‘Bitcoin Is Controlled by China,’ Says Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 4 min read
‘Bitcoin Is Controlled by China,’ Says Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse
Brad Garlinghouse. Photo: Ripple / Twitter

Garlinghouse opens up about his view on Bitcoin along with the long-term impact of Ripple’s technology to drive the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies in the future.

During the latest 2018 Stifel Cross Sector Insight Conference, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse was interviewed by Lee Simpson – Stifel Tech Analyst, where he made some claims about how the banking system will shape in the future along with the long-term impact of Ripple’s technology to drive the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies in the future.

While talking on the long-term aspects of the industrial applications, Garlinghouse talked about the misconceptions regarding Ripple disrupting the banking industry. Garlinghouse said that instead of disrupting, Ripple’s decentralized technology would help to supplement it. He said:

“Blockchain will not disrupt banks… it will play an important role in the way our system works. It’s a short-sighted view…”

Ripple, the San Francisco-based blockchain startup was started as a payment remittance network and gross settlement system. Using the blockchain technology, Ripple aims to bring a revolution in the way people transfer payments instantly across the globe. While talking about the long-term goals of Ripple, Garlinghouse said:

“There are millions unbanked or underbanked… When I think about the transformation, it is fundamentally changing the way millions participate in banking. We can fundamentally change the way this works, to bring an entire population up a step in the system.”

Taking a dig at Bitcoin, Garlinghouse said that although Bitcoin has been the first to set the precedence of using cryptocurrencies, there are other tokens in the market who do the job of instant transactions and settlements in a much better way. He said:

“This is how liquidity will be managed in the future.” He focused on emerging markets. XRP was described as “the best digital asset for settlement.”  He said, “Bitcoin today takes 45 minutes to settle a transaction, while XRP clears it in only 4 sec.” He continued: “Banks will use what is efficient and cheaper.  And if you deliver a better product at a better price… they will use it.”

While further talking on the transaction speeds, Garlinghouse said:

“Bitcoin today takes 45 minutes to settle a transaction… A number of prominent people, even Steve Wozniak, has said that he sees a world where Bitcoin is the primary currency. I think that’s absurd. I don’t think that any major economy will allow that to happen. By the way, it doesn’t make sense.”

On the top of all this, Garlinghouse believes that the world’s largest digital currency is centralized and controlled by China. While talking to Simpson, he said:

“I’ll tell you another story that is underreported, but worth paying attention to. Bitcoin is really controlled by China. There are four miners in China that control over 50% of Bitcoin… How do we know that China won’t intervene?  How many countries want to use a Chinese-controlled currency?”

Additionally, 40% of the world’s Bitcoin mining market is dominated by Chinese companies alone like chipmaker, Bitmain and its subsidiaries, BTC.com and AntPool.

Garlinghouse also clarified the fact that he himself owns Bitcoin saying:

“I own bitcoin. Many people consider it as digital gold. I acknowledge, I’m long crypto. I’d advise folks to only invest in crypto only what you’re willing to lose. It’s early to tell how it is going to play out. I think it’s a pretty good investing strategy.”

Since the beginning of 2018, Ripple has been seen establishing close ties with several banks and financial service providers from around the globe. Ripple works with these financial organizations to helps them with its popular blockchain products like xCurrent and xRapid to facilitate instant money transfers and payments. The latest to join the Ripple’s list of banking clients is American Express.

Ripple also launched a Venture Capital Fund Xpring to invest, incubate, acquire and provide grants to business that will make use of XRP or the XRP Ledger.

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