Ripple CEO: Facebook Libra Cryptocurrency Push Makes Me Happy
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse is adamant that Facebook’s unveiling of its Libra cryptocurrency will lead to big business for his banking software and cryptocurrency startup.
“This is going to be a record week for Ripple,” Garlinghouse gushed Thursday during Fortune’s Brainstorm Finance conference in Montauk, N.Y.
Garlinghouse said it was a “fact” that Facebook’s Libra announcement has caused more banks to seriously consider using the company’s xCurrent banking payment software and associated XRP cryptocurrency to assist with transferring money across borders.
“[It] has absolutely catalyzed contract activity,” Garlinghouse said. “This has been a call to action.”
Facebook’s plans to eventually debut a cryptocurrency for its billions of users—for use in making payments on its various online networks such as Messenger and WhatsApp—is akin to the social networking giant saying “we don’t need Western Union anymore,” the Ripple executive explained.
Now big banks are likely to consider switching from the traditional SWIFT software used for cross-border payments in favor of newer alternatives, he said.
“I will send a case of champagne to David Marcus the guy who runs Libra,” Garlinghouse said of Facebook’s blockchain chief.
The executive also discussed Ripple’s big partnership with MoneyGram that involves Ripple purchasing an 8%-to-10% stake in the money transfer firm. Although the deal caused MoneyGram’s shares to skyrocket 168%, it had little effect on the XRP cryptocurrency, of which Ripple maintains a vast horde.
Garlinghouse attributed the lack of movement in XRP’s value to a lot of “bullshit” and “a lot of noise” in the cryptocurrency and related blockchain category.
“I think it’s really hard for people in these economies to say what is real and what is noise.” He said “it was a big deal for Ripple,” and overtime, people will believe it was “bigger deal for the cryptocurrency markets overall.”
Many unspecified companies use the term blockchain “as frankly catnip for investors, for marketing.” Ripple, on the hand, is focused on very specific use case, he contends.
“It is around transaction banking and liquidity management,” he said.
More must-read stories from Fortune Brainstorm Finance:
—Brainstorm Finance 2019: Watch the livestream of the inaugural conference
—Bank of America CEO: “We want a cashless society”
—Tala CEO: How Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency can help companies scale
—Charles Schwab CEO: Actually, we’re killing it with millennials
—Listen to our new audio briefing, Fortune 500 Daily
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