Aaron Lammer: Welcome, Kieran.
Kieran Kelly: Thank you for having me on.
Aaron Lammer: So, I just wanna situate this slightly for listeners. We did a show a week or two or go, in which my co-host Jay Kang humorously, but with some meaning behind it, questioned whether Ripple fans on Twitter are real people or bots. I’ll say, we’ve never gotten as much response as we got to that show. Usually, it’s like a trickle of Twitter and emails, like, instantly bombarded with interest from that show.
Aaron Lammer: So, some people felt like we were piling on the anti-Ripple sentiment of the internet. Other people were like, yeah, fuck those guys. And, there was a third camp of people like you, who were like, actually, there’s an interesting community here and you should look more into it. So, I can tell right from when you Tweeted at me that you’re interested in Ripple because it’s in your Twitter bio. So, tell me what makes you wanna have Ripple in your Twitter bio and sort of make it part of your persona in that way?
Kieran Kelly: Well, I suppose it started quite a few years ago. A friend of mine introduced me to Bitcoin. I did my research and it sort of, I think with everybody, it sort of sounded a bit like magic money.
Aaron Lammer: Where are we in the history of Bitcoin right now? Like, approximately what price are we talking about when you’re hearing about it?
Kieran Kelly: Actually, to be honest with you, when I was first told about it, it was about six or seven years ago.
Aaron Lammer: No wonder you’re calling from the Bahamas.
Kieran Kelly: Yeah, quite right. But, for me, it really sort of came down to a couple of things, actually. I mean, I come from a more traditional investment background, so, I was quite pragmatic about my approach.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah.
Kieran Kelly: I had a couple of problems with Bitcoin, or maybe what it stood for, which was, at that time, I think it was really sort of anti-government, anti-bank.
Aaron Lammer: Anarchist.
Kieran Kelly: So, that was really one of my first problems with it and then second to that, and I mean no disrespect when I say this, I also couldn’t quite get my head around the legendary Satoshi story, which was, a he, she, or a group, but nobody knew who they were, and maybe that’s my ignorance or maybe that’s just something that was completely different to me, but I just couldn’t buy into that either, so I really, really struggled on those two aspects, which led me into Ripple.
Kieran Kelly: I had this company in front of me with a fantastic theme. I looked into the investors, Google Ventures being one of them, was a big factor, and then, I did further research finding David Schwartz on YouTube, and I thought, well, this guy has a far bigger brain than me and then, obviously, onto the technicals.
Aaron Lammer: And David Schwartz, for people listening, is on Twitter @JoelKatz, and that was the person actually, the story that kicked off us talking about this was Laura Shin’s podcast in which the CEO, Brad Garlinghouse didn’t wanna go on and David Schwartz, AKA @JoelKatz offered to go instead and Joel Katz is kind of the technical godfather of Ripple.
Kieran Kelly: He is. He is chief cryptographer and I’m in awe of people like David. I did, actually, also want to apologize that you didn’t get the CEO, because I know that was a massive thing and I also wanted to say that obviously, I am not a bot, but, you know-
Aaron Lammer: You can confirm that you are not a bot?
Kieran Kelly: I can confirm I am not a bot.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah.
Kieran Kelly: But, you know, it sort of led me into, okay, what is Ripple? It’s a company. Who are they? Who are they backed by? I really liked the team. I mean, it seemed to me that it was sort of best in class team. The backers seemed fantastic with Google Ventures, SBI, et cetera, and then I sort of looked at it and went, okay, so what do they do? What is Ripple? What is XRP?
Kieran Kelly: I’m not that technical, but as someone who wanted to get into cryptocurrency, it made sense to me. I looked at it as a use case and I thought, okay, that sounds good and anyone that has sent a cross border wire transfer, like I have, either weekly or daily sometimes, it’s really frustrating. So, it made sense to me.
Kieran Kelly: Use case enterprise, use case sentiments in three seconds, low transaction cost and scalability, et cetera. So, all those things really resonated with me. Also, not beating around the bush, there was the excitement of the money.
Aaron Lammer: Sure.
Kieran Kelly: Bitcoin had grown so hugely and at that time, I saw that there could be considerable return on investment. So, they were really my main reasons.
