T:WTF 016 – Ripples CTO, Stefan Thomas on Ripple and the Internet of Value

Stefan Thomas is the CTO of Ripple. In this podcast we deep dive into what Ripple is, the pain that they are solving and their focus on the Internet of Value through Interledger.

The Pain That Ripple is Solving

In his words here is what Ripple is all about:

When you send money or move money around the world these days wire you have no idea what happened to it. You have no visibility of it and it costs a lot. A LOT!

Ripple set out to fix this problem.

Ripple’s focus is on transparency, lowering the cost, and increasing the speed of transfer. In more practical terms, what Ripple is doing it to make sending money around a lot less of a headache!

Banks, Blockchain and What It All Means

Of course, you cannot talk about money without talking about banks. Stefan gave some great insights into why banks are looking at the blockchain as a solution.

Alternative financial services are potentially a banks biggest challenge. These startups have no baggage. They are super agile and free of bad ways of doing things. They create cultures that designed to capture a banks customers.

To help solve this challenge Ripple has created an alternative banking technology. It can help a bank create a better customer experience and stay ahead of the unseen competition.

Disruption of the Old. Welcome the New

Of course, no conversation is complete without talking about disruption. Andrew Keys Podcast digs nicely into this. But back to Stefan!

The internet as we know it exploded thanks to Interoperability.

One of the payments world bigger limitations is the lack of interoperability. This changes when I can move money between different format and system. Everything opens up and get redefined.

Defining Ripple

Released Ripple in 2012. Ripple’s goal is to enable “secure, instantly and nearly free global financial transactions. Irrespective of any size and no chargebacks.

Ripple supports tokens representing fiat currency, cryptocurrency, commodity or any other unit of value. A good example can include frequent flier miles or mobile minutes.

Ripple core is based on a shared and public database or ledger. This uses a consensus process that allows for payments, exchanges, and remittance in a distributed process.

Getting Into The Payments World

Stefan shares his motivation to fix a very broken payment system. As he points out – it was a seemingly impossible problem for one person to fix. The release of Bitcoin changed that. The door opened where individuals could have a massive impact. This lead Stefan to Ripple.

Africa integration into Ripple

Ripple has a very strong Asia Middle East and has yet to penetrate into Africa. Stefan makes the point that Africa is a very different market. You don’t go blindly into a new market. To penetrate the African market you need to build a presence here with local insights.

There is a way to go. But we have no doubt that with the with speed the world is moving at this won’t take long.

Interoperability, Interledger and The Internet of Value

TheInterledger conversation got us very excited.

Interledger is about move value around. It is currently working to create a generic protocol so you can move money without any pain or hassle.

But the next step is moving value around. This will allow you to convert one thing of value to another. You will be able to build any kind of app that relies on moving value on top of this protocol. Stefan calls this exchange of value “the internet of value”.

The difference to Ripple goal, to be a global settlement network. A platform to allow anyone to transfer money in any currency to any currency in a matter of seconds.

We dig deep into the world of Micro-payments and building an internet of value.



The Blockchain Africa Conference

Blockchain Africa Conference
Blockchain Africa Conference

The WTF #ThinkDigital Podcast spent two days interviewing many of the groundbreaking speakers at the Blockchain Africa Conference (#BAC18). The big topic was inter-operability and how the blockchain is maturing.

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Michael Cowen

Michael Cowen

Michael Cowen is the CEO of WTF and co-host on the ThinkWTF Podcast. I focus on helping business build systems where their people thrive. You can book my keynotes on WTF Keynotes

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