With Usain Bolt retired, the Olympic Games being held in Tokyo next year will be looking for a new lightning fast hero. But instead of looking on the track, maybe we will witness something special happening elswehere, in the stands and outside the stadium altogether.
XRP is hands down the fastest and most secure cryptocurrency and is being pushed hard in Japan with Japanese banking giant SBI at the forefront of these developments. And following a recent investment by SBI and fellow Ripple partner and stakeholder Santander Innoventures into blockchain forensics startup Elliptic, SBI have given the biggest hint yet that the aim is for XRP to become the official cryptocurrency for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
“At the Tokyo Olympics, a lot of people will come to Japan. They will be shopping and travelling around and they will be able to use XRP in a secure way, protected by a platform like Elliptic.”
Tomoyuki Nii (Executive Officer for Overseas Investment at SBI Investment)
Blockchain forensics firm Elliptic has raised $23 million in a Series B funding round led by Tokyo-based financial institution SBI Holdings and including Santander Innoventures. Elliptic began the year with 28 employees and is set to grow to almost 100 by years end. Focused heavily on the Singapore and Japanese markets, the company also aims to grow their London and New York offices.
“The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Japanese Financial Services Agency are very well-versed in crypto. Japan has its own licensing scheme for exchanges; I think all that is really key to the growth of crypto because once you set the ground rules, then businesses can engage and innovate.” – James Smith (CEO and founder of Elliptic)
Tomoyuki Nii (the Executive Officer for Overseas Investment at SBI Investment) will be joining Elliptic’s board of directors, and said that the Japanese company contributed 10 million dollars to the funding round. Nii admitted that XRP already has a “hardcore of fans” in Japan and said the goal of SBI is to see XRP showcased as the global cryptocurrency at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, further adding.
“At the Tokyo Olympics, a lot of people will come to Japan. They will be shopping and travelling around and they will be able to use XRP in a secure way, protected by a platform like Elliptic…
The good thing about Elliptic is they can trace XRP – unlike some other anti-money-laundering (AML) platforms. We looked into those companies and actually I think Elliptic’s product was the best in terms of AML.” – Tomoyuki Nii (Executive Officer for Overseas Investment at SBI Investment)
James Smith has said that Elliptic is agnostic when it comes to which coins it monitors, but admitted that many customers (particularly in Asia) had asked about XRP. According to Smith, the XRP ledger carries a high volume of data on-chain because of the way market makers are built into the system and this leads to lots of information about bids and offers on trades saying:
“There are huge amounts of data in that (XRP) blockchain; it’s probably the biggest blockchain by data, so much information is recorded on it. It’s also used in slightly different ways to some of the other cryptocurrencies, as in there are more financial institutions like SBI who are using it as part of their business operations”. – James Smith (CEO and founder of Elliptic)
Elliptic are working closely with financial regulators all over the globe and Smith talked about the changing landscape in banking and crypto:
“Back in 2014 there weren’t any banks touching crypto. It’s changed over the last 18 months or so. We see people like Fidelity and Square coming into the space, and now banks are waking up and realizing they already are in this industry whether they knew it or not…
This is the basis of a new, open, connected global financial system, whether it’s bitcoin, ether, XRP, or something backed by Facebook or a central bank is less important to us than the idea of a global open exclusive network that brings the world together and enables the world to transact in a more efficient, cheaper, faster, and inclusive manner…
After many years of not much movement on the regulatory side, in the last 12 months there’ve been a number of dominoes starting to fall and it’s exciting to see the legitimacy that brings and the maturation of the space. You’ll see more banks and other financial services getting comfortable coming into crypto as a result of maturing regulation…
Where there’s already a big user base (XRP in Japan) you could see adoption grow far more quickly than we have with bitcoin or ether. It’s our view we should provide support for any and all of these currencies people want to use and help make them safe and trusted so the world can take advantage of the technology regardless of whether it’s a bitcoin or a Libra…
It’s not unrealistic that if one of these large platforms launches their own currency, gets it approved, that we could see it being a major payment mechanism within one to two years.” – James Smith (CEO and founder of Elliptic)