Aaron Lammer: Interesting. So, most of the people I know who are skeptical of some of these core ideas behind Bitcoin, generally become no-coiners or skeptics. They’ll be people who are sort of like, eh, it’s not for me. In fact, I’m actually kind of against it. And, kind of what I’m hearing you say is, these are the problems I had with it, so I looked for a different cryptocurrency project that had differences along those lines.
Kieran Kelly: I was looking for something that resonated as credible. I was really pragmatic about it and I took a long time to make a decision and it was the only one that really stood out. I am more confident today that I was then. I was quite hesitant even in the beginning because it was such an unnatural investment for me because it certainly wasn’t traditional and I know that, obviously, we as a community, get a lot of heat for being involved, being holders of XRP.
Aaron Lammer: One of the things you said when I was asking you to come do this interview was that you didn’t wanna defend Ripple. I think that’s a fair position, but I wanna ask you from a sort of more zoomed out philosophical level … I think a lot of people’s problem with Ripple is that it breaks some of the dominant metaphors in cryptocurrency on several levels like, the deep involvement of a company that in some ways, the currency is built on top of this company. That rubs people the wrong way.
Aaron Lammer: The fact that it takes the idea of decentralization as put forth by Satoshi and, in my opinion, kind of scales it back a little bit. It takes the basic ideas, but it’s really like, more controlled. It’s more like traditional banking. At a certain level, do you feel like it makes sense to even compare Bitcoin and Ripple, or should these almost be filed under different cabinets in the office?
Kieran Kelly: Well, I think, I mean, you have Ripple, you have … well, you have Ripple the company and you have, obviously, XRP, the cryptocurrency, the digital asset. Ripple is centralized. It’s a private company. XRP, in my opinion, is not.
Aaron Lammer: Right.
Kieran Kelly: So, it is different. I sort of looked at it from a different perspective. What is cryptocurrency? How is it evolving? I mean, I just feel that actually what’s happened is that from Satoshi’s original white paper cryptocurrency or blockchain is evolving. This is just a different angle. It is a different way to do it. In many respects, again, that’s why it resonated with me because it was something that really aimed at use case and something that I saw very valid, maybe because I do live overseas and I do a lot of wire transfers and our companies do.
Kieran Kelly: It hit home with me that it just takes so long to get money across border and as Brad points out, in many of his interviews, as quicker a jump on a plane and hand deliver the money, which makes absolutely no sense. So, I see it from a whole different view.
Aaron Lammer: Sure.
Kieran Kelly: I mean, there’s cryptocurrency and there’s something that potentially can change the way the world and money works. Now, there is obviously the Bitcoin view, in many respects, that’s P2P. We don’t need banks. I don’t believe that … I believe that banks will evolve and change over the next decade, but I don’t believe they will disappear.
Aaron Lammer: I mean, in some ways, the way that you position Ripple is a more traditional investment in so far as, Ripple has a spokesperson and a CEO and there’s people behind it, whereas you said, the Satoshi method is kind of about the lack of leadership and the void left behind.
Aaron Lammer: I had a similar feeling about Ripple when I first got into crypto, in terms of it’s potential. I was like, oh, I get that, it’s like a thing banks can use. Okay, I get all that. And the part where I started to kinda lose the thread a little bit, and I’m wondering where you come in on this stuff, was when I realized that they were … and this is not unique to Ripple. You could level this against half of the cryptocurrencies out there.
Aaron Lammer: They would sort of say, oh, we have a deal with Am-Ex. Well, it’s actually a pilot program. Well, it’s actually, Am-Ex doesn’t know about it, but this kind of like, idea that they were selling the vision of it and acting like it was already happening when it wasn’t totally happening, and many of these things are not totally happening, but I feel like something about that moment fractured the crypto community into people who were defending Ripple and people who were against Ripple.
Aaron Lammer: I don’t think any community has been quite so divisive. When did you start feeling like that was seeping in? How far into your Ripple journey did you start feeling the friction?
Kieran Kelly: I think actually just before SWELL, the conference. So, when was that? September, October last year.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah. Kinda right before the big bull run.
Kieran Kelly: Yeah. It was. And so, SWELL was announced and the price went up for XRP. A lot of people were waiting for a huge announcement, but that was when I believe the, maybe almost, Ripple felt that they had to keep announcing partnerships to feed the fire, fuel the fire of cryptocurrency.
