Ripple president talks XRP Ledger, SEC suits, and 2024 plans | Chain Reaction Podcast

Hey everyone it's Jacqueline melanic Welcome to chain reaction a show that Unpacks and Dives deep into the latest Trends drama and news with some of the Biggest names in crypto breaking things Down block by block for the crypto Curious today's guest is Monica long the President of Ripple a blockchain-based Digital payment Network and protocol Monica has spent the last 10 years at Ripple working her way up from director Of communications to now president Ripple was an illegal battle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission from December 2020 until summer of 2023 over Whether or not its token xrp should be Registered as a security as some of our Listeners know this past July Ripple Scored a victory against the SEC after a US federal judge ruled that secondary Xrp sales AKA sales to retail investors Are not investment contracts or what we Commonly call Securities but when it Comes to sales with institutional Clients it still could be treated as one So that lawsuit is not over as both Sides still have time to file briefs and Oppositions respectively by March and April we'll see how that shakes out but In the meantime Ripple has been doubling Down on other things of course focusing On crossborder transactions liquidity Other big terms that I know we'll get Into with all that said Monica welcome

To the show hi thank you so much for Having me it's a pleasure to be here Yeah I'm excited to have you we had Stu On before and he was the chief legal Officer at Ripple 2 so I think our Listeners know you guys pretty well now But to start off I want to talk about Your your trajectory I mentioned this in The intro a bit but you started working In Communications at Ripple and now You're president that's a pretty Admirable shift can you kind of walk us Through how you ended up to where you're At today yes I have a great story to Tell because I mean for me it's been a Phenomenal journey career-wise and LifeWise at Ripple the reason that I Entered Ripple so early in 2013 was I Known our co-founder and he's now our Executive chairman at the time he was The CEO Chris Larson Chris is a Serial Fintech entrepreneur so in the 990s he Co-founded elone and then in the early ODS he co-founded Prosper which was one Of the first peer-to-peer lending Marketplaces if we remember those y or Actually I mean they're still out there And doing a lot of good things but when Chris was CEO of Prosper i h worked at a Public relations agency and Chris was my Client so I met him back then he's like A true Visionary someone who Has the gift of seeing around corners And also in my view he like really is

Well grounded in terms of his mission And focus of the kind of change he wants To see in the world so I was very Inspired by him working on Prosper Thought he founded Ripple and that's What was my entry point so when I joined To lead Communications I mean it was Maybe a 10p person team sits that the Adages the intersection of luck and Opportunity but I I was just very lucky To join then and then over time as we Started to identify our lane or the Early days of Ripple it was really about This new technology The xrp Ledger what Are the different use cases for it how Can we see blockchain technology adopted And integrated into the world to solve Real world problems and started to focus More and more on payments so I then Built our marketing team and then from There led a team within Ripple called Ripple X but really focused on Supporting and growing the developer Community Around The Ledger so that's a Ton of fun and then just early last year It was about a year ago that I took the Post of President so honored to be able To lead this team but yeah we're we're Now I'm responsible not only for ripple X but also the other parts of the Business including payments and uh Custody business which we just acquired Last year and when you're talking about Ripple's Ledger can you explain for our

Listeners what you're referring to too Cuz you're not talking about The Ledger Crypto wallet you're talking about Ripple's Ledger right I want to make the Clarification so XP Ledger yes so yeah The xrp Ledger is something distinct From Ripple it was first developed in 2012 and it was always developed as a Decentralized public Ledger it's an open Source codebase so anyone can really Contribute to it and use it as well and Thousands of developers around the world Do interestingly I think I have my fact On this but xrp Ledger was either the First or second alt chain to launch so Litecoin and xrp Ledger launched right Around the same time right but the Developers envisioned a version of Bitcoin that would Implement a novel Consensus mechanism to achieve faster Confirmation times a lower cost system That would scale to handle more Transaction throughput and also Inventing the first decentralized Exchange at the time so from the Beginning the developer had thought of Blockchain and public ledgers as a great Way to represent and move and transact Value all around the world so they built This first decentralized exchange and The ability to issue tokens onto it so We saw actually the first stable coins Coming through xrp Ledger as well as Other types of tokens and forms of value

