Ripple Employee Spotlight: Raghu Battula, Sr. Director of Engineering

Ripple’s growth and success can be attributed to the hard work of the bright and driven people that work at the company.

The engineering team at Ripple has been critical to creating solutions to improve cross-border payments, and with the recent addition of Raghu Battula, the Senior Director of Engineering, the team will be positioned to drive further innovation in the global payments space.

In this Employee Spotlight, Battula details why he joined the company and what he’s looking forward to the most in his role at Ripple.

Q: What brought you to Ripple?

Raghu Battula: There’s been a lot of innovation in the digital economy and you see a lot of cool things happening from an end-consumer perspective.

There has also been a lot of innovation in the domestic-payment space, but sending cross-border payments real time is still an area that needs innovation and is a tough problem to solve.

After meeting with Brad and hearing his vision, it became very clear to me that Ripple is doing something really amazing. In fact, this will be the most transformative work I’ve ever done in my life and feel honored to be part of this journey.

Q: What has been the most surprising thing about working at Ripple?

RB: The most surprising thing has been the shift in mindset that corporations and financial institutions have had and their willingness to adopt our technology and product solutions. It has been extremely surprising in a really good way. I’m very excited about that.

Customers are very eager to adopt our technology and use our solutions. They see the value in what we’re doing.

Additionally, the people we have are very smart and very humble, and they live by our values and it’s great to see that.

Q: Tell us about your greatest achievement in your career, so far.

RB: When I look back in my career, I like to think that the sum of all parts is greater than the individual piece. However, for me, the greatest achievement has been to have worked at technology companies like Intuit, Paypal and Apple.

At each company, I was part of teams that created innovative, customer-facing products, such as mobile wallets, financial platforms, and consumer and enterprise apps. But, if I had to pick one, the work I did at Intuit was the most exciting. I built the engineering organization that built the financial data platform for Intuit. Products like Mint, Quicken, QuickBooks, TurboTax all use this platform on a daily basis which connects to thousands of financial institutions.

It’s a very high-transaction processing system. We worked with banking customers, as well. That’s how I have been exposed to the banking world.

Q: What are Engineering’s three key priorities for 2018, and what do they mean for all of Team Ripple?

RB: The No.1 goal is to make sure we rapidly scale out RippleNet and the core products behind it — xVia, xCurrent, and xRapid — to meet our enterprise customers’ needs and provide a frictionless experience. We’re building this out in a way that’s highly scalable, fast and reliable for our customers.

No.2 is to hire a lot of smart people. I’m looking to hire engineers who have built scalable financial systems.

No.3 is the culture, as we’re growing rapidly, it’s important to make sure we continue to live our core values that make up the larger Ripple family. From an engineering perspective, this means we’ll continue to have a fast-paced culture and rapid innovation in the blockchain space and try new ideas.

Q: What challenge are you most excited to tackle this year?

RB: We have exciting challenge(s) on the architecture and design side. It will feel like we’re building the runway while the plane is taking off because as we’re doing this we’re getting more and more requirements. At the same time, we’re building out a highly scalable RippleNet platform that will benefit our customers.

We need to make sure that we continue to focus on providing a frictionless experience for our customers. It’s a technical challenge but this is what we’re looking forward to in engineering.

Q: What’s the biggest misconception about engineering from non-engineers?

RB: In my experience, the biggest misconception is that sometimes non-engineers have a tendency to define a solution rather than define a problem.

My recommendation is to give an opportunity for engineers to walk in the customers’ shoes and pose the “problem definition” to engineers and allow them to ask more questions. This allows engineers to come up with a better solution and also solve a set of problem(s) that a non-engineer may not have asked the engineer to solve.

Q: What’s the most fun part of the job?

RB: The fun part of my job is seeing our products being used by our customers. In engineering, we come up with innovative-, problem-solving products and solutions, and what makes my day is when customers use our products and love it. When customers love our products that makes engineers very happy!