Aaron Lammer: Right.
Kieran Kelly: You know, I mean, I totally understood SWELL. I thought it was a fantastic conference. It was about gaining relationships, and obviously, after SWELL, the price went down and it sort of settled a bit. So, I did like to hear about the partnerships because it does sort of set the tone that Ripple is working with X bank. In my opinion, the next step to that on these pilots is the implementation of xRapid. So, it’s connectivity, I suppose, for me.
Aaron Lammer: So, the big bull run happened. Ripple went from 50 cents to a dollar-ish all the way up close to three dollars, I think, at one point?
Kieran Kelly: I think we nearly hit, on some exchanges, nearly hit four dollars.
Aaron Lammer: I’m assuming that that was a profitable run for you, but beyond-
Kieran Kelly: That was a good Christmas.
Aaron Lammer: I remember on the show, actually, Jay and I talked about … We were like, okay, well, people have exhausted all the coins on Coinbase. What’s another thing that’s easy to find on the internet? Like, you had almost it that point, Google, like what crypto should I buy? And Ripple would be popup.
Aaron Lammer: So, there was this whole new wave of people coming in who were buying Ripple, many of them in positions above a dollar, and getting ejected. So, what was it like as a long term Ripple holder to have this new wave of Ripple people coming in?
Kieran Kelly: Well, to be honest with you, I sort of had that mad scientist feeling because I truly believed in it before the bull run.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah.
Kieran Kelly: I was a bit concerned, to be honest with you, because as it started happening, the press got hold of it, the media got hold of it, and it really just escalated it so quickly. For me, it was too quick.
Aaron Lammer: Brian Kelly was not your friend during this period [inaudible 00:36:48]?
Kieran Kelly: Yeah. You know, it really, it pushed on so quickly, the concern was obviously that it was going to exhaust itself and it did. I mean, there were two things that really ended up happening, which was Coinbase sent out their notice that they’re not looking at any other cryptocurrencies, and-
Aaron Lammer: And they also sent out kind of a blanket message that was like, here are the kinds of coins we could consider and you’re like, huh, seems like they’re saying, not Ripple.
Kieran Kelly: That was exactly how we read into it. The other thing was, I think it was about two weeks later, CoinMarketCap took off the, I think it was the South Korean pairs, or prices, and that dropped the market completely. So, we have these two elements that really took the bottom out of the price. So, in many respects, it did stabilize and went, in my opinion, went back to normal.
Kieran Kelly: But, what it created was this huge thud, if that’s what you are to call it. I suppose, left us exposed in many respects and then you had the talk of the flippening, which was obviously the potential, I think, that one stage we went above Ethereum and then, I didn’t think we were gonna overtake Bitcoin at that time, but it really obviously got the backup of some big Bitcoin maximalists, if that’s what you wanna call it.
Kieran Kelly: And, obviously, Twitter being such a big forum, there was this huge attack that came out of nowhere, so you had these big guys with massive following on Twitter and they went for it, and whereas the XR community had spent a long time really informing people, so we were really just guys and girls out there informing new members or anybody else that wanted to look at XRP, about what it does, correcting misinformation, and then suddenly, we were being attacked from every angle, and it really went from there, so I think, actually, the SWELL conference and the bull run were the two main elements when it came to where we sort of sit today and why, maybe, we are perceived as sort of a swarm of, a gang, or whatever you wanna call it.
Aaron Lammer: I come back to sports metaphors a lot. It felt like that moment when Ripple passed Ethereum, you became the Yankees or the Chelsea of the league and it became fashionable to dislike Ripple, and I think we take the piss out of enough currencies that we can’t be considered Ripple skeptics particularly. I don’t think we discriminate.
Aaron Lammer: But, one of the things that came up in a lot of the discussions … I actually think we taped a show the night that Ripple passed Ethereum and became number two, was, I believe at that juncture, Brad Garlinghouse became, on paper, somewhere around three dollars, he became, on paper, one of the richest people in the world, like, maybe number two or number three in the richest people in the world with his Ripple stash.
Kieran Kelly: Was it Brad or was it Chris Larsen?
Aaron Lammer: Now, I think you’re right. It think it was Chris Larsen. But, everyone was in the top 100. Jed McCaleb, a bunch of people became in the 100 richest people in the world at that moment.
