How Ripple Reinvented Banking

In mid-2017, Ripple Labs finally had the wind in its sails. A few months earlier, it had secured a $50 million Series B funding round, and was starting to get high on the crypto vibe. But most importantly of all, it had finally come up with its master plan for disrupting banking.

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RippleNet Isn’t A Network And Never Will Be

After the release of JP Morgan’s JPM Coin, Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple Labs’ CEO, was quick to criticise the new cryptocurrency for being closed-ended and for JP Morgan’s internal use only. Ripple Labs, on the contrary, prides itself in having established an open standard, with a network of users they call “RippleNet”. In reality, RippleNet is everything but a network, and will never be, because Ripple Labs doesn’t understand KYC and AML requirements.

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Building A Fraud Case Against Ripple

Ripple Labs is fighting a legal battle to prevent XRP being labeled as a security, trying to dodge the long arm of securities law. If it were to fail, Ripple would become a poster child for securities fraud class action lawsuits. However, lawyers could get Ripple’s ass served to them even without resorting to securities fraud – simply because Ripple’s methods for promoting the virtues of its XRP coins look shaky at best.

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Ripple’s Public Relations Tricks

XRP, the coin that Ripple Labs created and then gave to itself (and its founders), posted spectacular returns in 2017, going from $0.006 to over $2. The coin rose in parallel with an aggressive PR campaign from Ripple Labs. Let’s see what were the claims that they made throughout the year, and compare them to what was really going on.

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Ripple’s Circular Business Model

Ripple is notoriously secretive about its revenue model. Many suspect that the only way it makes money is by selling its stash of XRP coins. The company never bothered to dispell this suspicion. In fact, it never even revealed how much its products and services cost.

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Nvidia’s Wild Ride On The Crypto Rollercoaster

Nvidia ($NVDA) was the top performing stock in the S&P500 index in 2016, rallying a whopping 227%. 2015 and 2017 weren’t bad either, as the stock went up by 66% and 82%, respectively.

The story of Nvidia’s amazing rise, and subsequent fall, is a tale of wishful thinking, unintended consequences, and, of course, cryptocurrency mining.

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Ripple’s Nostro / Vostro Trick

Ripple claims that banks will use its technology to perform fast cross-border transfers. When that comes, they will need to buy XRP coins, and that’s why XRP coins are valuable. In reality, Ripple doesn’t stand a chance, and it must know it. It’s argument that XRP coins are worth anything at all, is a flat-out lie.

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Online Propaganda Group Tactics, Explained

A couple of weeks ago, I became the target of an online propaganda group defending the interests of Ripple, called the XRP Army. After studying their Twitter activity, I figured out their tactics, and came up with a way to identify the group’s members. Then, I applied my process to other online groups. This is what I’ve learned about online propaganda groups (OPGs).

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The #XRPArmy, Explained

The moment I posted my first piece about Ripple and XRP, my Twitter feed became flooded with rebuttals, counter-arguments, and plain old insults. I discovered that most of these messages came from a group of Twitter accounts who identify themselves as the “XRP Army”. I became so fascinated by their tactics and energy, that I decided to dedicate a whole investigative piece to this curious group of crypto fanatics.

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David Schwartz: Ripple’s Odd Chief Swindler

In September last year, shortly after David Schwartz became Ripple Labs’ CTO, Forbes ran a flattering piece about him, titled “Ripple’s Trillion-Dollar Man”. A transparent attempt at promoting Ripple, XRP, and David Schwartz himself, this article gave un a rare insight into David’s story, and involvement in Ripple.

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