So how exactly a “blockchain for banks” and an NFT project are going to seize the metaverse moment and what could they both become?
Ripple and its controversies
Ripple ($XRP) is one of the oldest blockchains, released in 2013 with a clear goal – to help financial institutions with cross-border payments and settlements. This goal, somewhat controversial in the crypto world that aims to build a new financial system itself, has been keeping Ripple on the outskirts of the industry for a long time (which did not stop $XRP from being regularly cited in the top-3 cryptocurrencies by market cap).
What’s more, the XRP Ledger (the official name of Ripple’s blockchain) has been criticized for its lack of decentralization. XRPL uses a variant of Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus (validator nodes are continuously querying each other to validate a block), and while anyone can become a validator, in reality only those on the centrally edited Unique Node List are being solicited.
Ripple has also raised eyebrows regarding its coin allocation: all 100 billion XRP were pre-mined back in 2013, with 20% going to the founders and 80% – to Ripple Labs, the company behind the blockchain. Nine years later, Ripple still holds 60%.
SEC v Ripple
Since last year, Ripple is making headlines thanks to its ongoing lawsuit vs the SEC. The suit itself was quite ill-conceived (8 years after XRP was issued, the SEC decided they were unregistered securities), full of contradictions (previous Chairs mentioned that Bitcoin or Ethereum were not securities) and alleged hidden agendas (the SEC Chair who authorized the filing did it on the last day of his job before joining a Bitcoin-focused hedge fund).
So far, the SEC does not look good, especially since XRP holders “who suffered collateral damage” from the lawsuit have joined it as “amicis”, and the SEC fighting against the very people it is supposed to protect is not a good publicity.
FLUF World is a project situated on the opposite side of the crypto industry from Ripple.
A collection of NFT bunnies launched in 2021 by a New Zealand team has grown into a universe with cute spiders, party-loving bears, communicative robots, and virtual real estate for all of them to live in. FLUF is also associated with Altered State Machine, a collection of AI-empowered NFT brains that could potentially be plugged onto other NFTs.
FLUF World is very dynamic, and each new endeavour seems to become another piece of a puzzle bringing a new virtual world together. This world has recently been concretized in a partnership with Ripple.
The Open Metaverse
Last week FLUF announced a collaboration with Ripple for “The Open Metaverse”, a project that would explore new ways of living the web3.
To do so, a brand new blockchain called the Root Network will be launched. Conceived as a Proof-of-Stake and EVM-compatible (ensuring easy integration with Ethereum), it will be built “alongside” Ripple. XRP will be a default crypto used to pay transaction fees in its “multi-token” gas economy, while FLUF’s Mycelium token will be used as governance and in-game currency.
Can Ripple reinvent itself in the metaverse?
The last 12 months have witnessed an incredible surge in web3 projects: DeFi, NFTs, metaverse, and a bunch of new blockchains specifically tailored for them. However, Ripple did not do much, and its market cap has progressively slid to the 8th place, together with the public interest.
The Open Metaverse project and association with a lively NFT family could help Ripple reinvent itself in the web3, and one could argue that it has the capacity to do it.
By staying away from the DeFi and leveraged trade dangers, the company did not suffer more than the decline in XRP price, and being in the space for so long, they know that recession is the best time to build.
Ripple Labs still has a solid treasury (remember 60% of the coin allocation?), partnerships with giants like American Express and Santander, and a possibility to turn its lawsuit into a major precedent for the crypto industry in its ever-lasting conflict with the SEC.
Will Ripple be able to leverage it and emerge from the recession among the leading blockchains?
Written by D.Center