Ripple is emerging as a global leader in blockchain development. The company just announced further collaboration with Tsinghua University, in China. The newly announced program will build toward the inception of a blockchain tech research scholarship program aimed at Chinese graduate students.
China has a love-hate relationship with cryptos, but it appears that Ripple has been able to penetrate Beijing’s protective shroud. Ripple’s XRP token is one of the most valuable cryptos (measured by market cap), but not all of the company’s platforms need XRP to function. Ripple’s xRapid uses XRP tokens for its fees, but their xCurrent platform doesn’t require XRP at all.
The willingness of Ripple to work with numerous companies and organizations may be part of the reason why they have been welcomed into China.
One Chinese crypto pundit who goes by the name of XRPingster commented that, “In China, I don’t believe anything can happen without the government’s control. The Chinese government has its figureprints on everything that happens in the country. I don’t think this is good for Ripple. China doesn’t grant access except when it has something to do with intellectual property,” on Reddit.
Ripple Straddles the Line Between Hardcore Crypto and The Establishment
It is no secret that cryptos were born in the form of Bitcoin, which has a very libertarian streak built into its architecture. It’s hard to trace the parties involved in transactions, and the platform takes user anonymity seriously. Many of the other cryptos, like Dash for example, have embraced these ideals in their design as well.
Ripple’s philosophy is a noticeable departure from the foundational ideology of Bitcoin. Their openness to collaboration with banks, governments and universities could be one of the reasons why XRP has become the second most valuable crypto.
Even though XRP isn’t needed to use all of Ripple’s products, there is strong name recognition being generated by the constant stream of high-profile deals that Ripple is doing. Moreover, XRP is being adopted by other organizations, with the recent R3 deal serving as a perfect example.
Growing the Blockchain Brain Trust
Ivy Gao, who is the director of international cooperation and development at Tsinghua University, said that, “I think this program is going to promote future research into blockchain technology and career development in this field.”
Regardless of where cryptos end up in the Chinese government’s grand plan, building up a strong base of knowledgeable blockchain developers is a benefit for the blockchain industry at a global scale. Ripple is working around the world to support the development of educational programs to further the blockchain industry.
Eric Van Miltenburg, the SVP of Ripple’s global operations, said that the new collaboration is part of a wider global vision for blockchain, “The goal of the program is to give Chinese students the opportunity to learn about blockchain research. It is in line with our global university blockchain research initiative. We, at Ripple, are happy to support this endeavor as we look forward to the launch.”
Asia is a Massive, Relatively Untapped Market
Both China and India have more than a billion people within their borders. The nations also have a growing need for more efficient financial structures. India is in an especially tough spot when it comes to the population’s access to financial services, as many people there are too poor to use the existing financial system.
Cryptos have the potential to include people in the global financial network the couldn’t access it before. The biggest stumbling block to wider adoption of cryptos, in whatever form it may take, is clearly governments that won’t allow banks to trade in cryptos.
Banks may also be reluctant to embrace a technology that undermines their near-monopoly on financial services, and the power that gives them in the economy.
Ripple sales director Ross D’Arcy recently commented that, “I think Swift’s a really interesting example. Because Swift, if you think about it, kind of crosses the lines sometimes and plays a bit of a political role. We don’t see our customer’s transactions. Our customer’s transactions go over the internet. So Ripple could shut down as a business tomorrow, and our customers could still transact using our software. The same wouldn’t be the case with Swift.”
As tensions between nations rise, and more people take exception with the established system of government and finance, cryptos could take on an increasingly important role.