By Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury
This week, the cryptocurrency Ripple (XRP) announced plans to host former President Bill Clinton as its keynote speaker at this year’s “Swell: The Future is Here.” The conference, which will feature “the world’s leaders in policy, payments, and technology connect” is scheduled for Toronto in October.
— Ripple (@Ripple) July 31, 2018
Touting Clinton as a forward-thinking politician who “helped usher in a period of extreme growth and adoption of the Internet,” Ripple also pointed to the former President’s track record in bridging the ‘digital divide’ to bring new technologies to underprivileged people around the world. If you turn your brain off for just long enough, this is the sort of dimwitted stuff you start believing because someone parades it as truth.
I can already here that old rickety Arkansas drawl counting off the merits of Ripple in between poorly timed anecdotes about inhaling marijuana before it was cool. Anything to steer the conversation clear of the women, the lies & the obvious ties to the sort of people who wish to regulate crypto currency into another rudderless weapon of the state.
Mr. Clinton, who oversaw continued war, used the oval office as a private brothel, expanded the for-profit prison model, and consistently represented the interests of big, centralized banking and wall street cronyism, is exactly the type of post-American figure that Ripple would crown as their champion. Why would Ripple want Bill Clinton as its keynote speaker? In the still simmering #metoo era, The Democratic Party can’t distance itself quickly enough from the Clinton’s. What does it say about the corporatist ideology of the lab coats in charge of Ripple that they would believe Clinton to be an appropriate “thought leader in the blockchain space” as suggested in Swell’s marketing campaign? If cryptocurrency was initially built with an inherent distrust of modern banking and with the hopes of promoting a decentralization of power, money, and culture, then what kind of cryptocurrency makes the living symbol of neoliberal globalism the keynote speaker of their convention?
Ripple, as many in the world of anonymous, peer to peer, government-free, decentralized cryptocurrency will gladly tell you, is the enemy. Clinton, stumbling around in the waning light of his former fame, is just happy to grab whatever cash comes his way and Ripple Gateways has plenty of it. Clinton will sit and smile and act interested but he is the man in the cloak. Let us not dream for a second that this exposure is ‘good’ for the crypto community or signals a coming tide of mass adoption. This has nothing to do with advancing the civil liberties of the common man. This isn’t about sticking it to the centralized banking apparatus that has paid for and instructed war after unended war. This is not a voice ringing true the concerns of an American people who have been run ragged by the Federal Reserve and its unnatural cycles of boom and bust. Clinton knows one modus operandi and it is that of a professional grifter and in Ripple he has found his cryptocurrency match.
Further cementing its legacy as perhaps the most corporate minded cryptocurrency in existence, the announcement comes after a string of high profile public outreach campaigns for Ripple that have included Ashton Kutcher gifting day talk show host Ellen DeGeneres four million dollars worth of Ripple on her show.
DeGeneres looked stunned and rightfully so. What good is a cryptocurrency to the entrenched elite? With U2 bursting through the speakers, a rockstar Hollywood celeb and his sidekick tech buddy were all smiles as they publicly endorsed Ripple with all the sort of ‘hip’ and ‘cool’ buzziness you’d expect to find plastered on a Sex Pistols T-Shirt at Hot Topic. These are the sort of James Corden, pub stunts that emaciate an already culturally bulimic American public. The ride goes on and on, each stop grinding further and further back into the cave of shadows and doubt. Before you know it, we will all happily one a few hundred XRP and not know why.
DeGeneres, the slow driving goofy clown car of never-ending post-absurdity, is right at home as she drives asleep at the wheel Americans to their safe destination of centralized, prescriptive thinking. Her mum, deer in the headlights, blank look at Kutcher upon hearing the money would be donated through XRP is exactly what you would want from the American public. The fewer questions the better.
Nothing says "crypto revolution" like Bill Clinton. https://t.co/RRosF4ouEn
— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) July 31, 2018
Blockchain analysts were quick to cry foul as many pointed to the anti-crypto fundamentals of Ripple. Unlike Bitcoin & Ethereum, Ripple is a pre-mined coin that uses a centralized network to transact and verify. Many inside the crypto community have questioned how much of the total supply Ripple Gateways owns and have warned against the possibility of assets being frozen or reversed. In February, Bitmex ran a scathing critique of Ripple that suggested the cryptocurrency was unstable while questioning the long-term efficacy of the network.
Bigger issues lie at the core of how Ripple, or better yet its currency XRP, is classified by regulators in the future. Coinbase has thus far steered clear of XRP over its concerns that Ripple could be seen as a security. CEO Brad Garlinghouse is at the center of decision making and his strategy, from the start, has been a banking play that allows for banks to use XRP as a low cost, speed efficient medium for international transactions. This stated interest in working within current financial institutions has led to many critics in the crypto community to label Ripple as the “banker’s coin.”
In the world of ultra volatile cryptocurrency, it can be difficult to tell truth from fiction and hype from dust. Ripple has proven to be one of the most attractive entryways into the sector for a reason and it continues to hold its spot as one of the most reliable asset propositions in the early years of cryptocurrency. None of that changes the fact that their approach from a cultural and political standpoint that sits at glaring odds with the original intent of Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper.
In Yasmina Reza‘s “Art,” a friendship is torn apart over of a blank white painting. Premiering in 1994 at Comédie des Champs-Élysées in Paris, the narrative follows Serge, a well off Dermatologist who buys a $200,000 painting that is as white and plain as the fallen snow. Serge’s friend Marc is outraged by the price tag and it eats at their every conversation. For Marc, the painting represents a false construct, a purchased hierarchy, a false letter of authentication. He knows, full well in his heart, that money does not buy the revolution. It can not buy the singing heart. It can not buy a dancing mind. It can not buy you a fulfilling wisdom or furnish you with a well kept soul.
It makes sense that Bill Clinton will headline the Swell event. A politician like him and a cryptocurrency like Ripple were made for each other.
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