Also, working at Ripple is really fun. It’s not just work, work, work, we have a lot of social events. For example, we have wine clubs, yoga clubs, soccer matches, a lot of team activities, I could go on.

Q: If Ripple employees want to learn more about the engineering team and the work you’re doing, what’s the best way for them to reach out?

RB: They can start by reaching out to me, we’re going to schedule a lot of meetups and publish more engineering-focused blogs and more. All of the blogs will be published on Ripple’s website soon. This is an area where we can improve and I want people to reach out to us and understand what we’re doing.

For more information about open engineering positions, please visit our Careers page.

The post Ripple Employee Spotlight: Raghu Battula, Sr. Director of Engineering appeared first on Ripple.

Top 9 Frequently Asked Questions About Ripple and XRP

The market interest about Ripple and XRP has reached a fever pitch, and naturally, people have questions about the company, the digital asset, how it’s used and where to buy it.

In order to clear up any misconceptions about Ripple and XRP, we’ve published answers to nine of the most frequently asked questions that the Ripple team has received. This list will be updated regularly as news and new developments unfold.

1. How do I buy XRP?
XRP is available for purchase on more than 60 digital asset exchanges worldwide, many of which are listed on this page. Please note that Ripple does not endorse, recommend, or make any representations with respect to the gateways and exchanges that appear on that page. Every exchange has a different process for purchasing XRP.

If you’ve already purchased XRP and have a question about your purchase, then please reach out to the exchange directly. In order to maintain healthy XRP markets, it’s a top priority for Ripple to have XRP listed on top digital asset exchanges, making it broadly accessible worldwide. Ripple has dedicated resources to the initiative so you can expect ongoing progress toward creating global liquidity.

2. What is the difference between XRP, XRP Ledger, and Ripple?
XRP is the digital asset native to XRP Ledger. The XRP Ledger is an open-source, distributed ledger. Ripple is a privately held company.

3. How many financial institutions have adopted XRP?
As of January 2018, MoneyGram and Cuallix — two major payment providers — have publicly announced their pilot use of XRP in payment flows through xRapid to provide liquidity solutions for their cross-border payments. Ripple has a growing pipeline of financial institutions that are also interested in using XRP in their payment flows.

4. How secure is XRP? Do I have to use exchanges?
The XRP Ledger is where XRP transactions occur and are recorded. The software that maintains the Ledger is open source and executes continually on a distributed network of servers operated by a variety of organizations. It’s an open-source code base that actively develops and maintains the ledger. Since XRP Ledger’s inception, we’ve worked to make the Ledger more resilient and resistant to a single point of failure through decentralization, a process that continues today.

To purchase XRP you must use an exchange or gateway and/or have a digital wallet. Ripple does not endorse, recommend, or make any representations with respect to gateways, exchanges, or wallets, but please see the list of exchanges that offer XRP here.

5. Is the XRP Ledger centralized?
This is a top misconception with the XRP Ledger. Centralization implies that a single entity controls the Ledger. While Ripple contributes to the open-source code of the XRP Ledger, we don’t own, control, or administer the XRP Ledger. The XRP Ledger is decentralized. If Ripple ceased to exist, the XRP Ledger would continue to exist.

Ripple has an interest in supporting the XRP Ledger for several reasons, including contributing to the longer-term strategy to encourage the use of XRP as a liquidity tool for financial institutions. Decentralization of the XRP Ledger is an ongoing process that started right at its inception. In May 2017, we publicly shared our decentralization strategy.

First, we announced plans to continue to diversify validators on the XRP Ledger, which we expanded to 55 validator nodes in July 2017. We also shared plans to add attested validators to Unique Node Lists (UNLs), and announced over the course of 2017 and 2018, for every two attested third-party validating nodes that meet the objective criteria mentioned above, we will remove one validating node operated by Ripple, until no entity operates a majority of trusted nodes on the XRP Ledger.

