What a week it has been for the cryptocurrency industry, with Facebook unveiling its cryptocurrency project, Libra, and Ripple confirming a $50 million investment in MoneyGram. Needless to say, the payments industry will be the prime focus now. However, the question remains, which way will the needle swing?
On one hand is Facebook which has the prowess of swinging its weight as a social media giant with billions of users worldwide, giant messaging applications and even a consortium of backers including the likes of Visa, MasterCard, Uber, Coinbase, Vodafone among others.
On the other is Ripple, with its slew of banking partnerships, cross-border payment applications and premier cryptocurrency, XRP, which has over $18 billion in market cap. Further, the San Francisco-based giant’s recent investment in MoneyGram, a day prior to the Libra announcement, has solidified its intention of not backing down.
Many within the cryptocurrency space have however suggested that Ripple should be wary of Libra.
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, welcomed Facebook into the blockchain and cryptocurrency fold with open arms. In an interview with Bloomberg, Garlinghouse stated that the development is an “incredibly positive signal” for the collective industry.
However, he still remains curious as to which part of the market will be the key focus area for Facebook, adding that David Marcus, VP of Messaging Applications at Facebook, will push a ‘consumer’ oriented approach.
Taking a slight dig at Libra’s 2020 release and the fervor of the current market, Garlinghouse stated that Ripple and MoneyGram’s initiative in the payment industry of “today” is the “key difference” in separating the “noise,” from what is “real and pragmatic.”
Drawing a line in the sand, the Ripple CEO firmly differentiated the core market of Facebook and Ripple.