May 2, 2018 | Webinar

Building the Internet of Value - Opportunities & Challenges in Blockchain

Rohit Kulkarni 00:04

Okay. Thank you, everyone. We are going to go ahead and get started. Good morning everybody who’s joining us from the West Coast on this very nice and sunny Wednesday morning. And thank you for anyone who is joining us from the East Coast. Hopefully, spring has started there. Last I checked, it hadn’t. On behalf of everyone at SharesPost, we would like to welcome you to today’s webinar. I am Rohit Kulkarni, and I’m a managing director at the private investment research group here at SharesPost. I oversee a lot of things amongst them research, data, content on our website but, more importantly, I’m super excited to have Asheesh Birla with us. As you can see, Asheesh is a young and hot guy in a very young and hot sector. It is all things blockchain, and I have relied on Asheesh to educate me in SharesPost about blockchain and about all the things happening in this new ecosystem. So he has prepared a presentation for us, thankfully. He’ll walk us through that presentation and talk about Ripple, blockchain, payments, and many other things related to that. So we are super excited, but before we jump into that, anyone who’s joining us for the first webinar ever at SharesPost, I would love to give you a quick three-minute overview on what SharesPost is. We are a nine-year-old FinTech startup here in San Francisco financial district, and what we believe we are doing is we are revolutionizing what private capital markets are, basically. We provide liquidity insight and access to capital to both employees, institutions, executives in the private companies, and bridge them with family offices, wealth management firms, and investors, the buy-side demand if you will, and these are a bunch of issuers that we have transacted in. The number of logos keeps on growing thankfully because of where we are in this market. We recently eclipsed $4 billion in total volume that SharesPost as a company has done till date. So that’s a pretty big milestone, and we are pretty proud of it, but continue to keep chugging along.

Rohit 02:24

And SharesPost Research as a subdivision of SharesPost was launched about 18 months back, and since then we have been hard at work hoping to educate all the key constituents on the SharesPost ecosystem. We have published company reports on "Unicorns, Uber, Airbnb, Printers, Dropbox, Palantir, Spotify, Lyft," and likes like that. We try to stay on top of broader industry trends, and we can’t stay away from blockchain and cryptocurrency. Last month, we published our first "primer." Thank you to Asheesh for the help on that. And we also did a quick survey of people on the SharesPost platform on cryptocurrency. Talking of surveys, stay tuned as I check that people are not snoozing off on the webinar. We are definitely going to have a couple of polling questions, and you’ll get real-time results. So pretty advanced and cool piece of technology we are trying to use today. Similar to this webinar, we have done a bunch in the past 12 to 18 months. We try to do this every three to four weeks. This is a list of them. You can go online to view all the replays, and transcripts, and all the good stuff. A lot of market commentary. I’ll keep this brief. Blockchain is a smart open contract. Many things to many people. That’s the underlying technology for the cryptocurrencies that you may have heard of in the past 12 to 18 months. Cryptocurrency trends, I will briefly go over this. As in last week check, there were 1,600 cryptocurrencies out there. Total market capex hitting 400 billion, a little bit down from the $700 billion that we saw back in October. But the top four cryptocurrencies, they still account for our almost 70% of the market cap. So there is a very long tail there, and that’s something we’d love to hear from Asheesh how that evolves, and we did a quick survey as I said. Despite the volatility, what surprised us here at SharesPost Research is a lot of people who are current holders, a lot of people who are looking to buy still think the demand will rise over the next 12 to 18 months. So there is a positive bias there. Also, over the longer term, people believe that blockchain as a technology can become mainstream. And, again, you be the judge as to what mainstream would be. But over the next 5 to 10 years, there is potential for this company, for a lot of companies, to go mainstream and create a lot of value. And at the get-go, when we ask people, "What do you think is the disruption potential?" I think the top three are money transfer, cybersecurity, and payments are the ones that come up as things that are going to have a lot of potential.

