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Gloves come off as Ripple preps Toronto conference during Sibos

24 August 2017  |  27085 views  |  4 toronto

Ripple is cranking up its assault on Swift by signing up big names Ben Bernanke and Tim Berners-Lee for a conference next month, which will take place at the same time and in the same city, Toronto, as the annual Sibos jamboree.

The Ripple Conference, called Swell: The Future is Here, will run from the 16th to 18th of October at Airship37 in downtown Toronto, just a couple of miles from Sibos, which runs from the 16th to 19th of the same month at the Metro Conference Centre.



Former Federal Reserve chairman Bernanke and World Wide Web inventor Berners-Lee will speak at the upstart event, which Ripple says will "discuss trends, success stories of blockchain implementations and real-world blockchain use cases to meet changing customer demands for global payments".

The timing, location and "Swell: the future is here" name are no coincidence, representing an escalation of Ripple's recent assault on the venerable Swift network.

Ripple has positioned itself as the upstart rival to Swift, boasting that its distributed financial technology can help banks slash the time and cost of settlement while enabling new types of high-volume, low-value global transactions.

Swift responded to the threat with its gpi programme, which launched in February and comprises a range of service level agreements intended to improve the customer experience in correspondent banking by increasing the speed, transparency and predictability of cross-border payments.

Ripple used last year's Sibos to fire off a series of barbed tweets and acerbic commentary asking if the interbank co-operative's set-piece initiative is all it's cracked up to be.

Swift played down the antics, insisting that it had cordial relations with its young rival, but earlier this year Ripple poached the business director for the gpi programme, Marjan Delatinne.

Much like the organisations, the conferences will see a smaller upstart take on a long-established giant. Sibos has been running for nearly 40 years and will gather more than 8000 people together, with RBC chief Dave McKay lined up to deliver the opening address.

Comments: (4)

Carlos Figueredo
Carlos Figueredo - Open Vector Limited - London | 24 August, 2017, 23:43 While I am all for competition, this seems a bit childish. Is the saying bad marketing is good marketing? If they are that good, then show it with your capabilities and products. While curious, this type of attitude is just not appealing. In today's changing landscape, institutions will switch in order to be more cost efficient and competitive. Meet that need in your own professional space. Just my two cents.
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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 27 August, 2017, 12:45

I Agree with you Carlos.                                                                                                                                                                                               I am a big fan of Finexgra's habit of showing "Related Stories, Rippleseversion is shown below. One of my favourite 'related story' strings is Monetise, which suffered negative articles every 2.7 months on average.

Ripple is much busier, with a related post every 1.3 months.  Interestingly, Monetise and Ripple both seem to be missing the same thing,  positive messaging around user experence.....    Maybe Ripple can turn that trend around... Monetise have been unable to do so...

Ripples marketeers have been very keen to push out the negative messaging, claiming that SWIFT is broken, but have not yet provided a compelling positive alternative (unless i have missed something?).  I am NOT hearing banks say that  they need a SWIFT alternative,  what they are saying is that : "GPI is a welcome evolution within SWIFT"                                                                                                                   Ripple must develop a more positive storyline. No number of high profile hirings, SIBOS related pranks  or media-bombs is going to work. Tim Berners Lee and Ben Bernanke may be great speakers and giants in our times,  but they are not Corporate Treasurers, FD's or Heads of Global Tansaction Banking.  

Ripple is no Uber -v- Taxi or car ownership/Sharing economy thing... this is grown-up commerce.  When people say  "there is no such thing as bad publicity" that does not include financial services.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 28 August, 2017, 16:04

I think the real crux of the matter (that will be the defining factor) is: does it work? and: How much will it cost me to develop? GPI has a very limited cost for banks and none fpr corporate treasurers. How much do they have to invest to join the Ripple solution?

Everything else is just marketing ploy and chitchat...

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 03 September, 2017, 07:56

GPI is more of the same, but better. Whereas; Ripple = risk of change x cost of change  x potential embarasment.  

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