The last thing I would say is today xrp Ledger has been you know it's like Enterprise grade one of the few Blockchains out there that has been Proven to be used in Enterprise Applications handling those types of Volumes and still maintaining uptime and Yeah it's used by I think I mentioned Thousands of developers during your 10 Years at Ripple you mentioned all these Like first and big use cases which one Do you think has been the most attention Grabbing by maybe mainstream audiences And then the crypto audience when it Comes to using Ripple and these Different products and services I think Certainly what both The xrp Ledger and Ripple have been most know for is Payments I mean that is by Design that's I mentioned you know the original Creators of The Ledger that they saw hey This could be a modern system for Value Movement that is as fast and free as Email so instead of like the analog of Post office versus email we've got Banking system today versus what you can Achieve on a blockchain with a Decentralized exchange so that was their Vision and we productized it for the Enterprise and have worked with Financial institutions to see that use Case in real life so I think that's the Most like powerful one most interesting When I said Chris could see around

Corners I really mean it I distinctly Remember in 2013 he was talking to me about how we Needed to get the word out about how Autonomous corporations were going to be The story of 2014 which at the time I Didn't realize but he was talking about Dows okay yeah yeah which today that Concept is certainly interesting and Maybe even more interesting and even Richer now thinking about the Developments in AI I think there's just A lot going on in the world of Blockchain and web 3 that is uh a little Mind bending yeah for sure you talked a Bit about how a main part of Ripple's Product is payments specifically crossb Payments Monica and like this is Something that hits home for me because I have family in London and like sending Them money is like chaos and I have to Like wire it I have to use different Banks get their account numbers like I Just don't want to do that ever and I'm Like can I just give you cash and They're like no I don't want your cash And then I don't want their money but Anyways all of this happens and I'm sure You understand this and like my family Lives in London so that's like a strong Financial Hub but then there are people Who don't have that at all so how do you Kind of see crypto-based crossb payments Fixing what already exists in like the

Financial sector that most people Transact in today yeah you na it it's a Headache and it's also stressful like Right just knowing that you have all the Information correct when the payment Doesn't get there which happens you know A single digit sometimes double digit Percentage of time it is problematic for Individuals it can be in an emergency a Crisis and certainly for businesses so I Think what blockchain lens payments is One blockchain is a Global Network out Of the box right so you have a network Run by decentralized validators or Operators that can represent value and Then settle that value anywhere in the World instantly and in some cases nearly For free so depending on which Ledger You're using it can be very very cost Effective and then the other thing kind Of like the hidden costs or Opportunities to payments today one the Point on reliability and transparency Because crossborder payments today are Dependent on different bank LS and Intermediaries to connect these Disparate networks so like the US Network and England's network with all The other networks in the world and Every intermediary is a point of Opaqueness or ausc from the end point of Where you want your payment to land and It's also a point of risk or failure so Again something that blockchains are

Inherently good at is transparency and Showing you the end to end of exactly What's happening with your transaction If it settled in real time then you have That assurance that your money got there When you wanted it to the last point I Would make is just today foreign Exchange is pretty concentrated in terms Of the players who actually have enough Capital to provide the liquidity for Those transactions so when you have a Lot of concentration you have lack of Competitiveness for the pricing and into The future when we think of people in The world of blockchain solving problems Like know your customer Custer other Types of compliance requirements in a Decentralized environment then you can See more participants acting on or Providing liquidity on these Decentralized exchanges you can see a Real Monumental shift in the endtoend Costs of those types of transactions Let's make up a scenario where like Maybe in five to 10 years maybe sooner If we're being optimistic the Traditional Financial World becomes more Decentralized and makes Global Transactions easier than what we just Discussed what what kind of role do you Think Ripple would have in that Arena or Do you think it's a separate world so That is a beautiful picture you just P Think that I think it's also inevitable

We have flying cars yeah we flying yeah I don't know what planet we might be on A different planet by that maybe it's Intergalactic payments at that point I I Think it's inevitable at this point Because people have said like the genie Out of the bottle with blockchains and This is something that I do think that a Key thing as an industry we need to see Is workable regulatory Frameworks Workable regulations so that we can Bring these Innovations to Market but Any I think that's definitely going to Happen the role of Ripple I see as an Infrastructure technology provider Sounds humdrum if I put it that way but The exciting part of it to me is the Scale of impact that we can have at that Infrastructure layer because we worked On this payments problem for so long we Had to solve a lot of nuts and bolts or Plumbing issues related to marrying Crypto blockchain technology with the Existing systems so by that I mean Things like on and off ramps right you Know getting money from Real World into Crypto and back out into local bank Accounts solving for liquidity solving For secure custody of assets solving for Compliance so all these kind of heavy Lifting un sexy things that you really Need in order to do what you just said Like provide a killer like the venmo app Of that future world or lending or

