Since inception, Ripple has pitched the narrative of working with regulators and financial institutions to create better financial infrastructure globally. The company has taken many strides forward on the enterprise level, but what does the retail opportunity look like? Facebook Libra was supposed to be a retail juggernaut, introducing billions of users to cryptocurrency. As of recent, the Libra developments have been a regulatory mess. Could Ripple’s relationship with regulators help it enter the retail space?
Historical Mass Adoption
Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency with the longest track record, but you could argue it’s “unknown creator” infrastructure limits its ability to ignore regulators. Bitcoin truly has “store of value” traits, but one could argue that other cryptocurrencies such as XRP could have a faster routes to mass adoption among regulators. If we take a look at any industry altering “tech” historically, all of them had to deal heavily with regulators. Its rational to believe that if cryptocurrency is going to disrupt the payments market, it will have to be a project that can physically deal with regulators.
The Business Model Makes Sense
Ripple has been working with financial institutions for years now, doing laps on entities like Facebook Libra who are just entering the market. Ripples business model puts it in a great position to eventually enter retail. A simple roadmap would be…
- Getting institutions involved in Ripple products ( which they have been doing )
- Getting financial institutions involved in crypto ( which they have been doing, MoneyGram now moving capital in XRP
- Getting institutions involved in rolling out retail solutions ( no developments yet )
Obviously this is a simple roadmap, but it gives you an idea how Ripple can ultimately get to mass adoption. There are thousands of FinTech companies trying to introduce their products to banks daily. Ripple has been there for years and they’re arguably in the best position to fuel cryptocurrency mass adoption in the retail space. Again, if the payments space is going to be disrupted by cryptocurrency / blockchain it’s very hard to believe this will be done without high regulatory involvement.
From Enterprise To Retail
It’s starting to become evident that XRP is making a splash into the retail space. Most recently, BitPay announced they were integrating XRP. This was actually quite significant news for the XRP ecosystem. BitPay does a lot of business, equating to about $1 billion in payments yearly. During this time, users were mostly transacting in Bitcoin which has substantially longer settlement times than XRP. A while back, Bitpay mentioned a lot of their business was being generated in the real estate space. These tend to be large transactions and XRP could truly make an impact. If we think about society today, what they value most is “time.” Imagine the impact XRP could make if all these real estate transactions were being completed in 4 seconds.. It’s going to take time for Bitcoin to scale and correct settlement. That’s why the “store of value” agenda fits better right now for Bitcoin. With XRP fees being substantially lower than Bitcoin, imagine the additional value that is being built for these large volume transactions. With Bitcoin needing more time to scale from a fees perspective, it’s “attrition” should look unfavorable for some time. In the meantime, XRP could make a large dent in the retail space from a settlement and fees perspective.
Another Massive Ripple / XRP Retail Push
Just recently, Ripple announced their investment / partnership with BRD ( one of the most respected crypto wallets around ). For those unfamiliar with BRD, it’s a powerhouse in the retail space. Ripple shared that BRD…
“BRD is the fastest-growing consumer mobile crypto wallet, with currently 2.5 million+ users in 170 countries.”
If you want to talk about a retail push for Ripple / XRP, affiliating yourself with BRD is the way to do it. As discussed above, Ripple is taking a very strategic approach and you could argue its slowly taking some of its momentum into the retail space. It’s really the only cryptocurrency project that is working with regulators, has mass adoption like performance metrics and can potentially disrupt both enterprise and retail markets.
At the time of this writing, XRP is slowly rallying post BRD news yesterday. As you can see below, XRP is showing the strongest move up the last 24 HR among its competitors.