Ouch! Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse Takes Potshot at Bitcoin
May was a big month for Ripple. The San Francisco-based company behind Ripple XRP added two remittance companies, two banks, and an exchange to its portfolio of clients. Emboldened by the new partnerships, CEO Brad Garlinghouse took a potshot at bitcoin, labeling it the Napster of digital assets.
Garlinghouse’s Salvo at Bitcoin Transaction Sloth
Brad Garlinghouse used the platform of the invite-only Recode 2018 Code Conference in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California to compare bitcoin to Napster:
“We may come to find that bitcoin is kind of the Napster of digital assets. This is transformative technology, but Spotify and iTunes and Pandora rule the day because they engaged with regulators to solve a real problem.”
Ripple’s own cryptocurrency transacts particularly quickly, boasting current capabilities of 1,500 transactions per second (TPS). According to the company’s own website, that compares with fifteen TPS for ether and between three and six for bitcoin. The company claims to be able to scale their network up to handle twice as many transactions per second as Visa.
Comparing bitcoin to Napster was audacious, especially when transaction rate sloth appears to be Garlinghouse’s primary criticism of bitcoin:
“People talk about using bitcoin to buy coffee. The average bitcoin transaction can take as much as 20 minutes. And the transaction cost is going to double the price of your coffee.”
Ripple Feasts on New Partnerships
Now boasting over a hundred clients, Ripple enjoyed a successful month in terms of new signings. It added Kuwait Finance House to its stable of banking clients in the last week of May. The same week, Oman’s BankDhofar joined RippleNet, further expanding the company’s presence in the Middle East.
Those partnerships follow its mid-February announcement that it was launching a pilot program with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to make available its cross-border payments technology, xCurrent, to banks across the Kingdom. The SAMA is Saudi Arabia’s de facto central bank.
International remittance operations InstaReM in Singapore and BeeTech in Brazil partnered up in May to offer transfer services to each others’ customers using Ripple technology. South Korean exchange Coinone inked a deal with Ripple earlier in the month to use xCurrent to fuel a new global remittance service, Cross.
After a Month in the Sun, Ripple Has Bitcoin in the Gun
Cross-crypto rivalries are nothing new and XRP is much-maligned by decentralization purists as well as those who would see cryptocurrencies replace banks, not work with them. Ripple has always identified banks and remittance services as the specific use case for both its currency and its wider suite of products.
Ripple’s past month of success has contrasted with major vulnerabilities found in EOS, attacks on Verge, and a general cryptocurrency market malaise. Surely Garlinghouse could have rested on his laurels and kept the sound bites to himself.
Have your say. Justified or otherwise, were Garlinghouse’s remarks cheap potshots or valid criticisms?
Images via Pixabay