Ripple’s cross-border payments solution and Ethereum’s promise of permissionless finance, are two use cases that have gained traction in the cryptocurrency space as of late.
The senior vice president of product at Ripple, Asheesh Birla recently noted that these two cryptocurrencies have already established their niches by finding palatable solutions to real-world problems. Thus, it will be hard to replace them in the future.
XRP Leads By Example
Speaking during the Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet Conference held recently in San Francisco, California, Asheesh Birla talked about cryptocurrencies finding their use cases and niches and growing those ecosystems. He noted that for XRP, Ripple has carved out the cross-border payments niche.
Birla cited the growing remittance volume between the US and Mexico, owing to Ripple’s collaboration with MoneyGram. He reiterated the fact that in the first week of February, the company processed 7.5% of the total US flows to Mexico using their XRP-powered remittance product.
The SVP went on to note that Ripple will continue building solutions for financial institutions to easily move money internationally. If this use case proves successful, expensive correspondent banks that act as middlemen will be completely eliminated as users will only need to trust “a set of computers and digital assets” to efficiently move value across borders. He referred to this striking venture of easily moving value using digital assets as a “big game-changer.”
Ethereum’s Growing DeFi Network
Regarding Ethereum, Birla observed that the blockchain project has been doing great in the DeFi sector so far. DeFi – short for Decentralized Finance – is an open-source finance system that allows users to gain access to quick loans, insurance, and so on, without the need for a middleman. Birla pointed to the more than $1 billion locked in DeFi. “So they really own that narrative. They have products and an ecosystem around that narrative,” Birla added.
As such, Birla noted that as XRP and Ethereum grow their already-flourishing use cases across different sectors and industries, the harder it will be for them to be replaced:
“So for example, with cross-border payments, I think it’s going to be increasingly hard to dislodge XRP. And with DeFi, as the ecosystem expands, it will be increasingly hard to dislodge Ethereum because it’s so liquid for those use cases.”
More Focus On Finding Real-World Solutions, Less On Scalability
As for bitcoin, Birla explained that he is not super bullish about the Lightning Network which was introduced to resolve bitcoin’s scalability issues. He questioned why people in the blockchain industry are focused on creating solutions for scalability instead of building real-world use cases:
“Why isn’t there more discussion on why we should scale? Blockchains are melting down[…] And if we put as much energy into finding real-world solutions using blockchain and less on scalability, this industry will be two or three years ahead.”
According to him, the Lightning network is pretty interesting but he thinks Bitcoin serves well as a store of value and not as a payment system.
Overall, Ethereum and XRP’s use cases are booming. But, their prices are bleeding out despite the impressive growth. It remains to be seen as to whether their prices will follow the rising trends in the future.