Riding the wave of new technological advancement, multiple companies, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Oracle, have developed platforms with ready-made blockchain frameworks, making it easier for interested parties to adopt the technology for various use cases. One of the top companies in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, Ripple, launched a similar platform for blockchain development in the area of money transfer through its investment and partnership arm, Xpring.
“It’s designed to remove the pain and the messiness of integrating money into apps,” Xpring senior vice president Ethan Beard said to me in an interview, regarding the “Xpring Platform for developers” launched on October 2. Money in this case simply refers to the transfer of value, which can come in the form of fiat currencies such as U.S. dollars, cryptocurrencies such as ethereum, etc., Beard noted.
Many businesses across the globe have taken steps to incorporate blockchain technology for various use cases. Companies such as AWS and Oracle have come to the forefront as pick and shovel players looking to help simplify the process of blockchain adoption for these businesses. Ripple’s Xpring looks to provide a similar offering that is dialed into value transfer solutions, “kind of like an AWS for money,” Beard said.
The platform will also work with participants that are not involved in blockchain. “It’s a platform for all developers, not just developers in the […] blockchain and crypto space, but […] all 23 million developers around the globe,” Beard explained.
“More specifically, what we’re aiming to do with the platform is provide developers with various tools, services and programs to make it easier for them to build on [the] XRP Ledger and to leverage Interledger Protocol,” Beard said. Interledger Protocol (ILP) essentially provides compatibility when transferring value across various systems or blockchains, according to Interledger.org. Interledger Protocol and the XRP Ledger are both open source.
“Ultimately, we want the Xpring Platform to bring money to the Internet at the same core level as text, images and video [do] today,” Beard said.
Xpring’s Role Over The Past Year
Ripple’s main goal essentially is to provide simple and fast value transfer on the web. “We’re working to bring money to the internet,” Beard explained. Under this goal, Ripple has two main areas of focus, he said. One area is Ripple’s “global payments network, called RippleNet, for financial institutions.”
Ripple’s other focus is that of Xpring, an initiative the company announced in 2018, Beard detailed. Xpring “really came on board just to look at how best to build an ecosystem of companies that are using XRP, that are using technologies like Interledger Protocol.”
The last 12 months have included numerous partnerships and investments, the Xpring senior vice president said. “We’ve partnered with or invested in over 20 companies that are using XRP and [are] aligned with the vision that we have, and have committed over $500 million to that ecosystem,” Beard said.
Explaining the reasoning behind Xpring’s move toward a blockchain development platform, Beard noted, “During those conversations, and as we started working closely with our partners, it became clear that they were looking for more than just investments.” Additionally, “to support the growth and the development of the XRP ecosystem, we really needed to make it easier to build with these technologies and allow our customers and our partners to focus on solving real world customer problems,” Beard said.
Ripple and Xpring are closely tied to the XRP asset. Using XRP, however, is not a necessity when working with Xpring, Beard clarified to me. “Everything we’ve built and released is open-sourced,” he said, adding, “so you can do with it what you please,” he said.
Note: This article has been updated, correcting $5 million to $500 million in the ninth paragraph.