Kieran Kelly: They were. They definitely-
Aaron Lammer: And-
Kieran Kelly: Yeah, I didn’t think that helped [crosstalk 00:40:20]
Aaron Lammer: Well, I mean, look, I’m not mad … It’s not that I think the other people in the 100 richest people in the world are somehow admirable and Ripple people aren’t, but it became a little bit of a question for me … If they’ve got a few pilot programs going for Ripple, and they are already in the 10 richest people in the world, what is the incentive, then, to follow through on this vision?
Aaron Lammer: If this has been enough to make you one of the biggest companies in the world on paper. When Apple came to that point, they had computers and the iPhone on the market. They had done all of this stuff, and it felt a little bit like Ripple got there many years too early.
Kieran Kelly: I think the proof was in the pudding. You know, they’ve really upped their game and continued to expand. One thing I’ve always loved about Ripple is the fact that they have, in my opinion, have always followed through, trust, integrity, have been a huge part of why I invested in two XRP. It was a lot of hype, and to be honest with you, I think in the community, we didn’t particularly buy into any of the hype, we just knew that potentially, the price could go down and it would be business as usual.
Aaron Lammer: Why do you think that Ripple has a bad reputation on Twitter as a community for ganging up on people who criticize Ripple, or generally kind of like, taking the attitude of us versus them?
Kieran Kelly: Well, to be honest with you, I think we’ve been provoked in many respects. As I said, when we, I think, mid 2017, a lot of what we did on Twitter was educating people, new people, and we used to have general discussions between ourselves on Twitter openly about what XRP is and it was all very, very positive. The bull run came, and we were being attacked in every single threat. I mean, you couldn’t have a conversation with anybody without being called names and blah, blah, blah.
Kieran Kelly: So, really, it evolved into us sort of trying to educate misinformation, so you would have people sort of jumping in and saying something and you would have to correct them and then it would turn into this fight and sort of, name calling and that’s not really our style. Then, you have these big Twitter guys out there really putting out some bad press, should we say, on Ripple and XRP and I felt that was a vested interest, sort of biased position they took.
Kieran Kelly: So, obviously, if XRP goes up, it really, it could cause them a problem for their Bitcoin holding. There was a lot of that going on. And so it evolved, and there was this new phase of XRP people, community, that got involved, and I think the sort of main guys and girls in the XRP community have been in for a long time, have tried their hardest to say, look, you don’t react. We’re not into name calling and any of that sort of stuff.
Kieran Kelly: But, we have sort of been forced or grouped together. I mean, I remember I was at Consensus: Invest in New York in November 2017. It was my first conference and you wander around and people ask you who you are and what you do and any time I mentioned that I was invested in XRP, I was laughed at and you think, oh, okay, this is a whole different world for me.
Kieran Kelly: I think in many respects, there’s this sort of holding on Bitcoin and the people behind it and they really don’t wanna see XRP succeed. We’ve had this situation also, we mentioned Laura. We’ve had another matter, I believe with Ryan Selkis. There’s been a bit of back and forth with Ryan and Brad last week.
Aaron Lammer: I had my bag of popcorn already popped.
Kieran Kelly: You know what, it … look, whatever. The reality of this situation is they had a back and forth, then, I believe, that Ryan’s Twitter account was taken down and it was presumed, or it was, I think Ryan presumed, that it was done by an XRP fan with the skills to do that or a group of XRP fans reporting him or reporting his account, and so that it was taken down.
Kieran Kelly: However, when he came back on to Twitter with his personal account, you know, you have the likes of Tiffany Hayden, Nick, and David really rallied around and within an hour, his account was back up. I don’t know if you saw the interview consensus with Ryan.
Aaron Lammer: I did not, actually.
Kieran Kelly: Which, was quite interesting. So, okay, so, you know, you think all is good. We obviously rallied around after his account was taken down on Twitter and [inaudible 00:45:29] if it was an XRP fan, these sorts of things, or enthusiasts, these sorts of attacks are just not welcome. The Consensus: Invest interview was quite interesting. I think the topic came on to scams, but I can’t remember word-for-word what Ryan said, but his instant reply was something along the lines of Ripple and a cheeky little wink.