Mortgages or you think of all these Financial use cases I think that we will Be the provider of that infrastructure Tech I'm glad you brought up the little Regulatory piece as well the little as If that's not like the massive themeing Crypto right now right uh but we've Talked to many people building in the Crypto space that think it's easier or Smarter sometimes to build outside of The US because of the quote unquote lack Of regulatory Clarity here do you think This is also driving for emphasis on This globalization and crossb payments Situation as well or do you think it's Not as much of a problem in the US for That specific sector I think that for All types of crypto applications today There Are Places outside of the US that Have much clearer regulation for us to Like like know how to properly build and Work with the government than in the US The US is on more the end of the Spectrum of stifling new developments And innovation in the world of crypto You mentioned at the top that our case With the SEC last year I do think that That was defining not just for our Company but for the industry in terms of How the US government is going to view And treat crypto assets which in that Ruling judge was super clear like xrp in And of itself is not a security it has To do with how it is packaged and

Brought to Market I think that has been Very helpful but I still think it'd be More helpful to see clear laws coming From Congress right do you think xrp Being deemed not a security for retail Investors is leading to a higher rate of Adoption that is a good question what I've observed is xrp along with a lot of Crypto assets I've more observed a Consistent trend line of the market all Kind of ebbing and flowing together and Of course over the past several months That has mainly been speculation and Excitement or lack thereof around the Bitcoin ETF so Market's kind of been Moving more together versus in a Segmented fashion yeah we've definitely Been hearing all the conversations about The potential or the bull market that we Might be in I don't know who knows I Don't want anyone to come at me with Pitchfork so go crypto woo but how would You compare the Ripple vers SEC lawsuit To the other ones that you've seen in The crypto space in the past year or two I mean the situation has been going on For years do you think Ripple has been Treated fairly in the US how do you kind Of expect this all to pan out in the Future so in terms of the lawsuit we're Pleased with you know how that has all Resolved itself just having that Clarity And that July order from the judge of Seeing that xrp is a digital asset it's

Not a security give us so much Clarity Of how we can operate and how we can use It as part of our products so that was a Really great outcome the years prior to That where we were going through the Lawsuit was really difficult to make Progress and do business here in the US So as a result of that or related to That we really saw most of our growth Happening outside of the US and it kind Of goes back to like where Regulators Are clear about their Frameworks how They treat crypto there's a lot more Progress that you can make on the Adoption side but I think that some of The other recent cases like even with Grayscale the SEC has declared a war on Crypto and I don't see them winning that War you see each of these battles being Won by the industry and so we'll see What that adds up to but it doesn't seem To be going their way maybe the spot Bitcoin ETF is a little white flag W in The air that's I like that yeah let's Well not to jinx it anything but fingers Crossed all right Monica we're going to Take a quick break before we get into The rapid fire [Music] Segment and we are back now it's time For our rapid fire segment where I will Ask Monica some questions and hopefully She gives us some quick responses to Start Monica what is one skill you

Learned working in Communications aside From communicating that you now employ In your leadership position Good one Transparency and that's interesting Because it's is that a lesson from Communications or is that more of a Cultural right yeah maybe it's more of a Value like a value that I inherited from Our leaders like Chris and Brad Garlinghouse is our CEO he has been for Several years but transparency and Truth At all times whether you're Communicating externally or internally Yeah to treat people like adults and to Just be straightforward Okay that goes into the next question Then when thinking about Ripple's past Present and future what are three words You would use to describe it o I would Say a journey oh I like that I feel like I'm I'm overthinking these but give me a Minute here okay don't worry we won't Tie this to forever no I know Opportunity and Transformation I like it would you like Me to explain them or just leave it at That you know I'll give you that you Could explain if you Want this is rapid fire Monica but we'll Let you we'll let you expand yeah I'm Already failing okay I think Journey Opportunity and transformation just to Say that because you know I've been a

