At the beginning of this year, Ripple announced that they had added 13 more financial institutions to their payment network, Ripplenet, bringing the total to 200 subscribers signed up. However, according to a post in Trolly McTrollface’s Blog, which has stirred a lot of mixed emotions in the crypto-space, the Ripple partnerships are heavily exaggerated.
Most partnerships allegedly almost worthless
The author of the post claims that many of the ‘top financial institutions’ that Ripple boasts of partnering with are not developed, and instead are only small startups that may even lack an office. Part of the report read:
“Ripple has sold over half a billion US dollars’ worth of XRP coins to clueless bagholders. With that kind of money, it could create 200 real financial institutions out of thin air, sign them all up as clients, and make claims that couldn’t be debunked using just a modicum of common sense.”
The expose does not end there; the author goes on to list some financial institutions including SendFriend, JNFX, Financial Transactions Control Systems, Ahli Bank of Kuwait and Transpaygo all of which are claimed to have partnered with Ripple.
The author analyses each of the company’s listed partners, trying to establish their physical address, website intractability, social media following and general information relating to the companies. He establishes that Sendfriend lacks a functional website only offering a sign-up tab, JNFX lacks a known particular postal address, and Financial Transaction Control Systems (FTCS) is just one of the many dying startups with an annual turnover of $1 million way below the standards of a remittance company.
The investigation also revealed that the partnership between Ahli Bank of Kuwait and Ripple cannot be verified, attributed to the absence of official documents while Transpaygo website could not be accessed returning a 404 Error. Should these allegations be true could they could seriously taint Ripple’s public image.
Trolly mentions that SendFriend’s website is just one landing page without any links that only allows you to set up an account. Ripple fans respond saying that SendFriend is a result of MIT Media Lab Innovation Alliance Award that has not yet been officially launched and is scheduled to be launched in the first quarter of 2019. That’s the real reason he was added on the waiting list on signing up. Additionally, SendFriend is supported by very legit and established financial companies like Barclays and Master Card which absolutely have no relationship or conflict of interest with Ripple.
Critics also counter Trolly’s claim that JNFX lacks a physical address. From the UK government site, JNFX Limited is a registered company with a valid registration number and located in an upscale business hub (114a Cromwell Road, London). The company’s business registration is 68 Lombard Street, London just as the author had put it but has a shared office space with other companies. Concerning the Financial Transaction Control System, the author assertions that FTCS is a Swedish fintech startup with an e-wallet, Intergiro is true. However, the company called off the Intergiro project following low returns and is not available or supported even on their website the reason he could not sign up. FTCS is also among a portfolio of companies owned by FrontOffice formed in 2013 in Stockholm and become a public company in 2016 meaning that their accounts must be audited and published. Their recently audited financial accounts for 2018 are even available on their website.
As to Ripple’s partnership with MUFG Bank, a video from a MUFG Bank advisory member confirms that Ripple’s partnership with MUFG Bank is mutual and valid even asserting that Ripple’s technology is essential to them in moving money to over 50 branches found worldwide in seconds. Finally, on the unavailability of the Transpaygo webpage, the author certainly fabricates this claim even admitting that he is too lazy to go through the KYC process. Transpaygo has a very functional webpage with a signup tab, and they have an Alexa Reach Rank of 4 million. It’s evident that the author did not even research on the companies he has listed in his malicious piece aimed at tainting Ripple’s name.
Trolly’s username should have given it away
Many customers have already seen the fruits of strategic Ripple partnership to streamline international financial flows. For instance, Mercury FX, a payment company has witnessed significant improvement in its payment systems after partnering with Ripple. The company has already tested its new payment systems in Mexico and the Philippines and have noted higher financial returns in emerging markets. According to Forbes, Ripple’s XRP is currently more valuable than Bitcoin which went down by -75% YTD and Ethereum that plunged -88%YTD compared to XRP’s -50% YTD. Currently, Ripple has the wealthiest community( massive following) regarding project support clearly pointing to its market value.
To conclude, the fact that Ripple’s financial systems have been integrated into numerous banks across the globe in addition to the partnership with big names in the financial sector makes it legit and transparent. In fact, we should appreciate the contribution made by Ripple in decentralizing the traditional payment systems which for a long time exploited its users.