We believe these efforts will increase the XRP Ledger’s enterprise-grade resiliency and robustness, leading to XRP’s continued adoption as the best digital asset for payments.

6. Which wallet should I use?
Ripple does not endorse, recommend, or make any representations with respect to digital wallets. It’s advisable to always conduct your own due diligence before trusting money to any third party or third-party technology.

7. Does the price volatility of XRP impact whether financial institutions adopt xRapid?
No. Ripple has a stable cache of financial institutions that are interested in piloting xRapid. Financial institutions who use xRapid don’t need to hold XRP for an extended period of time. What’s more, XRP settles in three to five seconds, which means financial institutions are exposed to limited volatility during the course of the transaction.

8. Can Ripple freeze XRP transactions? Are they able to view or monitor transactions?
No one can freeze XRP, including Ripple. All transactions on XRP Ledger are publicly viewable.

9. Can Ripple create more XRP?
No. Ripple the company didn’t create XRP; 100 billion XRP was created before the company was formed, and after Ripple was founded, the creators of XRP gifted a substantial amount of XRP to the company.

The post Top 9 Frequently Asked Questions About Ripple and XRP appeared first on Ripple.

REMINDER: rippled Version 0.81.0 Validator Key Replacement

On Thursday, January 18, 2018, as described in the 0.81.0 release notes, the current validator keys on all five Ripple-operated rippled validator servers will be replaced. If you have been using the previous recommended default configuration and do not reconfigure your rippled server to the new recommended default configuration before that time, then your rippled server will stop seeing validated ledgers.

Ripple strongly recommends upgrading to rippled version 0.81.0 immediately.

Action Required

If you operate a rippled server, then you should upgrade to 0.81.0 immediately.

Ripple recommends that you:

  • Edit your rippled.cfg to remove the [validators] section, if one is present
  • Add a [validators_file] section, if one is not present, and add the name of your validators.txt file.
  • Replace the contents of any existing validators.txt file with the version included with this release. If you are upgrading to rippled version 0.81.0 using the rippled RPM package, then your default validators.txt file may automatically be updated, in which case you will not need to modify the file. The validators.txt file is usually in the same directory as your rippled.cfg file.
  • After starting your rippled server, confirm that it is configured to use the new defaults by executing:
    /opt/ripple/bin/rippled validators
    

The result should include the following:

    "local_static_keys" : [],
    "publisher_lists" : [
        {
            "available" : true,
            "expiration" : "2018-Jan-23 00:00:00",
            "list" : [
                "nHB1FqfBpNg7UTpiqEUkKcAiWqC2PFuoGY7FPWtCcXAxSkhpqDkm",
                "nHUpwrafS45zmi6eT72XS5ijpkW5JwfL5mLdPhEibrqUvtRcMAjU",
                "nHUBGitjsiaiMJBWKYsJBHU2shmYt9m29hRqoh8AS5bSAjXoHmdd",
                "nHUXh1ELizQ5QLLqtNaVEbbbfMdq3wMkh14aJo5xi83xzzaatWWP",
                "nHUgoJvpqXZMZwxh8ZoFseFJEVF8ryup9r2mFYchX7ftMdNn3jLT"
                ],
            "pubkey_publisher" : "ED2677ABFFD1B33AC6FBC3062B71F1E8397C1505E1C42C64D11AD1B28FF73F4734",
            "seq" : 2,
            "version" : 1
        }
    ],

Impact of Not Upgrading

  • If you operate a rippled server, but do not upgrade to rippled version 0.81.0, then your rippled server may periodically drop transactions and fall out of sync with the network.
  • On Thursday, January 18, 2018, as described in the 0.81.0 release notes, the current validator keys on all five Ripple-operated rippled validator servers will be replaced. If you have been using the recommended default configuration and do not reconfigure your rippled server before that time, then your rippled server will stop seeing validated ledgers.

For instructions on updating rippled on supported platforms, see Updating rippled on supported platforms.

