In a new ask-me-anything on YouTube, self-declared former Ripple “Graybeard” Bob Way talks about the history and direction of Ripple and XRP.
Way, a former NASA employee who worked at Ripple from to tells YouTube’s Alex Cobb the company’s start was based on the notion that someone should create a better Bitcoin.
“And so everybody just said, you know this Bitcoin thing is really awesome. I bet we can do better. That’s all they really thought, and boy did that turn out to be controversial…
Absolutely everyone has a dog in the fight. If people hate XRP or hate Ripple, it’s really because they’ve invested or bet on something else. And if Ripple wins, they lose. Everybody sees it as sort of a zero-sum game.
As we grew at Ripple, we saw it’s less and less of a zero-sum game. And that’s what you see with Interledger Protocol and some of those other layers of technology that we’ve been invested in.”
Way says everyone who got into crypto in the early days was into Bitcoin before branching out into other projects.
“I don’t want to sound like I’m a Bitcoin hater, because I’m a Ripple lover – and people think you’re one or the other. But, Bitcoin, when I discovered it, was the most amazing, awesome thing in the world, because they solved this really hard problem which is how to do peer-to-peer money without some central authority.
So the idea was just, ‘Hey, we’re just a bunch of people. Let’s make our own money. Let’s trade it according to our own rules, and let’s do that. And it was an awesome idea. And so I was infatuated with that back in 2010. I discovered it pretty early and was on the Bitcointalk forums really early. Basically everybody at Ripple was early there too.
In 2011, early Bitcoin adopters-turned-Ripplers won a BTC bounty to create what would become the most popular and plain-spoken video explaining how Bitcoin works. But the quest to create a better Bitcoin created what Way calls a “mind-bogglingly crazy and hostile” battle.
“And the community has just been like that since day one.”
Way says that over the years he’s become an expert on the Ripple Ledger and the best use cases for XRP.
“I have a really deep knowledge of the ‘Rippling’ part of the XRP Ledger – what you can do with all sorts of other currencies, and how you can trade them against XRP and how you can send these atomic payments around. And for me, the number one use case for XRP is letting people have their own addresses, their own personal entities, their own confusingly-called ‘accounts’. I hate to call them that – but to have your own presence on the XRP Ledger so that you can use all of those other features which includes XRP as one of the features.
But the things that you look at that you don’t really consider – in your wallet, you might have coupons for a store, you might have loyalty cards for going back to these places. All of those are different forms of value, and all of them belong in your wallet, even if they’re on paper. But as we move to digital wallets, they all belong there too. And the goal of your agent – your wallet software – is really to minimize the cash out of your pocket. If you can spend a store coupon or some other store discount, you should spend that first before you spend your salary, or before you spend your life savings. So I’m really excited about all those other things you can do in addition to what’s being done with XRP – and that’s at a consumer level. XRP as a bridge currency at a financial system level is just mind-blowing.”
Way says XRP Tip Bot, the platform from XRPL Labs’ Wietse Wind, which has processed more than $67,000 worth of XRP transactions since its launch in December of 2017, is awesome.
“The biggest thing that’s been lacking in the past two and half years with Ripple is actual consumer payment use cases, just people sending XRP every day for some reason that they want or any other kind of payment. We’ve sort of put consumers to the side with the company, and focused on the banking use cases.
And so it’s key, if you’re going to have a cryptocurrency, you’ve really got to use it to make payments or it’s not really a currency, is it? And so, more power to XRP Tip Bot. More people should really, really use it as much as you can, and you should invest in every other use case you can think of for using XRP and all the other features of the XRP Ledger.”