White House Considers Ripple as a Foil to China’s Bitcoin Dominance
Ripple is certainly divisive, seeming to catalyze an equal number of naysayers as it maintains influential fans. According to Chief Market Strategist, Cory Johnson, those fans may also include the highest office in US government.
Johnson, who joined Ripple Labs in March this year, has an extensive background in journalism. He founded basketball magazine, SLAM, before a stint working at CNBC and 8 years at Bloomberg. One of his main tasks at Ripple has been to improve public perception of the company.
In a recent interview, Johnson covered lots of ground, including a hook-up with former US President, Bill Clinton, earlier this year. But one of the more interesting things he discussed was regarding current president, Donald Trump.
Chinese domination of bitcoin (BTC) 00 mining has caused concern in the industry, specifically regarding how much leverage this provides China over bitcoin. According to Johnson, this concern spreads as far as The White House.
When questioned over the Trump administration’s feelings about Ripple, he replied that his initial low expectations were unfounded. The open-mindedness and smart questions regulators and government have asked have amazed him.
Johnson said that The White House:
[…] seems to be thinking about what it means to have 80 percent of bitcoin mining taking place in China… When you look at XRP, there is no mining, so from a foreign-control aspect or from an environmental aspect, XRP is a very different beast. And… the administration… seem to get that and think that might matter.
Those Who Say “Nay!”
Obviously, critics were quick to jump on this comment, but in a somewhat cack-handed manner. Coinmetrics.io co-founder, Nic Carter, took umbrage at his own perception that Ripplers were being painted as benevolent environmentalists.
I think the XRP story is a solid reductio ad absurdum demonstrating that the "PoW is costly" angle is a cynical ploy. It's impossible to read this and think "those benevolent Ripplers are surely motivated by their environmental sensibilities." pic.twitter.com/ni93GiH9PG
— nic carter (@nic__carter) October 16, 2018
The assertion that this is the implication seems a bit tenuous. Surely the lower hanging fruit is the suggestion that the Trump administration think that environmental aspects might matter.
One of the more legitimate criticisms of Ripple centers on its level of decentralization, and this was also addressed in the interview. Johnson feels that one of the keys issues is the conflation of Ripple Labs and XRP.
Johnson claimed that Ripple Labs control only 10 of the 150 validators of the XRP currency, although they do own about sixty percent of the currency’s tokens.
Despite the criticism, Ripple continues to seal big-name partnerships, and last month even briefly overtook Ethereum as the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Any endorsement by The White House could potentially be the biggest coup of all.
Why is the government reportedly warming up to Ripple? Share your thoughts below!
Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock, Twitter (@nic_carter).