The sha256 for the RPM is: 75acdf54e472875bff609fa2d1cc59524e4d8f8e885751b50aaeb85938ab3609

The sha256 for the source RPM is: fbc95f6168d015190b93b81f97c20979886fa2f6663e4dd15157409075db46e9

For other platforms, please compile version 0.81.0 from source.

The first log entry should be the change setting the version:

commit 4e8c8deeaac83d18eb62c95b7425d96e11847a41

Author: Nikolaos D. Bougalis 

Date:   Wed Jan 3 14:43:42 2018 -0800

    Set version to 0.81.0

0.81.0 Change Log

  • New hosted validator configuration

Bug Fixes

  • Optimize queries for account_tx to work around SQLite query planner (#2312)

Network Update

The Ripple technical operations team deployed rippled version 0.81.0 to all rippled validator servers under its operational control, on Tuesday, 2018-01-09.

Learn, ask questions, and discuss

Related documentation is available in the Ripple Developer Portal, including detailed example API calls and web tools for API testing.

Other resources:

The post REMINDER: rippled Version 0.81.0 Validator Key Replacement appeared first on Ripple.

Boost 1.66 Not Supported for rippled 0.81.0

A warning to developers: rippled versions 0.81.0 and earlier do not compile with the recently-released Boost library version 1.66.0. To compile rippled yourself, Ripple recommends using Boost version 1.65.1. The minimum supported version of Boost is 1.58.0, which is included in the official repositories of Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial.

Compiler Errors

If you try to compile rippled version 0.81.0 with Boost version 1.66.0 or higher, you get compiler errors such as the following:

In file included from src/beast/include/beast/core/detail/type_traits.hpp:13:0,
                 from src/beast/include/beast/core/impl/static_string.ipp:12,
                 from src/beast/include/beast/core/static_string.hpp:1106,
                 from src/beast/include/beast/core/string_param.hpp:13,
                 from src/beast/include/beast/http/fields.hpp:12,
                 from src/beast/include/beast/http/message.hpp:12,
                 from src/ripple/server/Handoff.h:24,
                 from src/ripple/overlay/Overlay.h:26,
                 from src/ripple/app/consensus/RCLConsensus.cpp:39,
                 from src/ripple/unity/app_consensus.cpp:21:
/usr/include/boost/asio/io_service.hpp:27:20: error: conflicting declaration
 ‘typedef class boost::asio::io_context boost::asio::io_service’
 typedef io_context io_service;

If you encounter this issue, please downgrade to Boost version 1.65.1.

Background

Boost 1.66.0 introduces the Boost.Beast library for HTTP and WebSocket connections. The Beast library was built by prolific coder and Ripple alum Vinnie Falco as an add-on to the Boost.Asio library, for use in rippled and other C++ software. Because Beast made its start in the rippled code base, the version already included in rippled conflicts with the version included as part of the Boost library in versions 1.66.0 and higher.

Future Work

Ripple expects to make rippled compatible with Boost 1.66.0 and higher in a future release. At that time, rippled will no longer be compatible with Boost version 1.65.x and lower. Stay tuned to rippled release announcements for updates on this transition.

The post Boost 1.66 Not Supported for rippled 0.81.0 appeared first on Ripple.

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MoneyGram to Use XRP for Faster International Payments

The global remittance market is a big business. In 2016, remitters sent nearly $600 billion in cross-border payments to help support family members living in their home countries or to settle transactions with business partners.

Money transfer companies allow people to send cross-border payments. Unfortunately, the current model requires money transfer companies to use pre-funded accounts across the globe to source liquidity for these payments. The process makes payments costly and slow, which causes headaches for both the companies and their customers.

To allow their customers to send and complete cross-border payments quicker and cheaper, MoneyGram — one of the world’s largest money transfer companies — will use XRP in their payment flows.

