The CUNY Crypto Club at Baruch College and the Zicklin Investment Club hosted the head of XRP Markets at Ripple, Miguel Vias, on Feb. 7 to discuss the future of cryptocurrency. Ripple, created in 2012, is a cryptocurrency exchange and remittance network that was designed for cross-border payments using tokens known as XRP.
According to its website, Ripple differentiates itself from other digital currency platforms such as Bitcoin and Ethereum with its legitimate bank connections and speed. Ripple has gained attention in the past few years with a return on investment of 3000 percent in 2017, as well as positive expectations for the future from experts.
Vias explained that in order to survive, a cryptocurrency platform must have two out of three potential focuses: scale, stability and decentralization. According to Vias, XRP has no decentralization in that the supply is largely controlled exclusively by Ripple. This factor, as well as the fact that XRP has scale unlike Bitcoin, draws investors toward XRP.
Vias spoke of the importance of liquidity to an online currency system and how the liquidity of XRP is what truly sets it apart from
Liquidity allows money to easily and quickly be transferred from one party to another and allows people to hedge the risk of their investments. For this reason, Ripple holds its liquidity in high regard and plans to extend it further in the future.
When asked about the lack of control over the price of XRP, something that concerns many people, Vias explained that controlling the price is not only unnecessary but also a “liability and a risk.”
Though some claim that Bitcoin’s Lightning Network — a network that allows for easy and quick transactions between two parties — could destroy the value of XRP, Vias does not see this happening. The difference in transaction time between Bitcoin and Ripple is a few more milliseconds and Vias does not see a real difference between two seconds and two tenths of a second.
Vias claimed that the majority of online platforms are not interested in competition. Rather, they are focused on improving their programs and spreading knowledge and acceptance of cryptocurrency.
Vias noted that XRP, as well as other cryptocurrencies, do not mean to replace all currencies but rather “grease the wheels of currencies in general.” Additionally, each company focuses on different issues and functions so they are not pitted against each other.
Together, the programs aim for more coordination with regulators and with government systems. Vias predicts that regulators will soon determine what can be done with cyber money but not the actual currency itself. He also believes that it is highly possible XRP will be accepted by banks by the end of 2018.
Regarding the future, Vias said that the network around the software of XRP and the corridor in which you can send money will continue to grow. Ripple also plans to extend the liquidity of XRP.
When asked about how to get into the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, Vias recommends to first develop a strong understanding of the industry and the network, then connect with as many people as possible. Vias warns people interested in starting their own coin or Token ICOthat it is hard to be successful. He says it is a big project for one person to handle — sponsorship is needed and anyone interested in doing it must be in it for the long run.
The Baruch Crypto Club was started recently, and holds events like this one to better inform students on cryptocurrency.