Ripple is one of the world’s most important blockchain private companies. It has a global outlook in which the Southeast Asian market has an essential place in the firm’s plans because of the intense activity in the crypto verse that’s centered around that zone of the planet. And Ripple is going to put more attention in Asia by doubling the number of employees it has at his Singapore offices.
The company that created and is still behind the XRP digital asset (which holds the third spot by market capitalization) is about to grow its Asian office, based in Singapore. The small island is a hub for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The Tron Foundation is also based in Singapore even if most of the project’s activity happens in China.
Doubling the employee number at Singapore is not a colossal undertaking if you take into account that it means going from 12 to 24 employees during the following year. The point in this move is to increase the full range of operations offered by the company. Finews Asia reported a few days ago that the increase was all about customer service, but it’s not going to be limited to that aspect of the company’s work.
Ripple (some still call it a “startup” after seven years of going strong) is looking to increase its capacity in the Asian zone so it can satisfy its customers’ needs. Asia is a vital geopolitical region for the cryptosphere in general, but it’s been especially relevant for Ripple because many of its most critical partners (which tend to be banks and remittance services) are located, sometimes even limited, to the Asian zone, especially in the Southeast.
Ripple and Southeast Asia
Let’s start by stating the obvious (which is not so evident for all observers). You are undoubtedly aware of the crypto winter. The market has been under the bears’ dominance for more than 16 months so far. While prices have been going up for about a week and a half, it remains premature to assume we’re all out of the doldrums already.
The winter has been very harsh. It’s cost the market more than 85% of its value, so it’s forced many blockchain projects to cut down their workforces. So it’s incredible that living in that same bearish environment, Ripple can afford to think about expanding anywhere in the world instead of firing people. It’s surely a well-managed company that can negotiate a storm successfully.
The firm knows that it must give that region the attention it demands is one of the most critical markets for the firm. Erin van Mittenburg, Ripple’s Senior Vice President for Global operations was quoted by The Business Times saying that,
“The demand here is significant, so it’s an easy decision for us to continue to invest in this market and make sure that we can… also seek out new customers, new partners and new ways that we can work with the market.”
The company produces a blockchain platform capable of supporting a series of software solutions (developed, maintained and operated by Ripple) which hold the promise of removing most of the friction in settling international payments.
So far, and for the last 44 years, that market has been monopolized by the very inaptly named SWIFT system. Ripple’s alternative is faster (minutes instead of days), more competitive (fractions of cents instead of fees of around 25%) and much more reliable.
Because of this focus in the remittance and international transfers business, Asia is quite essential as it has a vast trading volume in this market. That’s why Ripple entered the Singaporean market two years ago.
There’s another reason for Ripple’s interest in Asia. It’s the region that has embraced its systems with the most enthusiasm. Half of the company’s strategic partners are located somewhere in Asia. Some of those include the Siam Commercial Bank in Thailand, Malaysia’s CIMB Bank, and Philippine’s BDO, not to mention several big financial players in Japan.
Asia in the Cryptoverse
Asia doesn’t get all the limelight that the US and Europe have when it comes to being protagonists in the cryptocurrency world. But it is the real leader because of the trading volume and generalized interest there is in digital assets. Just think about a couple of relevant facts.
Most of the Bitcoin mining in the world is done out of China (which is the country that also manufactures the toys that allow for that mining process to keep going). And how excited has everybody been about the Bitcoin’s surge that started on last week’s Tuesday?
Some observers are even reporting that the winter is over (again, probably prematurely)! Well, the market move that brought the Bitcoin price up by a thousand dollars in sixty minutes flat came out of Asia, not Europe nor the US. The thing to take out of this paragraph should be clear now. Asia is crucial, central, and very influential for the cryptosphere and Ripple knows it.
We already talked a bit about China’s role in the crypto verse (basically, it’s the country that keeps the Bitcoin network going). But the red giant is not the only player. Japan is also a relevant market in the industry. The country has seen two of the worse security breaches in the short blockchain’s history happen in its territory. Those incidents prompted the state to adopt pro-crypto regulation instead of disrupting the market while waving the flag of investor protection.
Some 61 Japanese banks are Ripple’s partners and are using or testing the company’s technology for international payments. That’s 61 out of the roughly 200 banks that are working with Ripple all over the world, so Japan alone is more than 25% of Ripple’s global business.
Substituting the SWIFT system with blockchain-based and cryptocurrency-based solutions could be how virtual money finally finds its way into worldwide mass adoption and mainstream acceptance. The mere fact that so many banks in the world have been willing to work alongside Ripple in this market is astounding.
Let’s not forget that the world’s banks have regarded Bitcoin in particular, but also cryptocurrencies in general, as an evil thing which is why they’ve stayed away from it to the best of their abilities. And even so, Ripple has persuaded many to try out the blockchain and see its advantages for themselves.
Another factor in Asia is that many countries (Singapore is one of them, Thailand would be another one) have enacted crypto-friendly policies. That’s why many of the leading cryptocurrency industry players have set up shop in Asia. And as more governments in the region become friendlier towards crypto, they are likely to influence other countries in the zone to be friendly as well or risk being left out of the action.
Also, many exciting blockchain projects come out of Asia, so the region is also a source of innovation and leadership in the industry. Alibaba, for instance, received the most patents for blockchain technology last year. Tron came out of Asia. There are many more examples.
Ripple has always chosen its battles very carefully, and it’s still finding ways to win them. So this move is bound to be carefully considered, planned and executed. Chances are that, during the next 12-24 months, we will hear a lot about Ripple’s growth and success in Southeast Asia. And that progress will be fueled by those 12 new employees that will get on board the company during the next few months.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.
Disclaimer: The presented information is subjected to market condition and may include the very own opinion of the author. Please do your ‘very own’ market research before making any investment in cryptocurrencies. Neither the writer nor the publication (TronWeekly.com) holds any responsibility for your financial loss.