The use of XRP allows MoneyGram to solve the age-old liquidity issue most financial institutions face while saving time and money. Additionally, customers will have the ability to send funds real time, with transparency and certainty.

XRP, xRapid help source on-demand liquidity

MoneyGram will access and use XRP, the native digital asset of the XRP Ledger, in their payment flows through xRapid, Ripple’s on-demand liquidity product.

Here’s how it works: xRapid enables real-time foreign exchange (FX) settlement through XRP, which gives financial institutions the ability to unlock liquidity and access multiple corridors with one pre-funded originating account.

What’s more, financial institutions will be able to send on-demand payments, reduce FX costs and fees, and customers will receive real-time insight into the status of their payments.

“Ripple is at the forefront of blockchain technology and we look forward to piloting xRapid,” said Alex Holmes, chief executive officer of MoneyGram, in a press release. “We’re hopeful it will increase efficiency and improve services to MoneyGram’s customers.”

Ripple strives to improve cross-border payments

Ripple is focused on fixing the inefficiencies and problems that exist in cross-border payments, regardless of whether those payments originate with a bank, corporate or another financial institution.

“The payments problem doesn’t just affect banks, it also affects companies like MoneyGram, which help people get money to the ones they care about,” said Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple. “By using a digital asset like XRP that settles in three seconds or less, our clients can move money as quickly as information.”

For more information about xRapid, visit Ripple’s Solutions page.

The post MoneyGram to Use XRP for Faster International Payments appeared first on Ripple.

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Who Really Cares About Real-time Payments?

Behind the daily shouts about the market value of cryptocurrencies, there are quiet murmurs about another revolution in the making — real-time, domestic payment systems.

Australia is set to launch their domestic New Payments Platform (NPP) in early 2018. Offering always-on, “near real-time” payments, consumer-friendly aliases (e.g. email, smartphone number) rather than bank account numbers and richer payment data, NPP holds great promise for consumers and businesses alike.

Driven by the Reserve Bank of Australia after a strategic review in 2012, this has been a multi-million dollar investment in industry infrastructure over five years.

Australia joins the ranks of the Korea (CD/ATM), UK (Faster Payments), Mexico (SPEI),Singapore (FAST/G3), the early adopters of so-called “Immediate Payments” domestic payment platforms. The US is not far behind: The US Federal Reserve established a “Faster Payments” Task Force in 2015 to engage with industry and drive adoption by 2020.

The move to a real-time experience was driven by the proliferation of smartphones and their ability to access information immediately. Today, consumers want the same real-time experience from payment services — especially when buying online or sending payments to friends and family.

Businesses and even large corporates, it would appear, want the same functionality and performance.

“The provision of real-time cash positions, scenario-based forecasting and direct integration with client systems are top priorities for corporate treasurers,” according to an Ovum report quoted by Forbes.

What’s more, the Bank for International Settlements said in a November 2016 report that “fast payments are of strategic importance for the long-run modernization of the payment system.”

The so-called “Immediate Payments” is now a must-have national capability.

But who can afford Immediate Payments?

Even though there is an interest in moving to a faster experience, there seem to be a few hurdles along the way. Many central banks have examined their own national payments infrastructure and have found a hodge-podge of systems, built as silos for each popular method of payment: a silo for cheques, a silo for credit cards, a silo for low-value bank account payments, and a silo for high-value bank account payments.

Each silo has its own messaging format, operational and “scheme” rules, governance and licensed participants —  banks as well as non-bank financial institutions —  with equally dated integrations into the participants’ applications.

The new implementations in the UK, Singapore and Australia have not tried to undo the silos.  Instead, they have built a new silo — new frontend services, new messaging (ISO 20022 being the current favorite), user-friendly aliasing to replace tedious bank account numbers for routing payments and finally, a new high-volume, real-time settlement system built and operated by the central bank.

The cost? Tens of millions of dollars, borne by the entire industry, but mainly the commercial banks.The elapsed time from concept to launch —  3-5 years.

