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Tue 13 Mar 2018 09:38 AM

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Bitcoin is the Napster of cryptocurrencies, says Ripple CEO

Brad Garlinghouse says that Ripple and others are building on what Bitcoin started

Bitcoin is the Napster of cryptocurrencies, says Ripple CEO
Brad Garlinghouse (right) at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit Crypto in New York City. Photo: Eugene Gologursky Getty Images for Yahoo FinanceOath

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, has insisted that cryptocurrencies are solving real-world banking and remittance problems and that future generations of what he calls “digital assets” will continue to improve the ability to make payments, especially cross-border.

Speaking to Bloomberg Asia ahead of his participation in the Millennium 2020 conference in Singapore, Garlinghouse stressed that comparing Ripple to Bitcoin was “a compliment” but that his company is moving the utility forward.

“Some may look back at Bitcoin and say that it is the Napster of digital assets,” he said. “What I mean by that is that Napster was the first to digitise music and demonstrate that you can do a lot of cool things with that. But ultimately they were circumventing trademark laws, they were circumventing royalty payments and then government stepped in and Napster wasn’t successful. But Spotify, iTunes and Pandora were successful.

“I think what you will find is that maybe the next generation of digital assets will end up solving some of the problems that Bitcoin set out to solve.”

He also underlined why Ripple’s suite of solutions such as XCurrent and XVia are already changing the way banks and payment providers operate.

“If you were going to send $10,000 to California today [from Singapore], the fastest way for us to do it is to drive to the airport and fly it there,” he said.

“That’s a crazy to think about it in the age of the internet. When we think about the customers that have come on board, it’s because we’re solving that real problem. We’re changing the nature of a payment taking days to settle to California to seconds.”

He also added that the company is signing up more than a bank a week to its payment corridors. “We’re still just getting started, but we’re on mile one in a marathon but we’ve crossed that starting line. This is real activity.”

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