Rohit 05:31

So as I said, we are going through surveys. And as a first survey just to level set the audience, here’s something that we would love for you to do a quick check. As in, "Do you own a digital asset?" Just click yes or no, and we’ll give you about 20, 25 seconds, and then I’ll turn it over to Asheesh. And as I said, he’s a very hot guy in a hot sector. So there is a business school up in Philadelphia called as Wharton Business School. And I saw this magazine in the mail yesterday, and rarely do I open this but [laughter] it said blockchain revolution. So MBAs are catching up to blockchain, and I know there is something-- I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing though. And look, as in the top 10 people here in an Ivy League school who are kind of disrupting blockchain and-- can you zoom into this please? And this is the guy who’s sitting right next to me and-- so, clearly, very happy to have Asheesh and hope to pick his brains, and the collective knowledge is definitely going to go higher in the next 20 minutes, and we should be well on our way to do great things. So as we wait for the results here and-- okay. That’s good news.

Asheesh Birla 07:11

Pretty good. Yeah. Hello.

Rohit 07:11

So 67.5% of the people own a digital asset and 32.5% people do not. So there is a pretty good level set understanding here. And with that, I think I did overshoot my time here. It’s all onto Asheesh and, again, thank you very much for doing this with us.

Asheesh 07:32

Thank you, Rohit, and thank you SharesPost for hosting me and allowing me to share my story. I’m Asheesh Birla. I’m the senior vice president of product at Ripple. I’ve been in the blockchain space with Ripple for the last five years, and I think this has just been an incredible ride. So much to learn, and I just want share as much as I can with you guys already out there. Well, it sounds like 67% of you guys already own a digital asset, so maybe I can learn something [laughter] from you guys as well. So, again, thank you for joining today this early morning on a beautiful San Francisco morning. So I have another poll question for you. Do you believe blockchain is either all hype or has real disruptive potential? I think that as I’ve been going through this space for the last five years, for me, it’s been interesting to see venture capital become really interested in this space. MBAs, as Rohit mentioned, are starting to get interested in blockchain as well, but I’m curious to hear what you guys think. Do you guys see a lot of potential here?

Rohit 08:49

I do [laughter].

Asheesh 08:49

A good number of you guys already answered the previous question, but let’s go ahead and check in on-- you know what? I think it has real disruptive potential. So I’m going to vote yes, but let’s see what you guys have to say. Whoa.

Rohit 09:01

I think we need a round of applause here. It was great.

Asheesh 09:05

Well, I was going to say, I might not have much to talk about since everyone believes that blockchain already [crosstalk].

Rohit 09:10

There’s a happy hour right next door.

Asheesh 09:11

Yeah, there is. It’s a little early for that, but anyways let’s get to it. I mentioned I’ve been in this space since 2013. Rohit showed this graph, and this is digital asset market capitalization across, I think, the top 1,000 digital assets out there. And that number alone is sort of crazy. When we got started, there were two to three digital assets out there, and now we’ve just seen an explosion out there. And the market capitalization has also exploded as well, and I think its peaked some time in January at around 700 billion total which is crazy. But this has been a long journey, and from being in this space, 2014, ’15, and ’16 were really tough years to be raising money like Ripple was at this time frame, and it’s known as crypto winter. And this is when a lot of people sort of jumped out of digital assets and blockchain, and I guarantee if you asked that poll in 2015, I think you would have a lot more skeptic. So I’m happy that people are coming around. But my favorite is MBAs at the P definitely got into crypto. Maybe that was a-- maybe that was the sign that there’s going to be a correction, but I was also happy that business school students are interested in joining this space, and that sort of happened in January in my opinion.

Asheesh 10:43

Moving right along, I think that what I wanted to cover today is just a little bit about who Ripple is, how we got started. And you may be asking why did we pick this particular sector to go after? And I want to talk to you a little bit about the overall global payments opportunity, but I also want to talk to you a little bit about where we decided the insertion point for Ripple was best suited. I am the product guy at Ripple, so I got to go through the solution. So I’m going to go through the solution briefly, and then I think we’re just going to open it up to a little bit of Q&A with Rohit. So I’m just going to move right there.

