The Ripple CTO David Schwartz recently disclosed that Ripple plans to broaden its scope to other areas such as real-world asset (RWA) tokenization and a multichain ecosystem, as payment is not getting enough traction.
Schwartz revealed this while speaking in a recent X Spaces session. The discussion was recorded by YouTuber Schwamos and brought to the public’s attention by XRP community influencer and fellow YouTuber Eri.
Slow Adoption of Crypto for Payments
In the session, the Ripple CTO lamented the slow adoption of cryptocurrencies for payments in general despite these assets presenting a better infrastructure for payments than traditional finance systems. According to him, this area has been underutilized by crypto enthusiasts.
He stressed that while some networks, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, could pose challenges of high fees, other blockchains, including the XRP Ledger and scalable PoS networks, have no identifiable disadvantage when leveraged for payments.
David Schwartz stressed that, with this slow adoption, Ripple’s payment business is not getting as much traction as envisioned.
According to him, as a result of this and the evolving nature of the crypto scene, the firm plans to broaden its scope to accomplish other use cases.
Ripple Looks to Broaden Its Scope
Schwartz clarified that Ripple plans to broaden and not pivot to other use cases, as they are still going to continue with their payments business.
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“We’re big believers in payments. We’re not going to stop doing payments. However, I think these other use cases are extremely important,” he remarked.
The Ripple CTO noted that the company is very interested in these use cases, including real-world asset tokenization. He has previously talked about Ripple’s new interest in the tokenization of real-world assets on the XRP Ledger.
Meanwhile, Schwartz noted that despite not getting the needed traction from payments alone, Ripple will not reduce their emphasis on payments. According to him, they would continue with their payment provision, but will also broaden to other use cases in the ecosystem.
A Multichain Approach
He also talked about Ripple adopting an ecosystem consisting of multiple blockchains, with each chain having its unique offering.
Notably, while one chain could focus on NFTs, another could feature smart contracts capabilities. According to Schwartz, this approach could be preferable to having just one blockchain looking to incorporate all these features.
It bears mentioning that the XRP Ledger (XRPL) has been seeking to assume this position in recent times. Besides its robust infrastructure for moving value, the XRPL welcomed NFTs in October 2022 when the XLS-20D amendment went live.
The network is also looking to feature smart contract functionalities with the introduction of the Hooks amendment, which is already leveraged in the Xahau sidechain. In addition to these, the XRPL will also welcome an AMM implementation on Feb. 14.
The Ripple CTO’s remarks suggest a multichain approach but with interoperability across these chains for seamless asset portability.
He revealed that this multichain approach could begin with the upcoming EVM-compatible sidechain. The XChainBridge amendment for the sidechain is now live for voting.
The Opportune Time
He emphasized that Ripple chose to focus on payments in 2015 because they had the notion that other firms could handle other areas, especially with provisions of other necessary infrastructures.
However, as this has not turned out well, Schwartz noted that Ripple would be expanding to these other sectors as they have now grown bigger than they were in 2015, with more employees, bigger technologies, and greater resources.
In his words:
“I think you’re going to see us increasing the number of things that we’re doing and offering a sort of ecosystem of tools that will support all of those different use cases.”
Nonetheless, Schwartz spotlighted one challenge concerning this approach. According to him, the issue revolves around deciding when the right time to adopt a use case. He noted that the XRPL was too early with CBDCs, but too late with NFTs.