Ripple (XRP) is in an entirely different category than bitcoin

While doing some research on, I stumbled across an interesting comment on ripple by William Mook:

Bitcoin was created in 2008. Litecoin was created in 2011. Peercoin was created in 2012. Bitcoin is 89% of the market, Litecoin is 5% of the market. Peercoin is 1% of the market. Everyone else is the balance.

The outlier here is the recent rise of Ripple. That’s because Ripple derives its values from currencies it trades, and it can be used to trade ANY currency. So, its a new class of thing, similar to using the blockchain itself to trade bitcoins rather than vulnerable exchanges.

I couldn’t agree more. Ripple isn’t just a currency – it’s a way to exchange anything of value. There are companies that let you swap gold, silver and platinum on a ripple exchange (check out Ripple Singapore or see my exclusive interview with the founder of NoFiatCoin). There are exchanges that let you invest in companies (see Eventually, I suspect there will be gateways (exchanges) for all manner of things: jewelry, baseball cards, cars, diamonds, paintings and more traditional financial vehicles, too: stocks, bonds, futures, derivatives, etc.

Mook takes his whole argument a step further, though:

(This is) the first step in a five step process that eventually displaces exchanges, banks, courts, insurers and governments with peer-to-peer exchanges.

I’m not sure I’d go that far. I can see Ripple replacing centralized exchanges (like Scottrade and the CBOE), but we’re still going to need gateways (i.e. banks) to move from ripple into local, fiat currencies and vice versa. In theory, I’d love to see insurance move onto peer-to-peer exchanges, but I’m not sure I’d be willing to do the research to buy the right policies. A lot of businesses exist simply because people are too lazy to do things on their own. That’s why we have stock brokers in the era of online brokerage accounts. People want to pay someone else to take care of things for them. Perhaps, that means insurance brokers would use ripple exchanges while the broader public’s none the wiser, though?

I’m not sure at all how ripple could replace courts and governments, but I am sure that we haven’t thought of a fraction of all the amazing ways ripple is going to be used in the future. Nice work, Mr. Mook!

Photo credit: AppelCline

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