Xpring, the investment wing of XRP backers Ripple, is giving away a 1 billion XRP grant — valued near $260 million at press time — to a platform that’s taking its own approach to monetizing the internet via micropayments.
Announced on August 15th, the Xpring grant will go to Coil, a startup launched for former Ripple chief technology officer Stefan Thomas last fall. Among other things, Coil relies on Interledger, an interoperability protocol for cross-network payments, and Codius, Ripple’s smart contract platform. Thomas helped develop both technologies during his time as Ripple’s CTO.
Now, Coil is vamping up, and Xpring is helping the upstart by giving it a war chest of XRP. Coil is earmarking the funds to build out its community by attracting content creators ranging from journalists to streamers with a new way to generate revenue online.
Ethan Beard, senior vice president of Xpring, said the move was about highlighting how XRP could be a practical asset in the Coil ecosystem:
“Advertising and site-by-site subscription models are ready for disruption. The low cost and fast transactions of XRP makes it an ideal tool for Coil to offer an alternative monetization method and have a positive impact on creators. At Xpring, we build infrastructure and support projects that enable the Internet of Value and increase the utilization of XRP — we’re excited to support Coil and the team in their journey.”
It’s not the first time Coil has been in the headlines this year. Earlier this summer, Coil invested $20 million USD in picture hosting website Imgur in an equity investment deal. In February, CinammonVideo declared it was building Coil’s first video streaming service. Xpring joined in on Coil’s own $4 million seed round earlier this year, as well.
With 1 billion XRP in the tank, Coil is now as primed as ever to start building awareness around its micropayments system.
“This initiative will help us level the playing field for creators by providing a better way to support content across the web,” Coil co-founder Stefan Thomas said.
Ripple Ready to Rev Up Investments and Reach
Xpring’s massive grant to Coil comes on the heels of Ripple’s leadership saying it was ready to make multiple big moves in short order.
Last week, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse told Yahoo Finance UK that the fintech startup was in negotiations with several companies regarding possible acquisitions, investments, and so forth.
As Garlinghouse explained:
“We’re in a very strong position, our business is growing strongly, we have a strong balance sheet, and I intend to press our advantage […] Anything we can do to accelerate our growth and give us more capabilities that serve customer needs is a good place to be.”
The Coil grant seems to be the latest domino to fall in Ripple’s wider expansionary strategy. Weeks ago, Ripple made a similarly big splash in buying up $30 million worth of MoneyGram shares. Accordingly, the money transfer company agreed to use Ripple for cross-border payment settlements.
What the company or the Ripple community’s stop stakeholders next have up their sleeves remains to be seen. But larger questions remain, too.
The XRP Security Possibility Lingers
Currently, a group of XRP investors are suing Ripple in California over the allegation the startup illegally sold them unregistered securities.
Those investors amended their lawsuit earlier this month so as to cite the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission’s guidance on cryptocurrencies, which outlines when the SEC considers a project to be an unregistered security.
That update appears to mark the first time anyone has cited the SEC in this way. Ripple now has a little over one month to respond to the various charges in the lawsuit.