The company said on April 11, 2018, that those who can find additional uses for the platform would find welcome aid in the form of a fund set up to facilitate startup blockchain businesses. The company owns around 60 billion of the total 100 billion Ripple tokens ever issued and it is plowing $25 million back into viable entry-stage ideas from budding entrepreneurs.
Ripple is lodging the funds with Blockchain Capital, the firm of venture capitalists dedicated to the pursuit of blockchain business. Ripple, itself arguably still a startup, has partnered with various financial institutions including banks. The company is seeking to enable the launch of the next big technology startup from its blockchain base.
Cory Johnson, Ripple’s chief market strategist, said that the company wants “smart people and smart entrepreneurs, who can solve a problem using XRP” to benefit from the overture. “There’s money sitting there to be used,” he said.
The Ripple XRP has its ups and downs between 2017 and 2018’s volatility. Notwithstanding this, the company is seeking to encourage the emergence of the next great app built with its software. Ripple’s software is currently mostly applied to the real-time transactional interface where banks settle payments via the company’s blockchain protocols.
A poster child for blockchain’s impact, Ripple has partnered with U.S. giants like Santander, Western Union, MoneyGram and even American Express. Johnson compared Ripple’s technological potential to that of the iPhone, a platform that facilitated the emergence of some of the most profitable startups the world has ever seen.
He said, “When I got my iPhone, I did not think the killer app would be Uber, the most valuable private company in the world, or a competitor to Kodak with Instagram. I don’t know what the best use of XRP is going to be, and I hope it’s something we can’t even think of [yet].”
Johnson added that he felt “A lot of people are going to develop things using XRP and because it sits on our balance sheet, it will be helpful to us from a valuation standpoint.” The company’s market cap, based purely on the XRP’s price, is $29.4 billion. Blockchain Capital will hold the $25 million Ripple fund, ready for any bright sparks to dazzle the VC firm.
“If somebody starts the next Uber, or Instagram or Salesforce, using XRP, that would be great for us,” Johnson continued. Although the donation was made in XRP, Johnson reassured users that the company was not looking to be rid of its digital currency and that $25 million is a drop in the ocean for the firm. He pointed out that even the company is to increase their generosity to an annual $200 million, it would take around 150 years to give it away, with a “longer runway for XRP donations than you and I have on this earth,” Johnson said.
Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple CEO, is also on record as expressing interest in funding other blockchain startups who want to employ XRP in their business model. XRP reached a record high in January 2018 at $3.84 but has since slumped substantially to $0.49 as at April 11, 2018. Although alarming by traditional investing standards, it’s typical of the recent volatility in the digital asset class and the currency rose 1 percent after Wednesday’s announcement.