For many countries, Immediate Payments may seem to be a distant goal. Yet, emerging markets need to remove payments friction both domestically and across borders today to spur global trade and rev up their economies. Ripple can help.

Enter Ripple, stage left
Since Ripple’s inception in 2012 —   a new kid on the “blockchain” with a superior Distributed Ledger Technology —  our focus has been to solve cross-border clearing and settlement between financial institutions.

In fact Ripple’s product, xCurrent, enables banks to conduct coordinated “atomic” transactions across our ledgers, privately and with certainty and scalability. Many banks now conduct cross-border payments in “production” mode for real customers, on a 24/7 basis.

xCurrent can also be deployed between banks for a domestic, single currency use case as a lightweight Immediate Payments infrastructure, with the support and participation of the central bank.

Ripple offers cost-effective building blocks for a national payments scheme. Central banks and domestic commercial banks can architect a payments scheme that offer “overlay” payment services. Common scheme components, such as a user-friendly “aliasing” application can be built or bought in. Ripple also provides messaging translators to simplify integration into legacy bank applications. By leveraging the native cross-border capabilities of xCurrent, regional payment networks can be quickly established as well.  For the first time, countries can build a clearing and settlement infrastructure that can be shared across domestic and cross-border payment services, with a distributed architecture mitigating systemic risks.

Ripple invites any central bank to work with us on a beta trial of an Immediate Payments solution over a three- to six-month innovation project with a small number of their domestic banks.  This will enable us to assess any gaps and steer a clear path to a commercial solution.

Again quoting the BIS report, “Central banks, in particular, may contribute to the development and implementation of fast payments in their traditional roles as catalysts for change, as well as operators and overseers of payment systems, to the extent that fast payments contribute to meeting these public policy objectives.”

The future is already here and can be more evenly distributed as well!

The post Who Really Cares About Real-time Payments? appeared first on Ripple.

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rippled Version 0.81.0

Ripple has released rippled version 0.81.0, which introduces changes that improve the scalability of the XRP Ledger and transitions the recommended validator configuration to a new hosted site, as described in Ripple’s Decentralization Strategy Update post.

Ripple strongly recommends upgrading to rippled version 0.81.0 immediately.

Action Required

If you operate a rippled server, then you should upgrade to rippled version 0.81.0 immediately.

Ripple recommends that you:

  • Edit your rippled.cfg to remove the [validators] section, if one is present.
  • Replace the contents of any existing validators.txt file with the version included with this release. If you are upgrading to rippled version 0.81.0 using the rippled RPM package, then your default validators.txt file may automatically be updated, in which case you will not need to modify the file. The validators.txt file is usually in the same directory as your rippled.cfg file.
  • After starting your rippled server, confirm that it is configured to use the new defaults by executing:

/opt/ripple/bin/rippled validators

The result should include the following:

  "local_static_keys" : [],
        "publisher_lists" : [
           {
              "available" : true,
              "expiration" : "2018-Jan-23 00:00:00",
              "list" : [
                  "nHB1FqfBpNg7UTpiqEUkKcAiWqC2PFuoGY7FPWtCcXAxSkhpqDkm",
                  "nHUpwrafS45zmi6eT72XS5ijpkW5JwfL5mLdPhEibrqUvtRcMAjU",
                  "nHUBGitjsiaiMJBWKYsJBHU2shmYt9m29hRqoh8AS5bSAjXoHmdd",
                  "nHUXh1ELizQ5QLLqtNaVEbbbfMdq3wMkh14aJo5xi83xzzaatWWP",
                  "nHUgoJvpqXZMZwxh8ZoFseFJEVF8ryup9r2mFYchX7ftMdNn3jLT"
              ],
              "pubkey_publisher" : "ED2677ABFFD1B33AC6FBC3062B71F1E8397C1505E1C42C64D11AD1B28FF73F4734",
              "seq" : 2,
              "version" : 1
           }
        ],

Impact of Not Upgrading

  • If you operate a rippled server, but do not upgrade to rippled version 0.81.0, then your rippled server may periodically drop transactions and fall out of sync with the network.

