Ripple on path of ‘disruption’ but ‘concerns’ remain for hedge fund investors | City & Business | Finance

Ripple is back on the up after a difficult 2018 so far, and new chief technology officer David Schwartz has plotted the path for XRP during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session posted on YouTube.

Ripple’s aim in the year ahead is clear, rather than store value and replace money as a means of exchange, ripple wants to become the nuts and bolts of global banking, using its XRP technology to build a network of financial institutions using blockchain-based technology.

Following a recent tour of Europe, Mr Schwartz said: “I talked to a lot of banks and one of the things that I learned from banks that I didn’t really fully appreciate is that they are in fear of being disrupted by new technologies.”

Mr Schwartz adds that ripple can take traditional banks to a new level and allow them to compete with the up and coming competition in the banking industry.

He said: “With what ripple’s doing on the banking side, we’re trying to position XRP as a sort of intermediary asset that can provide liquidity between other assets.

“I think if those efforts are successful that’s gonna be a reason to use that asset if it’s more liquid and if it’s cheaper to transfer.”

However, concern is now being raised over ripple’s attractiveness to ambitious capital market firms looking for a new source of value.

Last week, rival bitcoin recruited another billionaire believer from the world of mainstream finance after it was revealed that investor Steven Cohen has placed money into a hedge fund focusing on cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based companies.

Cohen Private Ventures has invested in Autonomous Partners, a new hedge fund buying up cryptocurrencies and equity in blockchain-related companies as the world of mainstream finance begins search for the “next generation” of investments in the digital age.

However, Ripple is one notable absence from the spate of technologies in which Autonomous Partners is interested, raising concern that the XRP tokens will be treated differently when regulations arrive.

If the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US decides that the tokens are securities they will then be subject to different laws than tokens that are not.

Arianna Simpson, from Autonomous Partners said: “I have a lot of concerns about the level of centralisation there, and I have regulatory concerns if what they have issued is a security.

However, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse dismissed the fears back in June, claiming, “I don’t think that our ownership of XRP gives us control.”

He said: “Saudi Arabia owns a lot of oil—that doesn’t give them control of oil.”

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