Ripple is facing a fresh publicity rollercoaster this week after the company announced former US president Bill Clinton would give the keynote speech at its upcoming Swell conference.
Ripple: Clinton ‘Helped Shape Internet’
Swell, Ripple’s own conference which aims to connect “the world’s leaders in policy, payments and technology,” will run in San Francisco October 1 – 2.
Explaining its choice of keynote speaker, Ripple claimed Clinton had “helped usher in a period of extreme growth and adoption of the Internet, shaping what it is today.”
“He also established programs that bridged the ‘digital divide’ and brought new technology to underserved communities around the world,” an announcement issued Tuesday reads.
Ripple has faced mixed publicity in recent months as commentators reacted to curious noises from executives, including chief cryptographer David Schwartz telling mainstream media that Ripple’s XRP token “wasn’t a cryptocurrency” and that banks were not keen on using it.
“Earlier this year, Ripple’s CEO said he knew of banks planning to use the XRP cryptocurrency. Today, Ripple execs are quoted in Reuters saying that banks aren’t interested in using XRP or cryptocurrencies,” Bitcoin writer Nathaniel Popper responded to Schwartz in June.
PR Gold Or Disaster?
Clinton’s own record outside of politics during his term as president, still fresh in the minds of many, has meanwhile appeared only to compound Ripple’s increasingly contradictory public image.
The reveal was grimly timely in another sense, coming weeks after a social media tussle between Schwartz and blockchain developer Preston Byrne over Ripple’s role in creating XRP.
“Ripple on XRP: ‘I did not have monetary relations with that token,’” entrepreneur Tuur Demeester joked at the time adapting one of Clinton’s infamous lines from the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Ripple on XRP: "I did not have monetary relations with that token"
— Tuur Demeester (@TuurDemeester) July 6, 2018
In addition to the keynote, Clinton will take part in a panel moderated by his former advisor and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling.
I'm sensing a theme… pic.twitter.com/FuC0RjFr4z
— Tuur Demeester (@TuurDemeester) July 9, 2018
What do you think about Ripple’s choice of keynote speaker? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Pixabay, Twitter.