Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse recently made remarks at Stifel’s Cross Sector Insight Conference. During the interview, Garlinghouse revealed that he believes bitcoin is “owned by China”. Garlinghouse also claims that “blockchain will not disrupt banks.”
The remarks were made during an on-stage interview. The information-packed interview was conducted by Lee Simpson, Stifel Tech Analyst, as reported by TheStreet.
“There’s a lot of blockchain craziness, but there are three indicators of market winners,” explained Garlinghouse. “Blockchain will not disrupt banks. It will play an important role in the way our system works.”
The three indicators of market winners, meanwhile, include:
- Product market fit
- Customer traction
- Regulatory engagement
Garlinghouse added that “it’s a short-sighted view” to believe that blockchain technology will disrupt banks.
Bitcoin is owned by China pic.twitter.com/uhPTj1vHsn
— MPH (@DigitalAssetXRP) June 12, 2018
In the same interview in front of the crowd at Stifel’s Cross Sector Insight Conference, Garlinghouse claimed bitcoin had a number of issues.
“Bitcoin is not the panacea we thought it would be,” Garlinghouse told the crowd.
Then, he started talking about Ripple’s XRP product, saying, “This is how liquidity will be managed in the future.” Garlinghouse claimed XRP was “the best digital asset for settlement.” While bitcoin “takes 45 minutes to settle a transaction,” Ripple’s XRP completes transactions in 4 seconds or less.
Bitcoin’s lack of a speedy settlement will reduce its overall adoption.
“Banks will use what is efficient and cheaper. And if you deliver a better product at a better price…they will use it.”
Other tidbits from the speech include the importance of not having “bit” or “coin” in Ripple’s name:
“About two and a half years ago, [we had] one of the biggest banks in Australia in the office. The CEO of that bank said, “The smartest thing you’ve done is not have ‘bit’ or ‘coin’ in your name. I’ll take it!”
Garlinghouse Finishes His Interview by Explaining Bitcoin is “Controlled By China”
Garlinghouse was critical of China’s influence on bitcoin. Garlinghouse didn’t specifically have an issue with China, but he had an issue with the fact that one country controls such a significant amount of the bitcoin network.
“Bitcoin is really controlled by China. There are four miners in China that control over 50% of bitcoin,” said Garlinghouse, referring to the enormous power controlled by mining pools like Antpool.
“How do we know that China won’t intervene? How many countries want to use a Chinese-controlled currency? It’s just not going to happen.”
Garlinghouse expressed overall concern about the future of bitcoin regardless of the influence of China:
“A number of prominent people, even Steve Wozniak, has said that he sees a world where bitcoin is the primary currency,” Garlinghouse explained to the crowd. “I think that’s absurd. I don’t think that any major economy will allow that to happen. By the way, it doesn’t make sense.”
For the record, Garlinghouse clarified that he does own bitcoin himself.
“I own bitcoin. Many people consider it as digital gold. I acknowledge, I’m long crypto. I’d advise folks to only invest in crypto only what you’re willing to lose. It’s early to tell how it is going to play out. I think it’s a pretty good investing strategy.”
Garlinghouse later cautioned that he’s “not an investing advisor” and that the crowd would be wise to “ignore everything I just said.”
What’s Ripple’s Long-Term Goal?
What is the end-game for Ripple? Where does Garlinghouse see the blockchain-based payment platform in the long term?
“I don’t think about the digital asset market,” explained Garlinghouse in the interview. “I think about the customer experience. There are millions of unbanked or underbanked. When I think about the transformation, it is fundamentally changing the way millions participate in banking. We can fundamentally change the way this works, to bring an entire population up a step in the system.”
Garlinghouse concluded his speech by stating that, “We’re at mile 1 in a 26 mile marathon.” The cryptocurrency industry, in other words, still has a long ways to go – and a lot of potential to fulfill.
You can view the full interview and writeup on Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse’s speech at the 2018 Stifel Cross Sector Insight Conference on TheStreet.