Ripple SVP: Altcoins Are Here to Stay

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In Brief
  • Ripple SVP Asheesh Birla said he thinks the days of bitcoin maximalism are firmly over

  • Speaking on the Lend Academy podcast, he however talked up bitcoin's potential as a reserve asset

  • According to Birla, Ripplenet has the capacity to make CBDCs interoperable and make global payments even mroe efficient

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The days of bitcoin being crypto’s only real game in town are gone for good. Other coins and tokens demonstrate financial utility that bitcoin cannot replicate.

This assessment came from Ripple Senior Vice President Asheesh Birla, speaking on an episode of the Lend Academy podcast on Nov 28. In the course of his appearance on the podcast, where he spoke on everything from Ripplenet’s battle with SWIFT to the potential of gold as a reserve asset, Birla remarked that he “could not be happier” with the level of innovation in the crypto space.

“Bitcoin Is Not A Payments Solution”

Speaking about his position on Ripple’s value adjacent to bitcoin, Birla stated that bitcoin is not in fact competing against Ripple. Bitcoin is not optimised for speed and scale like Ripplenet and XRP.


His position mirrors that of Ripple founder Brad Garlinghouse. Nov 20, Garrlinghouse said that bitcoin and XRP have completely different functions, and XRP possesses utility that bitcoin does not.

Bitcoin maximalism is out, XRP and DeFi are in

To illlustrate his point about XRP doing things that bitcoin is not optimised for, Birla remarked on how XRP disrupts SWIFT. The SWIFT model of global payments relies heavily on relationships and pre-positioning of money. XRP removes the need for at least $1 trillion worth of float in the global financial system.

In his opinion, the era of bitcoin being the only crypto asset with demonstrably unique utility is over. He said:

“I think that the days when folks believed that there would only be Bitcoin, I think, are over. I think it’s clear that there’s gonna be a lot of digital assets and there’s gonna be a lot more traditional assets that are gonna be tokenized as digital assets, which is exciting.”

In his opinion, venture capital did not display as much interest in the space during the recent rally as in 2017. Birla said, though, that he “couldn’t be happier” with the innovation in the space. At the tip of that innovation is the possibility of Ripplenet making Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) interoperable.

This, along with Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) solution he said, would significantly improve the efficiency of global payments.

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David is a journalist, writer and broadcaster whose work has appeared on CNN, The Africa Report, The New Yorker Magazine and The Washington Post. His work as a satirist on 'The Other News,' Nigeria's answer to The Daily Show has featured in the New Yorker Magazine and in the Netflix documentary 'Larry Charles' Dangerous World of Comedy.' In 2018, he was nominated by the US State Department for the 2019 Edward Murrow program for journalists under the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). He tweets at @DavidHundeyin

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