Kieran Kelly: You think, well, okay. We’re obviously being provoked. We take a lot of attacks on a daily basis. But, reality, I think it’s just a phase, because it does get rather boring having to repeat yourself. I mean-
Aaron Lammer: The way it comes across is, I’m not like, I’m no Ryan Selkis. I’m not well-known in crypto or anything, but I notice that I can just mention Ripple on Twitter and people will appear. And, it’s the same thing with this show. We’ve made fun of lots of coins on the show, but there’s something about Ripple that people just sort of show up.
Aaron Lammer: What you describe as informing people, there’s a weird, like in America, it would be the Jehovah’s witnesses, I don’t know in England who it would be, but it’s like, aggressive like, knock on our door kind of inform you.
Kieran Kelly: We have those, too.
Aaron Lammer: You know? And I wonder if … part of what makes me think that Ripple is a scam is that people are so eager to tell you it’s not. I’m a fan of Jackson Palmer, the creator of Dogecoin, and he has a thing that’s called, Are We Decentralized Yet? Which basically lists what percentage of the total coin volume is in the top X accounts. I don’t wanna quote numbers because I’m gonna be wrong. But, it shows Ripple as much more centralized than, say, Bitcoin, viewed through this lens.
Aaron Lammer: I understand, I would guess that you would probably say, well, that’s kind of a manipulative lens to see it through and that’s not really what Ripple’s all about, blah, blah, blah. Fine, I agree with that. The fact that Jackson Palmer, who’s like a crypto veteran, wants to take that site down because the amount of like, weird attention it brings him. There does seem to be some organized, behind the scenes effort on the part of Ripple and you’re telling me it’s not bought, but I’ve never seen people who are able to organize to appear people to comment in this kind of a way.
Aaron Lammer: We have comment threads on that episode of Coin Talk that are 10 or 15 people involved. We only have … we’re not even that big a show. A lot of the people who are commenting didn’t seem to have listened to the show, either. That was what was made me suspicious, and someone made a graph that showed all the Twitter accounts that had responded to Ryan Selkis after the Laura Shin thing and it was like, it’s … Some of the people just pop up all over the place.
Aaron Lammer: One of the people I was hoping to get on the show, who said that he wouldn’t be able to do it, was XRP Trump. I think his was like, in the word cloud, he was the biggest, and XRP Trump has interacted with me, he’s interacted with Ryan Selkis. Are these people who just have a lot of free time, who are sitting around all day like, I have got to tell people what’s wrong about their impression of Ripple.
Kieran Kelly: I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s, I mean, enthusiast, I mean, obviously invested, but also enthusiastic about it. It’s a tough one. In reality, I suppose, maybe we’re being looked at in a bad light at the moment. There’s a timeline to this. There’s a history behind it. It’s not organized. I think there’s, yes, there’s obviously a lot of XRP fans, enthusiasts. We’ve, in many respects, I believe, to a degree, we’ve been cornered or we’ve been put in our corner.
Kieran Kelly: We’re the banker’s coin, I suppose the would love to throw at us on a daily basis, and we went into XRP, I think, many people went in for some of the similar reasons as I did, and it was because we believed in it and then, we sort of went on Twitter and then we just got attacked on a daily basis. I mean, I could go onto Twitter now and I could start a conversation and with five seconds, I would have someone jumping in, saying, well, I wouldn’t even wanna repeat. But, you can imagine.
Aaron Lammer: I think part of what I get is Bitcoin is more ideological than me, so I get that people have more religious dedication to it. Part of what I think is hard to read about the Ripple community is that, the Ripple community is like, passionate about overseas transfers, which, anarchism is a different ideological drive than low fee bank transfers. I’m surprised that you take it so personally that people are bagging on Ripple. Is it more than an investment for you?
Kieran Kelly: For me, it’s definitely more than an investment. I think it’s not just even so much that it’s low fee transactions. As I said, I look to Bitcoin and what the approach is is to obviously do away with the banks. My view on it was that it actually changes … Ripple, XRP, changes the fabric of finance. It isn’t as simple as it’s just a cross border transaction with a lower fee.
Kieran Kelly: That changes everything from business. Everybody banks, so at the end of the day, that is inclusive of everything personally and from a corporate level. It changes absolutely everything and I suppose Bitcoiners, which say exactly the same thing, it’s just, one includes banks and financial institutions and the other doesn’t, I suppose. But in many respects, it’s the same.
