Ripple chief technology officer David Schwartz says the company is aiming to bring greater financial equality to people both in the US and overseas.
In his keynote address at Ripple’s UBRI Connect 2019, Schwartz highlights the fact that despite misperceptions, millions of people in America lack sufficient access to mainstream financial services.
“We tend to think we’re overbanked in the United States because you could just go anywhere and open a bank account.
But, a fairly shocking statistic, 24 million Americans are underbanked, alongside almost 2 billion people worldwide.”
Schwartz says Ripple’s broader mission is to help financial institutions and their clients move money as quickly and efficiently as email.
“Today, money is locked up in distinct systems, just like information used to be. If I want to pay you some money, I have to ask you what system you’re on. And it’s slow.
Many payment networks shut down outside of business hours. Many payment networks only work in overlapping business hours between the two time zones they make payments between.
[Payments] take days. They are very uncertain. There are a lot of people who have to make a phone call to say, ‘Did my payment go through?’ And the payment company will say, ‘We don’t know. Call us back in a few days.’”
Schwartz says XRP could potentially play a crucial role in improving the speed and efficiency of payments by giving financial institutions a way to send money overseas using the digital asset as a bridge currency.
“On the enterprise side, we built this payment network called RippleNet using XRP to settle where that makes sense. The problem that solves is having to preposition money where you need to make payments. So, for example, without some sort of a cryptocurrency solution, to make a payment to the Philippines you’d have to have Philippine pesos sitting in the Philippines.
Now if you want to make payments on Monday and maybe Friday is a holiday somewhere, you might have to move that money on Thursday or even earlier. And you have to figure out how much money you need and you have to leave it sitting somewhere.
What RippleNet does with XRP, is the sender can exchange their sending currency, say US dollars for XRP, send the XRP on the XRP Ledger and buy Philippine pesos precisely when they need them.”
You can check out the full keynote address here.