The largest bank-targeted blockchain protocol, Ripple (XRP), wants to take over 50 percent of India’s finance sector by processing payments with low charges and effective systems.
Ripple Vice President Asheesh Birla, at the Scaling and Digital Disruption in Fintech conference, noted that the company plans to beat the adoption rate of bitcoin to guarantee XRP becomes the leading cryptocurrency in the region.
At present, one XRP costs about $0.44 and at its peak, XRP was valued at more than $3.000. Birla disclosed during a panel that Ripple wishes to giveaway two billion XRP to the whole population of India, to streamline the process of introducing XRP to the nation and urge the adoption of the cryptocurrency.
“We looked early on at India, and we looked at two billion people – a huge market. And we decided, how do you get two billion people onto Ripple? Do we give the currency away to every Indian, that’s like two billion – just give it away?”
Two billion XRP at a rate of $0.44 would amount to about $880 million, and from the all-time high price of XRP, which could possibly be reached again in the next rally of the cryptocurrency market, two billion XRP tokens could simply be worth about $7 billion.
To gain control over the Indian finance market and to offer financial support to the majority of the population that is underbanked, Ripple at first thought of offering at least $880 million and possibly billions to the population of India.
Yet, given the difficulty surrounding the process of sharing XRP to billions of people in the region and the cost involved, Birla noted that the company decided to rather secure strategic partnerships with the country’s largest banks.
“That was one idea. But then we realized that if you get the top three banks in India onto Ripple, you get 80 percent of the market share. And then we looked at – where’s the future? And so we realized in the next five years, one billion people will become banked in India, but they’ll be banked through their phone. So then we started targeting mobile phone providers and telcos. And so now, I think that in our pipeline we have probably 50 percent of the market in India, either integrated onto Ripple or in the deal, in the sort of pipeline to be signed to India.”
If Ripple is able to build a network of banks and billions of individual users in India, the liquidity network of the Ripple blockchain-based xRapid and xCurrent might become more valuable and effective compared to banking systems.
Once Ripple gets hold of a majority of bank users and payment senders in India on its blockchain protocol, Birla stressed that the company will leverage its impact in the region to persuade major banks such as Wells Fargo to send payments to India through the Ripple network.