Ripple’s David Schwartz Says Mass Blockchain Adoption is Coming But Timing Isn’t Here Yet


David Schwartz, the Chief Technology Officer of Ripple Labs Inc, talked about the merits of blockchain in a debate in Money 20/20 USA.

His opponent in this debate was the SVP of Product Strategy at FIS Payments, Esther Pigg. She defended the current approach of the financial industry to global payments, as well as the reliance of the industry on legacy infrastructure.

The opponent made a statement implying that the current systems will not get washed away at once. Here, the CTO agreed with the point and cited the example of postal mails and emails. He conveyed that postal mails are still in use but have gone down to being utilized less frequently than electronic mail.

He then cited personalized wedding invitations as another example of a mode of communication that has fallen obsolete by the arrival of newer methods.

He added: “I think these new systems are going to replace the old systems whether or not they’re blockchain. I think they’re just going to be faster, they’re going to be cheaper. The new is gonna do replace the old. It’s just the way it is.”

He went on to say why Ripple is better than Bitcoin and Ethereum. “The XRP Ledger encourages the opposite behavior. Those using XRP and the XRP Ledger are able to make progress without mining, saving significant compute power and time. Also, a built-in system, called fee escalation, is part of its consensus protocol and helps to regulate fees overall. This means lower costs and faster transaction times for XRP compared to other digital assets — the attributes that make it the most useful asset for settlement.”

Regarding his position on pushing mass adoption for the blockchain technology, Schwartz discussed that neither he nor Ripple demands or advocates for it to happen just yet. He also stated that it is really early in the game to be promoting blockchain as a tool for consumer adoption amidst the regulatory uncertainty.

He then suggested that the governments are striving for blockchain businesses, mostly as innovation centers. Besides, he said that the governments would want to stay in the field if these technologies start to take over in the payment-system arena. He consequently mentioned:

“You could imagine if the United States shut off the Internet in the early days because it was being used to radicalize terrorists or something. We would face a take-it-or-leave-it choice. The Internet – we’d have to take it.”

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