Aaron Lammer: I actually find your case compelling as an investment case. I’m like, I see what he’s saying. I’m a Monero fan. I like … sort of in the same way that you built your hypothesis, I sort of, I understand the hypothesis of privacy coins, but I don’t have as much of an urge, like when someone’s like, Monero, what is that? The money laundering coin? I’m not like, hey, man, come on! This is actually used for like … I don’t have quite the same urge to defend it, and maybe that’s just like, differences in personality, et cetera.
Aaron Lammer: The thing is, to me, the defensiveness almost makes it seem more sinister. The fact that people are arguing about me is part of the reason why I’m suspicious of Ripple. If it was just a banking coin, it was like, I don’t find … I live in New York. Even when people hated the banks here, in the worst part of the financial crash, I didn’t feel like bankers were coming up to me and defending their positions and being like, no, banking’s important!
Kieran Kelly: Well, you made a really good point. I think it was either yourself or Jay, you entered into the conversation that we were sort of liken to MLS fans.
Aaron Lammer: That was Jay.
Kieran Kelly: Yeah, Jay, right.
Aaron Lammer: Jay has pissed off lots of different constituencies over time, so he’s always got a good-
Kieran Kelly: It’s a broad-
Aaron Lammer: A good metaphor for people who are angry at him.
Kieran Kelly: Well, it was an interesting … I mean, I did the bit of research. I, you know, I like my football.
Aaron Lammer: I was gonna say, are the British even aware that the MLS exists?
Kieran Kelly: We are. We are, because you keep taking all of our stars.
Aaron Lammer: I was gonna say, where would stars in their late 30s go if there wasn’t the MLS? They’d have to retire.
Kieran Kelly: Well, I’m a big Manchester United fan and you’ve just taken Zlatan Ibrahimovic, so, [crosstalk 00:53:25]
Aaron Lammer: You’re welcome, you’re welcome.
Kieran Kelly: But, I mean, look, it … I did a bit of research on the MLS and it’s something that sort of grew out of nothing in 1996, they had, whatever, 10 teams. And then, you have these big stars coming in, these guys, brought to the MLS was huge. And I think, when I sort of thought about what you guys were discussing, I think you’ve got MLS fans that believe in this, what was a project, is growing into something huge, and will and has the potential to have something globally massive.
Kieran Kelly: I thought to myself, okay, well, look. If I put Ripple where, let’s call them the MLS-
Aaron Lammer: Yes.
Kieran Kelly: And then, we are the fans.
Aaron Lammer: And that makes LOLGA, Bitcoin, and the premier [inaudible 00:54:18] Ethereum.
Kieran Kelly: Exactly. So, I think you can sort of say that that’s where we stand as a community, as well. We didn’t really find our place in, let’s say, the Bitcoin community, because we didn’t believe in Bitcoin. So, we were trying to find what made sense to us, and I think the use case for XRP was what fit and we, like the MLS fans, believe that it will be the biggest thing in the next three to five years, ten years, let’s say.
Aaron Lammer: Let me ask you, as someone who believes in this. I wanna understand how I could become a Ripple maximalist. So, I’m gonna tell you the things that are keeping me from becoming a Ripple maximalist. The hardest thing for me to wrap my head around is the idea of no mining. One of the things that makes me believe in the Bitcoin system is that a bunch of people started mining it even when it was worth almost nothing and there was all these different constituencies that had to come together to imbue it with value.
Aaron Lammer: When I compare that model to a model in which all the coins just show up, and it’s like, hey, who wants to buy these and trade them, and, additionally, where a bunch of the Bitcoins are sitting in the digital earth, but a bunch of the … Ripple, as I understand it, are sitting in an account to be used to like, attract partners and to do various other business. Does that give you any pause? Or, like, how do you think about that?
Kieran Kelly: No. I mean, to be honest with you, the mining side of it, to be honest, I couldn’t quite … I mean, I understood it, but, I saw some value in it, but I really didn’t see huge value in it.
Aaron Lammer: Interesting.
