. While the world is moving forward by leaps and bounds, the existing systems are still dependent on older technologies.This is why Garlinghouse and Ripple believe that banks should invest in software and modern technologies, like blockchain, to carry out real-time settlement, even between financial institutions, through correspondent banking.

In addition, Ripple is focusing on cross-border transactions, using their XRP ledger, the third most valuable cryptocurrency, avoiding the need for pre-funding. While Garlinghouse does not believe in one currency, or a cryptocurrency to “rule them all,” he still believes in adopting technology to create a better thought out solution to a lot of problems faced by banking communities today.

He believes a huge part of this process involves bringing in more people, almost like how phones have caught on, and gained massive popularity.

Possible Challenges

Garlinghouse does see a few potential problems, the main one being regulatory comfort and related uncertainty. This is because people still see the cryptocurrency world as a shady place which primarily consists of illicit dealings, which is not true. Ripple aims to get rid of these notions. Garlinghouse makes this clear by establishing that their firm is a Know Your Customer based firm, and all their customers are checked for financial regulation compliance, and other information.

He believes that many small banks will stand with Ripple in their attempts, as they are democratizing the financial world; and without this, the power would still lie in the hands of a few globally renowned banks, and the smaller regional banks use these big names to go about their businesses. In fact, even big banks are getting on board, with Citibank being their last customer, as publicly proclaimed by Garlinghouse.

Do Banks Have a Role in the Crypto Future?

Garlinghouse is of the opinion that governments and other regulatory bodies are not going to disappear, and that the regulatory framework that banks provide is very important for society to move forward.

While permutations are indeed very gradual, Ripple believes in making the shift for financial institutions as smooth as possible, making sure to protect their interests and work with the system. They aim to get rid of the suspicion around cryptocurrency, blockchain, and other related technology endeavors. In spite of regulatory frameworks being an important factor of society, Ripple believes that there is still much room for improvement, and aims to do as much as possible to contribute to the same.

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