I got a lot of heat for my last piece, “Ripple’s “200+ Institutional Clients” Claim Is A Scam“. Scores of Ripple fanboys and Twitter bots accused me of cherry-picking the noise, and ignoring the legitimate heavyweights in Ripple’s long list of clients. Well, let’s look into the true nature Ripple’s most impressive “partnership”: the international banking giant Santander.
Headline Fever Around The Ripple - Santander Partnership
Hundreds of online articles praise the successful partnership between Ripple and Santander, and I couldn’t blame the average XRP bagholder to be fooled into thinking that Ripple is about to disrupt the entire international money transfer ecosystem:
“Santander Becomes the First U.K. Bank to Use Ripple for Cross-Border Payments”ripple.com
“$90 Billion Santander Bank Partners with Ripple Labs”ripplecoinnews.com
“$80 Billion Banco Santander Uses Ripple For Payments, Will Many Banks Follow?”ccn.com
“Santander Uses Ripple To Power Cross-Border Money Transfer”pymnts.com
“Santander Bank Says Ripple’s Payment Network Outperforms Cross-Border Competitors”dailyhodl.com
Ripple Is Powering Half Of Santander’s International Transfers, Apparently
Even more stunning is the fact that apparently, Santander uses Ripple for half of its cross-border transactions:
This figure of 50% originates from a press release, that Santander and Ripple issued back in April 2018:
“We are covering 50% of all the FX payments the Santander Group does annually. It works really well… we’ve tested for two years and they work, they’re safe and they’re fully compliant.”— Ripple (@Ripple) April 23, 2018
-@AnaBotin to @FT on One Pay FX https://t.co/ID3RY3iBUu
Now they don’t exactly say that Ripple is used for half of Santander’s cross-border transactions, just that it’s covering half of them. Let’s see what that really means.
The True Nature Of Santander’s Use Of Ripple Tech
The original Santander’s press release (not the overhyped Ripple’s announcement, echoed by hundreds of various crypto online news outlets), states simply that
“Banco Santander today announced the launch of a new international payments service using blockchain-based technology. The service is available to retail customers in Spain, UK, Brazil and Poland, and will be rolled out across more countries in the coming months.”santander.com
The highlighted part is key to the “50%” claim - because these four countries taken together happen to stand for half of all Santander’s retail accounts. Santander simply stated that their service is available to half of its retail clients, not that it was used for half of anything.
And by the way, retail clients only produce a small portion of a bank’s international money transfers - so the claim that “50% of the bank’s international money transfers could be covered by One Pay FX”, as was stated by Ripple, is just a flat-out lie.
What Is One Pay FX, Exactly?
Santander’s own website states that:
Santander customers can make international payments using:santander.com
- Online Banking
- Telephone Banking
- our branches
- Santander’s One Pay FX app (for iPhones running iOS10+).
Wait, what? The whole Santander - Ripple partnership, which will revolutionise the international banking industry, and which was the reason for hundreds of online news pieces, is just an iPhone app?!
Well yes, yes it is - you can see it for yourself here.
It has a whole lot of 17 five-star ratings on Apple’s app store, and even one review!!!
Ripple Labs has 364 employees on LinkedIn. If it had instructed all its employees to rate the One Pay FX app, and only one in ten had complied, the app would still have twice as many ratings than it has now, nine months after it was officially launched.
Why Does Santander Even Bother?
Ripple could correct the misconception broadcasted by hundreds of crypto news outlets and thousands of XRP bagholders. Instead, it encourages it by using consciously misleading wording and cherry-picking facts.
The impression that Ripple is disrupting something in transborder payments is the only thing that gives XRP coins a semblance of value. Selling their stash of XRP coins to naive bagholders is how Ripple Labs makes all of its money.
But what about Santander? Why would it play along, given the risks to its reputation once the scam is revealed?
The answer is in the same press release that announced the release of One Pay FX:
“InnoVentures, Santander’s $200 million fintech venture capital fund, invested in Ripple in 2015.”santander.com
This is a common theme in Ripple’s sea of bullshit. Most of Ripple’s clients are in reality either investors in Ripple, or startups Ripple has invested in (*cough* bribed *cough*). Either way, they all have a financial incentive to use Ripple’s tech, which has nothing to do with baking revolutions or transborder payments.
Ripple Is A Scam In Broad Daylight
Nobody really uses Ripple’s tech. It doesn’t have real clients, it doesn’t have an appealing use case. The only companies who accept to play along with Ripple’s lies, do so because Ripple pays them, directly or indirectly.
The whole scheme works as long as naive investors believe Ripple’s lies, and thing that XRP coins are worth something. The moment people stop buying these worthless database entries, Ripple will disappear into the night, taking with it the hundreds of millions of real dollars it made with this scam.