crypto strategy

Ripple’s ‘XRP Army’ Shows Why Crypto Boosters Are Their Worst Enemy

Friday I used this column discuss the story of Ripple, the San Francisco company that built a business around XRP, the cryptocurrency with which it is closely tied. My account discussed Ripple’s struggles over the years to find a long-term business case, but concluded on a positive note, citing the company’s claim that the past two years have been the best ever. time.

On Saturday, I woke up to find that my Twitter notifications had become a dumpster fire. “The XRP Army” – a group of thousands of online enthusiasts – had discovered the column and challenged certain elements of it, informing me that I was ignorant, would never get rich, etc. I wasn’t surprised as this sort of thing is normal in the crypto world, and it wasn’t a big deal either, especially since I learned a long time ago how to freely use the Twitter “block” button. Still, it made me wonder what drives these people.

To be fair, I was mean to the XRP army in my original column, describing them as fanatical lunatics, although I would say their response proved my point. It is also true that XRP is not the only cult cryptocurrency online. The oracle service known as Chainlink, for example, has the “LINK Marines”, named after its online tokens, while the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is known to fans who are like Gollum with “my precious” and about half as much fun.

You can also point out that online communities are a big part of what crypto is in the first place. In a world where crypto has powerful enemies at the highest levels of government, people are drawing a sense of solidarity by championing a new form of currency that they deem superior in terms of technology and economics. And then there’s the constant stream of memes, which make crypto culture so vibrant and colorful in the first place.

Yet my latest entanglement with the XRP army has made me question the effectiveness of their tactics and, in some cases, their sanity. If crypto is really going to go mainstream, some of its biggest boosters have to decide if they want to be the champions of cutting-edge technology or a bizarre subculture. It’s hard to take the crowds of people tweeting “over the moon” seriously while lashing out at even legitimate critics. Ultimately, the XRP army is probably its worst enemy.

That said, thanks to the handful of people who have taken the time to write thoughtful emails explaining why Ripple’s use of XRP to facilitate cross-border money transfers is – or isn’t – a business strategy. smart. In the long run, it will be real-world adoption and not online crowds that will settle the matter.

Jeff John Roberts
[email protected]

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