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A Bang Up Week for Ripple: CEO Daily

Good Friday morning.

Facebook may have gotten all the attention this week, but it’s also been a bang up week for Ripple, which uses cryptocurrency to facilitate real time transactions, working with financial institutions. On Monday, Ripple announced it was investing some $50 million in MoneyGram, which will use Ripple’s XRP product to speed up and simplify cross-border payments. MoneyGram stock soared 150% after the announcement.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse told those attending Fortune’s Brainstorm Finance in Montauk, N.Y., that the Facebook announcement had been a “call to action” for other institutions considering cryptocurrency projects. “I’m thinking of sending a case of champagne to David Marcus,” who runs the Facebook-led Libra project, he said. “It’s going to be a record week for Ripple.”

The very term cryptocurrency conjures up images of shady transactions by criminals seeking anonymity. “There is a lot of hype and a lot of bullshit in the blockchain space,” Garlinghouse said. But his company’s work with financial institutions avoids anonymity, complies with bank “Know Your Customer” rules, and allows real-time settlements without the need for institutions to hold large cash balances to cover them. Referring to those balances, he said: “If you can reduce the amount of oil in the engine, that creates tremendous efficiencies.”

Also at the event, entrepreneur and Everledger CEO Leanne Kemp told how she is using blockchain technology to track the provenance and movement of diamonds. And 17-year old Ananya Chadha—who won the CryptoChicks Hacking Award in Toronto last year—wowed the group with her animated description of how blockchain plus genetics plus nanotechnology plus brain-computer interface is going to create “the craziest things” in the future.

Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat closed out the day. Asked if he would consider joining Facebook’s Libra alliance, Corbat replied: “We’d take a look at it.”

More from Day 2 of Fortune Brainstorm Finance here; other news below.

Alan Murray
@alansmurray
alan.murray@fortune.com

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Around the Water Cooler

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This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer. Find previous editions here, and sign up for other Fortune newsletters here.