Welcome to the latest bi-weekly news roundup for the Ripple blockchain network and XRP cryptocurrency.
Xpring-Backed Coil Starts Developer Grant With Visa & Mastercard
Ripple-backed, blockchain based content-monetization platform Coil has entered a partnership with open-source browser developer Mozilla and the Creative Commons, which has seen the trio working together on a recently-launched funding initiative called ‘Grant for the Web’.
Grant for the Web operates as an “independent, collaborator-led program funded 100% by Coil”. It is managed by Loup Design & Innovation and is worth $100 million, which will be distributed over a five year period, at least 50% of which to “proposed software and content projects that will be openly licensed”.
The grant was created to address what the press release describes as “serious problems” facing the centralized internet, and the funds are to be allocated to projects which share the principles of the three core collaborators behind it.
Principles such as helping users to maximise the security / privacy and control over their data, and promoting “diversity and inclusion” on the internet.
In August 2019, Coil received a $1 billion grant from the Ripple Xpring division to be put towards increasing XRP and Interledger Protocol (ILP) adoption as a result of growing the XRP-supporting platform from Coil.
Coil provides a blockchain content monetisation platform and falls under a similar category to the likes of Brave (BAT) and Steemit (STEEM), and unlike those platforms it natively employs a variety of cryptocurrency token options for its customers.
Stefan Thomas, Founder and CEO of Coil
“When I was starting out as a developer, the openness of the Web gave me incredible opportunities to learn and grow,”
“It’s so easy to create on the Web, but when it comes to earning money, people are mostly stuck with app stores or large content platforms. With this grant, we hope to tip the scales in favor of an open, native way for creators to be compensated for their contributions to the Web community.”
Cable Green, interim CEO of Creative Commons
“At Creative Commons, we’re very interested in identifying new ways of rewarding open creativity and enabling people to show their gratitude to creators who share their work openly with the world,”
“We’re especially excited by the Grant for the Web’s commitment to putting at least 50% of its funding towards projects that are made up of openly-licensed content and software. Creators have told us through our own user research that gratitude is a core element of why they choose to share their work, and micropayments may be an excellent way to offer that gratitude.”
Mark Surman, Mozilla Executive Director
“The web’s richness and diversity comes from its individual creators: writers, coders, musicians, podcasters, app makers, journalists. But in the current web ecosystem, big platforms and invasive, targeted advertising make the rules and the profit. Consumers lose out, too — they unwittingly relinquish reams of personal data when browsing content. That’s the whole idea behind ‘surveillance capitalism,’”
“Our goal in joining Grant for the Web, is to support a new vision of the future. One where creators and consumers can thrive.”
MoneyGram Joins Forces With Visa, Following Ripple Investment
MoneyGram has added a new ‘debit card deposit service’ to its eponymous mobile and web-browser based money transfer application, which has been facilitated through a partnership with international payments provider Visa.
The service is being facilitated through Visa Direct, a real time ‘push payments’ platform which offers services to a worldwide customer-base. As a result, US customers of MoneyGram can use this new P2P transfer option to directly send money to the “eligible” debit cards of recipients in the US.
Pricing begins at $1.99 and while it is only available in the US at present, MoneyGram says it is already has plans for expansion of the service to new international markets. The company also believes this service and partnership is representative of its commitment to making it easier for customers to send and receive money “in any way that is convenient for them.”.
Xpring and Ripple invested $1 billion into MoneyGram earlier this year with a view at increasing adoption of xRapid, and its XRP token, amongst customers and retailers.
In other related news, Visa along with Mastercard made strategic investments of undisclosed values into cryptocurrency startup Plaid.
Alex Holmes, Chairman and CEO (MoneyGram)
“We strive to create the best possible experience for sending and receiving money, and this new product offering empowers our customers by giving them yet another way to send money to friends and family,”
“And in partnering with Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, we’re providing our customers with a dependable option that they know and trust.”
Bill Sheley, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Visa Direct (Visa)
“Visa and MoneyGram share a common goal of providing customers with a fast and reliable way to pay and be paid,”
“By implementing Visa Direct, companies like MoneyGram are able to offer choice, flexibility and peace of mind to customers, knowing that each transaction is backed by the security, reach and capability of Visa’s global payments network.”
Ripple Falls Down The Ranks of LinkedIn’s top 10 US startups list
In the third in an annual series of rankings, the ‘2019 LinkedIn Top Startups’ list contains what it describes as the “50 hottest companies where Americans want to work now”: calculated using data gathered from “billions of actions” parsed that have been “generated by LinkedIn’s 645 million members.”.
Most notably compared to last year top crypto-companies Ripple and Coinbase have lost their high rankings. Whereas the two companies were ranked at 7th and 3rd place respectively last year, they now reside at the 28th and 29th positions.
Crypto isn’t completely absent on this list however, with two notable entries appearing on the list: Robinhood (crypto-friendly) taking Ripple’s old number 7 spot, and Plaid (with clients like Coinbase and crypto wallet provider Abra) debuting at number 49.
Overall this years list contains six blockchain-related projects, which is half of that found in the 2018 edition.