Rohit 11:18

Just before we jump into that, in the prior two slides, you gave the what. As in what has happened in the past. Can you, from a layman’s perspective, as the other 33% people who are still sitting on the sidelines, can you just say the why behind? As in why did the market cap of currencies rise? What happened in 2016 or ’17 that made them rise? And what is the-- if you zoom in in the last nine months, what’s driving the volatility?

Asheesh 11:50

Yeah. So when I think there’s just been a lot of volatility from the beginning and when something is a new asset class, I think that it’s just normal to see a good amount of volatility out there. And so the other thing is that the amount of volume that’s going through this, although increasing - I think it was six or seven billion in volume yesterday - is still really small. So I think that you’ll see volatility. As this asset class matures, there’s potential for volatility to also go down a little bit. Also, keep in mind that in 2013 when we got started, there was only four or five digital asset exchanges out there. If you look at that market today, there’s over 200 digital asset exchanges globally. And then I think the third factor is that there’s something called the ERC20 Ethereum contract. And what the ERC20 Ethereum contract did was it allowed folks to easily create new digital assets on a blockchain. And that gave rise to 500 to 1,000 new digital assets. And that was a phenomenon that started maybe in 2016 but really gained traction in 2017. And you can see the rise in the digital asset capitalization in that chart very nicely correlated with that ERC20 contract really taking shape as well.

Rohit 13:23

Okay, okay. Cool. Okay. Yeah. That was helpful. Yeah. Please go ahead.

Asheesh 13:27

So who are we? Here are a couple of the folks. I’m on there as well, but Chris Larsen is the founder of Ripple. Chris Larsen is a very notable FinTech entrepreneur. This is his third. We got a long way to go, but so far a successful FinTech. He was also the founder of Prosper and e-Loan. Brad Garlinghouse, our CEO. He is known in Silicon Valley most notably for Yahoo but then also, on the bottom, we have a mix of Silicon Valley experts but also industry experts as well. So Marcus Treacher comes from HSBC. He brings a lot of that institutional knowledge to Ripple as well. A little bit about Ripple. We are based in San Francisco, but we have a global footprint. And, again, we are a global company with global customers. And so most notably, recently, we’ve opened up an office in Mumbai and in Singapore. Asia is a common theme that we’ll talk about throughout this presentation, but a very hot sector for Ripple. Our investors are a combination of traditional venture capital investors as well as banking clients. So Santander, Standard Chartered invested in us. They’re from the industry. I think that’s played out very well for Ripple. That was a strategy that we really decided to go down maybe in 2015, but that’s playing off very nicely for Ripple.

Asheesh 15:03

Our vision. So from day one of Ripple, we were after this vision of we want to make money move a lot like information moves today. And the question that we had was, listen, you can actually beam YouTube to the space station, but if you wanted to move money into the UK, for example, the fastest way is actually to get cash in a briefcase and take a British Airways flight to London and deliver it physically. In 2018, you can order an Uber, and it will be here in seconds, but you cannot get money across borders. And that’s just something that I think that needs to be fixed. And so that was our vision. It has been from the start of Ripple. It will continue out the life of Ripple, but our mission is something that we’ve been focused on for the next five years. This is something that we want to tackle immediately. And the main thing is that there is so much friction in sending money globally today. And if anyone’s used the wire system and sent a wire payment, you know how poor of an experience that is. But think about a company that is sending payments across border millions of times per day. These new economy participants, e-commerce companies that are doing that, that is a big pain point for them that is hurting their growth.

Asheesh 16:25

A snapshot of our network of growing customers. You can see a lot of this is in Asia. A lot of our customers are in Asia. You have Siam Bank. A lot of banks in India as well. But also a number of anchor banks like Santander and Standard Chartered as well. At this rate, we’re signing up about one new customer per month which from a product guy makes me really happy. So just a quick snapshot of our customer base. So I talked a little bit about this and the new customer demands. And just right around the corner from where we are today, the headquarters of companies like Airbnb and Uber are around and these companies, just a few years ago, weren’t even around, but now they’re in 20, 30, 40 different countries. They have cross-border payment needs. They can’t tolerate delays. If a driver does not get a payment, that’s mission critical for these companies. They need these payments delivered on demand in real time. That’s just not how the payment system today operates. The payment system today was built in the 1960s when maybe large companies like General Motors wanted to set billion-dollar treasury payments once per month. That’s really different than the new economy, the e-commerce companies, and some of these on-demand startups that we see today.