Kieran Kelly: You know, maybe I was a bit later to the game, but it really didn’t hold much value. It made more sense to me on a consensus basis without proof of work or mining, and obviously, there’s a big thing about, obviously, the wasted electricity that goes into all of that. I mean, yes, that absolutely makes sense. But, no, realistically, it resonated with me, maybe because it was closer to the current financial system in many respects. I think that XRP is there to better the current financial system, not take it over.
Aaron Lammer: Okay, so, this store of Ripple that’s sitting there, that’s owned, I guess, by the Ripple company?
Kieran Kelly: Yes.
Aaron Lammer: And what I’m wondering, is what is the objective for all of that Ripple that’s still out there, in your opinion?
Kieran Kelly: I mean, they were … when the founders got together and I suppose created it, Ripple were, in many respects, gifted, a lot of XRP. They owned the majority of XRP. Then, you’ve got others joining in. I mean, the Arrington fund owns … what is that, it was a hundred million dollar fund.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah.
Kieran Kelly: Number one, I did like the fact that Ripple owned quite a lot of XRP because it incentivized them to make a success of it. They, in my mind, had skin in the game, but, I suppose I looked at it and though, well, it’s good to … it’s an incentive program. You know, that, for me, makes sense. They’re utilizing it to expand Ripple and their partnerships and evolving business, but I also believe that once they have X-Current and the pilots in place, the connectivity between X-Current and xRapid is the next step. So, enter the XRP use case.
Aaron Lammer: As someone who believes in XRP and Ripple, what do you think is the biggest stumbling block is, potentially, in the road coming up for Ripple and what do you think the systems that currency like Ripple would deal with something like that?
Kieran Kelly: Well, I think it’s the same for most currencies, cryptocurrencies, but I think, obviously, regulation is a hot topic.
Aaron Lammer: Sure.
Kieran Kelly: You know, that as one of my big reasons also that Ripple work closed with regulators. I mean, Ryan [inaudible 00:58:35] and Ben Lawsky are with Ripple. I mean, I think it’s a huge stumbling block to a degree, but it’s one that everybody has to counter. They, hopefully, are leading the way. We’ll have to see what happens with the SCC, although the news that we’ve heard so far has been quite positive. I think that was one thing that has been on everybody’s mind, whether XRP is a security or it’s not a security.
Aaron Lammer: Right.
Kieran Kelly: I mean, Ethereum obviously been going through the same thing.
Aaron Lammer: Sure.
Kieran Kelly: But, regulation is probably my one concern because it’s such a mine field in so many different jurisdictions across the world. Will be interesting to see where Ripple stands and XRP stands in, let’s say, two years time.
Aaron Lammer: I am also interested, as someone who views cryptocurrencies as much as entertainment as technology, I am glad that Ripple’s out there. I’m glad that all of these things are being tried so that we can not argue about what would happen, but see what happens.
Aaron Lammer: Before we go, are there any other projects out there that are exciting you? You got anything else you’re filling up your bag with? What’s new for you, or are you a dedicated Rippler?
Kieran Kelly: Well, no, no. I’m majority XRP, but I quite like the [inaudible 00:59:56] project as well.
Aaron Lammer: Okay, keeping it in the family.
Kieran Kelly: Yeah.
Aaron Lammer: Stellar. Stellar or no Stellar?
Kieran Kelly: No, I couldn’t, could I? I just couldn’t.
Aaron Lammer: Oh, okay. There’s a schism.
Kieran Kelly: A bit .
Aaron Lammer: I knew there would be something.
Kieran Kelly: I’ve got a mixed bag. I mean, I am majority … I’ve got a bit of ELF in there. Like Bitcoin cash, but as they would be just for interesting punts really. Let’s see how it goes. Nothing comes close to my XRP, really, truly.
Aaron Lammer: Tell people what your Twitter handle is if they wanna follow you.
Kieran Kelly: It’s @KieranMLKelley.
Aaron Lammer: And what’s one Ripple community member on Twitter that you’d recommend for people who would like to see the positive side of Ripple rather than the negative one?
Kieran Kelly: You’ll get me in trouble. I would say, to be honest with you, the main … I’d say, Tiffany Hayden has been such a big advocate and full of knowledge. I mean, she’s incredible. XRP Trump has been great, and then Hodor is fantastic. His blog’s the weekly that come out incredible.
Aaron Lammer: Thank you so much for this. I really appreciate it.
Kieran Kelly: I really appreciate you having me on. Thank you so much.