Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Ripple CTO Discusses Bitcoin, SWIFT, Blockchain, and XRP at SXSW 2019

Adedamola Bada
I'm Damola, a computer engineer from Obafemi Awolowo University. A crypto enthusiast, marketer, and writer who is seeking to achieve career excellence through hard work and positive contribution to the organization that aspires for excellence. Contact me on

At the SXSW 2019 Conference in Austin, Texas, which held from 8-17 March, Ripple CTO David Schwartz commented on a wide range of topics at a featured session called “Blockchain Beyond the Hype: The Ripple Effect.”

In the course of an interview with Sarah Silverstein, Business Insider’s Editor-at-large and Executive Producer, David spoke about his experiences so far in the world of cryptocurrency.

The Allure of Bitcoin

David described his encounter with Bitcoin as “love at first sight.” The digital asset was first made known to him in 2011, and ever since then, he has been completely enthusiastic about it.

Just like a lot of people all over the world, the major reason David became interested in Bitcoin is because of the freedom it offers. The digital asset doesn’t require a “central operator,” little wonder it became a hit with investors all over the world within a short period of time.

A Different View on Proof-of-Work

In the Bitcoin community, a lot of people thought that Bitcoin’s “magic element” was Proof-of-Work (PoW) but David Schwartz, Jed McCaleb, and a few others saw things differently. They discovered that Bitcoin’s “secret sauce” was that “all the state information is public” and that PoW was nothing more than a solution for the double spend problem.

Today, the XRP Ledger has a new focus, and that is to be used for settling cross-border cross-currency payments for the simple reason that it is “really, really good at that.”

In the future, David expects the price of XRP to reflect “the success of the ecosystem,” but he is not certain if price necessarily follows “rational expectations.”

Wrong Concepts about Cryptocurrency And Blockchain

David also spoke about the wrong ideas people have about blockchain and crypto. Here are some of them: A lot of people believe that the price attached to a token or coin is a good way to determine how successful a crypto project would be.

He also added that some people hold on to the idea that the blockchains technology is “very expensive” and cannot at all be “competitive with conventional databases or applications.”

In David’s opinion, all decentralized systems have one thing in common which is that “they don’t have any party who can coerce other parties to accept the rules.”

In spite of the fact that SWIFT GPI addresses some of the pain points that people had,” the actual problem with it, according to David, is that “it does not enable settlement at the time of payment.”

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