Asheesh 17:49

And so I talked a little bit about the legacy infrastructure. What you’re seeing on this diagram right here is really a lot around how legacy infrastructure is built today, and so it was built in 1960s, still used today. And what you’re seeing here is a series of correspondent banks. Money and information moves one hop. They process it. They may take a couple of days. They send it to the next hop. They may process it. If anything happens in the middle here, it fails, it takes about a week to really figure out what went wrong. We’ve heard from some customers that, "Hey. If there’s a failed payment, we don’t bother trying to track it. It’s too difficult. We just send a whole other payment." And that just sounds ridiculous in 2018. And so instead of using legacy infrastructure, what a lot of these innovative companies have done is integrated on their own. They built their own payment infrastructure. Amazon, Uber, they have 200, 300 people just focused on payments. Some of them are licensed money transmitters, but what they have to do is go into each country and integrate their own APIs, their own technology, and what you see is sort of a rat nest of integrations. And, again, that’s really a difficult pain point for these companies to solve, given they’re not even really payment companies. What’s happening is that the correspondent banks are actually decreasing their reach. They are pulling out of different markets that are sometimes growing like the emerging markets. But the demands that e-commerce companies are putting are an expansion story. They want to go into the emerging markets. And so this is really where we see the missed opportunity for the traditional incumbents, and something that we can work with innovative banks and financial partners to solve. And, again, this is what we think is the misserved or the underserved market for Ripple.

Rohit 19:43

Just a clarification. When you say that global banking footprint is declining, what do you mean by that?

Asheesh 19:54

Yes. What I mean by that is that global banks today are under a lot of heavy regulation, and to maintain something called nostros, which is basically a bank account in the jurisdiction or country where you want to send payments, is really expensive from a compliance and a regulatory perspective. So banks have made-- some global banks have made a very hard decision to pull out of some of the regions that need money the most. And so if you look at parts of Africa, parts of Asia, South America, there’s been a general sort of pull back from some of the biggest money transmitters and banks out there. And, again, that’s almost the opposite of what’s happening in the e-commerce world where those folks want to actually tap into those markets, so.

Asheesh 20:40

All right. So let’s go through our solution. The first solution that we brought to market in 2015 and it’s xCurrent. And what’s great about xCurrent is that it really is laying the foundation for a new global infrastructure for moving money. And one of the first things that we realized is that we wanted to work with financial institutions, with banks, and if you want to move, if you want to work with those financial institutions, you need to provide them with the product so that they can comply with local regulations, local compliance details, and so forth. So we brought to market a product called xCurrent. xCurrent helps financial institutions exchange information and settle what’s known as fiat payments. So if you want to go from the US dollars into British pounds, the banks would purchase and install the xCurrent product, and they would be able to exchange information but also move money between themselves.

Asheesh 21:41

The next product is xRapid. And I mentioned a little bit about-- it is really costly for companies and banks to hold local accounts. They’re called nostro accounts in the destination where they want to move money. And what is great about xRapid is that it uses digital assets, XRP is one of them, to more efficiently move money. And so I’ll give you an example of Cuallix. Cuallix is a company in New York City. They move money into Mexico from the US. They had to open up an account in Mexico prior to using Ripple, and they would have to locally fund that account once per week. That was time-consuming. It was expensive. Payments took almost a week to settle. They have taken to xRapid and xRapid allows them to deposit in US dollars. And under the hood, xRapid is converting that to a digital asset and moving that into Mexico. And then another digital asset exchange in Mexico is paying out into local rails. So that is taking something down from days to actually seconds. They no longer have to maintain a local account which is a big pain point for financial institutions and corporations in the local jurisdictions where they want to move money.

