Ripple has stepped up its game against dominant rival SWIFT, poaching some of the network’s talent while vocally criticizing its business model. Adding insult to injury, the employee they hired, Marjan Delatinne, was head of SWIFT’s Global Payment Innovation Initiative (GPII).
GPII is the messaging network’s new program designed to improve “customer experience” in cross-border payments. According to SWIFT’s official website, the project intends achieve this by increasing the speed, transparency and end-to-end tracking of cross-border payments.
The program is thought to be a response to the threat Ripple represents to it, and something Ripple has been critical of in the past.
Ripple Puts Pressure on SWIFT
Delatinne worked with SWIFT for 10 years and most recently held a top management position directing their new GPI program. At Ripple she will assume her job as a sales directo
r for the organization in Europe. In this capacity, she will lead sales efforts for financial institutions in Europe.
In a Q&A on Ripple’s website, Delatinne sat down with her new employer and talked about what caused her to join Ripple, what excites her about it, and whether or not she sees SWIFT’s GPI as a competitor to Ripple.
Delatinne added that her decision to join Ripple was motivated by her belief that the financial industry was in need of an overdue technological overhaul. She thinks the industry is looking for modern payment solutions, not outdated infrastructure.
Furthermore, she thinks Ripple can deliver on this front as “Ripple stands apart with the most advanced blockchain solutions, real customers already moving money, and an extraordinarily talented team. I think we have the key ingredients to make it happen.”
Finally, while SWIFT is certainly feeling the pressure the upstart company is putting on them, Delatinne doesn’t necessarily think they are direct competitors to the messaging network.
According to her, with GPI, SWIFT is trying to improve upon an existing infrastructure that banks have already universally implemented.
While Ripple, on the other hand, is offering something entirely new by “combining the messaging rail with the real-time settlement of a payment transaction.” Additionally, she noted that Ripple’s goal is to help banks be successful and that SWIFT is a bank-owned organization.
“Nobody knows for certain how the future of payments will pan out, but my hope is that Ripple’s vision for the Internet of Value becomes a reality. When we make that happen, it will have far-reaching economic and social impact on the world.”
The Only Cryptocurrency with a Clear Use Case
Like many other altcoins this year, Ripple has seen a huge jump in its market capitalization and exchange volume. In fact, it is now the third-largest cryptocurrency in the world by market cap.
While it’s true that this year has been, in general, the year of the altcoin — with a few having dramatic price increases — Ripple may have had the most dramatic uptick of them all, jumping 101% in just 24 hours.
No doubt, a lot of this has to do with the ongoing scalability issues with Bitcoin and the tumultuous environment around it. Uncertainty surrounding Bitcoin and an ideologically-motivated debate has stagnated the crypto’s potential and possibly caused capital to move out of Bitcoin and into what has been perceived as more stable investments.
However, Bitcoin’s troubles seem to have receded for the time being and yet the gains made by top altcoins have stayed largely intact. Thus, something other than the scalability debate must be fueling Ripple’s gains.
Ripple’s head of XRP Markets, Miguel Vias, thinks it’s a natural product of Ripple’s practical use value, something he believes other digital currencies simply lack:
“While the recent surge in XRP is certainly influenced by Bitcoin’s scalability issues, much of the recent momentum is due to the announcement that MUFG joined Ripple’s steering group, GPSG. Unlike other digital assets, XRP has a clear use case and people are beginning to recognize that.”
What do you think of Ripple hiring on SWIFT’s former business director? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images Courtesy of Ripple and SWIFT