Part of it for 10 years company's been Around for 11 and you know the industry A little more than that but obviously There's been a lot of twists and turns Crypto generally has been a roller Coaster ride yep but I say like Opportunity transformation because the Reason this industry is here to stay and Certainly Ripple as a fixture is that What we're seeking to do and what we're Seeking to change will be really Transformational for the whole financial Industry and the billions of people Around the world okay I'll take it that Was good what is one area Ripple isn't Focused on that you think could be fun To explore one day you know something That's definitely bubbling up around Every corner in the past year has been Real world asset tokenization all right Which other blockchains do you admire Ethereum absolutely Bitcoin I think Polygon too has made some really great Strides you know on the layer two side What other countries outside of the US Do you think have the clearest crypto Regulation I guess the US doesn't even Have the clearest but which ones do you Think Do uh Singapore I think Europe in the UK Dubai those are some that come to mind Do you think we'll see crypto regulation Or Clarity in the US in 2024 yes I'm an Optimist we love that we love optimism

We need more of that in crypto yes or no Last question on this round Monica do You think payments will be the biggest Blockchain use case long term ially yes Yes I I fully believe that Ripple and Otherwise relatedly jumping off the Rapid fire now uh we talked a bit about The Ledger in the beginning but how do You think it is built for payments or Businesses to kind of optimize Things so the way that The Ledger Confirms transactions the way it was Designed means that it's very fast very Very lowc cost highly scalable and those Factors together mean that I think it it Can support a wide variety of use cases It has a lot of built-in features and Functionality too we talked about the Decks but also has things like Auto Bridging and Trust lines which are Valuable for efficient transactions as Well as useful for things like Compliance so I think those are just Some of the inherent features that make It really attractive for Enterprises Cases and how does that kind of tie all In with Ripple's payments then yeah so For our payments application the way That we deliver payments for customers The payments are facilitated using xrp For the fast settlement times and then Something we are currently working on is Actual integration of our payment Application Into The xrp Ledger

Decentralized exchange so that would be Using the full set of capabilities of The decks through our payments Application and with everything we kind Of talked about here Monica we talked About payments we talked about The Ledger we talked about a bunch of Different areas I want to know what is Ripple's big Focus for 2024 if you could Fast forward 12 months and be like this Is what we accomplished and I'm Extremely proud of it what would that be Yeah we have this longer term vision of Being that Enterprise infrastructure Provider building in such a way that We're able to offer things like on and Off ramp in crypto liquidity custody Compliance all these feature sets Together for a variety of Enterprise use Cases you could think of it like for Amazon to then offer AWS payments was Ripple's Flagship and we're now able to Offer our version of AWS but it's for Crypto and so toward that a big thing in 2024 to look for is how we're Integrating payments and custody is the Business that we acquired last year Medico and yeah I think that's how You'll kind of see the evolution of our Business all right awesome my last Question for you Monica is can you leave Us with a piece of advice maybe Something you've brought with you Throughout your career well I think when

Crypto hits crypto summer it's hot and Everyone wants to be a part of this Industry and I definitely have noticed In this latest winter even the the pitch Decks from different developers that we Used to see you know maybe back in 2022 That were all about web 3 they now flip To AI as the as the headline of what They're selling right they might be Coming back now so yeah yeah so don't Don't be the sheep that uh follows the Herd in the times of winter you could See that I guess my advice is to lean Into the future I know that right now Regulatory climate where's the US going To fall you know is the ETF going to get Approved like where does the world stand On crypto blockchain also frankly just In the wake of some of the big headlines Around binance and FTX there's this kind Of cloud over the industry but taking on Risk comes great reward and I think that From a purpose standpoint being a part Of building this future is really Meaningful yeah I agree with you on that Monica thank you so much for coming on The show today it was great to have you Thank you thanks so much for having me We'll be back next week with Conversations around what's going on in The wild world of web 3 with top players In the crypto EOS system you can keep up With us on Spotify Apple music or your Favorite pod platform And subscribe to

Our companion newsletter also call Chain Reaction links to the newsletter and Stories we talked about can be found in Our show notes and be sure to follow us At chain reaction on Twitter chain Reaction is hosted by myself Jaclyn Melanic and produced by Maggie stamitz With assistance from shod karney and Editing by Kell Bryce Durban is our Illustrator and Henry pette manages Tech Crunch audio products thanks for Listening in see you next [Music] Time

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