  • On Tuesday January 16, 2018, the current validator keys on all five Ripple-operated rippled validator servers will be replaced. If you have been using the recommended default configuration and do not reconfigure your rippled server before that time, then your rippled server will stop seeing validated ledgers.

For instructions on updating rippled on supported platforms, see Updating rippled on supported platforms.

The sha256 for the rpm is: 75acdf54e472875bff609fa2d1cc59524e4d8f8e885751b50aaeb85938ab3609

The sha256 for the source rpm is: fbc95f6168d015190b93b81f97c20979886fa2f6663e4dd15157409075db46e9

For other platforms, please compile version 0.81.0 from source.

The first log entry should be the change setting the version:

    commit 4e8c8deeaac83d18eb62c95b7425d96e11847a41
    Author: Nikolaos D. Bougalis 
    Date:   Wed Jan 3 14:43:42 2018 -0800

        Set version to 0.81.0

Network Update

The Ripple technical operations team will deploy rippled version 0.81.0 to all rippled servers under its operational control, Tuesday, 01/09/2018.

Learn, ask questions, and discuss

Related documentation is available in the Ripple Developer Portal, including detailed example API calls and web tools for API testing.

Other resources:

0.81.0 Change Log

  • New hosted validator configuration

Bug Fixes

  • Filter SQL results in lieu of a search clause (#2312)

The post rippled Version 0.81.0 appeared first on Ripple.

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Looking Ahead: 2018 Predictions for the Digital Asset Space

2017 was the year all eyes turned to digital assets and blockchain technology — spurring both to pop up everywhere around the globe.

In fact, there are now more than 1,300 types of digital assets with a collective market capitalization of over $700 billion — which is a higher market cap than some of the biggest banks in the United States.

And, these days it seems that everyone has a blockchain. Long Island Iced Tea purveyors of, well … iced tea, decided to move into the blockchain industry and changed their name to Long Blockchain.

So what will 2018 mean for the space? Here are a few of the team’s predictions.

If 2017 was the birth of the ICO, 2018 will be its demise 

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has said several times over the course of last year that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are toxic and many investors will get burned — badly.

The first half of the new year will no doubt see this unfortunate prediction come to fruition. Regulators worldwide are already cracking down hard on many illegitimate, fraudulent ICOs and the people behind them.

It wouldn’t surprise us if we see a proliferation of lawsuits, fines, and even jail time for some. We expect this will drive significant volatility in the crypto space, but only in the short term.

Digital assets: the best versus the rest

We also expect this period of uproar to shine a spotlight on the best digital assets (tokens) with the strongest use case, backed by real, legitimate businesses. Digital assets that solve real problems will emerge as winners. Period.

Those that are nothing more than an experiment will scramble to find them. CryptoKitties is just one example of what we’ll see more and more over the next few months —  half-baked attempts to find a use case for coins that never had a purpose to begin with.

So while much of the general global public has heard of bitcoin or ethereum, or even Cryptokitties, demand for alternatives to these will grow exponentially.

Which brings us to my next major prediction for 2018: We expect the digital asset market to surpass the $1 trillion mark before year end. And you know what that means…

FOMO and interoperability

Buyers that aren’t already exposed will have major FOMO — and dive in by the droves. We also wouldn’t be surprised to see new funds focused entirely on crypto funds spring up everywhere.

Last but certainly not least, there won’t be one blockchain or digital asset to rule all. Those that think there will be one dominant network or cryptocurrency will fall by the wayside.

In 2018 and beyond, the name of the game will be interoperability.

Ripple CTO Stefan Thomas also offered his thoughts on where the space is headed next year,  read about here.

The post Looking Ahead: 2018 Predictions for the Digital Asset Space appeared first on Ripple.

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