The Forgotten Hilarity of XRP

A little while ago I asked someone on Twitter if they could explain why XRP was an interesting failure.

Nomad’s summary is accurate, but of course far too brief to expand on why.

However, a few other articles and individuals crossed my mind, and thanks to them (@ colingplatt, @ Frances_Coppola, and @ prestonjbyrne on Twitter and Geoff Golberg here on Medium) I’ve been able to reflect on some of the stupidity that is Ripple/XRP.

Value Proposition

Ripple/XRP claims that its value lies in the need for banks to be able to move money at a lightning fast speed. There’s, of course, some truth to this: bank wires can take days or weeks, depending on the sources and the banks involved. Even interbank transfers can take too much time, considering I can send a friend money with Venmo or CashApp in a matter of seconds.

Is the solution a completely centralized “blockchain”? The answer is “No.”

But wait, I hear many XRP baggies shout into the void, you’re missing the point!

No.

Here’s a prime example of the failure that is XRPs value proposition, spelled out in a single tweet thread:

Perhaps this thread isn’t convincing enough to prove that traditional finance does a better job. Okay.

I’m not a Ripple expert, I never pretended to be.

So here’s some resources:

Sins Rippling Out

If you’ve gone through and read all of that, you’ll see that Ripple/XRP’s claims for value are full of holes at the best, and flat-out false at worst. But as someone who isn’t now, and never will be, interested in buying XRP, these problems don’t annoy me so much.

My two problems are as follows:

  1. Ripple/XRP was always an illegal security, from day one. It bothers me that it took so long for the SEC to file suit, but I can understand how giving the issue time to play out and offering resolutions to the defendants prior to bringing the suit can behoove society as a whole.

2. The way the so-called “XRP Army” behaved for years — and continues to behave to this day — is abhorrent. The community attacks anyone who disagrees, and if it isn’t outright attacks, it manifests in other-worldly ratios and illogical arguments. This was dramatically documented by Geoff Goldberg, who subsequently was mass reported by XRP and anti-Iran bots and banned from Twitter permanently.

These two issues — being that XRP is an illegal security and that the community attacks others to the point of censoring — have not only been disgusting, but have pushed many people out of the cryptocurrency space and dissuaded others (myself included) from discussing it at length.

People who even ventured into short tweet threads about how XRP was garbage were resolutely silenced in the ‘17/’18 bull run. It’s hard to think of any other asset that has a community as horrifying.

Uh… Point?

There isn’t much of one, besides, “Man, remember how a week or so ago everyone was saying ‘Guess I’ll buy me a bag of XRP because here comes retail.’?”

The SEC doesn’t wait for your bags to go up in value — the SEC moves whenever the f*ck it feels like it. And as of a few days ago, the SEC finally decided to move on Ripple/XRP. No one knows if it’s a death sentence. No one knows who will win the case. No one knows what will happen next.

But charts don’t lie, and people don’t seem to be keen on Ripple’s value proposition these days. It can take years, and it’s hard to be patient in the stupid-fast-paced world of cryptocurrency and FinTech, but not everything is innovation, and sometimes trash needs to be identified, named as such, and abandoned.

Stay skeptical, friends.

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