Asheesh 23:03

And then our last product that I want to talk about is xVia. We, just last week, have announced five new customers for xVia. This is really taking that entire experience that I talked about, a new way of moving money, a more efficient way of moving money, and providing a easy API or standard for corporations and financial institutions to use this to move money. And so this is a product that I’m really excited about. We’re going to continue to build upon these three main products but on the heels of our last week’s news, five new partners with xVia. And then I wanted to talk a little bit about-- this is real. This is happening today. I’m really excited to talk a little about Santander. And we think about some of the global banks like Santander as being slow and dodgy, but Santander is blowing my mind in how innovative this customer is. They were getting out-competed by a startup. Some of you guys may know of them called TransferWise. And TransferWise was taking market share away from this big global bank by offering a better mobile experience for moving money globally. So if you want to send money back home, you want to send money across borders, they were losing money to a company called TransferWise. On top of Ripple, they were able to build a innovative mobile experience for their retail customers to move money. With this mobile app, on top of Ripple, they can now move money in a matter of minutes. They have a receipt when that recipient has received the money. This has been a big win for both Ripple and Santander, and they are rolling this out to millions of their customers over the next few months. So we’re really excited to talk about real application of blockchain technology. Ripple technology out in the wild there.

Rohit 25:02

And the underlying product or the products that this app uses are?

Asheesh 25:06

Yeah. So they were one of the first adopters of the xCurrent product, and that is one of the most mature products that we have. It’s been out there since 2015, and so they’re making use of that product today. And so we’re really excited to have a happy customer and a growing customer. So, again, just repeat. If you want to move money globally, if you want to do e-commerce payments globally, these companies are left with no choice but to build their own payments infrastructure, but we think that there’s a better way. We think that you can deliver a standard for these companies. We think that you can take this experience and bundle it up for these customers. We want Airbnb focused on delivering great stays around the world, Uber getting people where they need to be, and Amazon delivering five packages a day to my house. And we want to be focused on helping these companies move money globally, and that’s really our mission. So one API, instant payments, and we want to make that more efficient than it is today.

Asheesh 26:13

All right. Well, thanks. We have some time for a couple of questions.

Rohit 26:16

Yes, of course. We have a few minutes for Q&A. So people on the webinar, you will see a Q&A box on your webinar console, and feel free to type away. And I’ll try to moderate them as we go, and we have some time to pick Asheesh’s brains. One question in the prior emails we received was about kind of the global nature of the blockchain ecosystem revolution technology, if you will. Can you just help us understand as in-- global was a word that you used probably 12 times in your eight slides. And so sitting here in the US, an investor barely has a clear understanding of what’s happening outside, particularly with this technology. So from Ripple’s standpoint or even from an ecosystem standpoint, can you just highlight what are the defenses you see and what should investors keep a close eye on from a global perspective?

Asheesh 27:20

Yeah. That’s such a good point. I think that early on at Ripple, we really tried to solve problems that were apparent to us in Silicon Valley. But what we realized is that you probably have five credit cards. You probably have Venmo. You have PayPal. You are what’s known as overbanked in the US in a lot of ways. But it took a couple of trips to the Middle East, to Asia, to India, to realize that the rest of the world, that isn’t the case. In a lot of the emerging markets, credit card adoption is less than 5%, and cash is still king. But what is happening is that mobile is taking over and for the first time ever, in India, for example, over the next five years for the first time ever, one billion new people will have access to a bank account, but they’ll access it through their phone. And so it was these stories that really sort of led us to believe that, hey, Asia is going to be a massive market for blockchain, for digital assets because those countries are growing so fast, but their governments are also really incented to think about leapfrog technologies. And in some ways, these countries have better payment systems than the western world. For example in India, through their new payment system, you can get a small value payment to anyone within a few minutes and same thing with Mexico. And, again, these countries have really just leapfrogged a lot of the western, more developed worlds in terms of payment technology.

Rohit 28:54

Okay, okay. I understand that Ripple is tackling a very big, and large, and growing problem which is around payments globally. But if you were to take a step back from Blockchain and applications built on top of Blockchain, we have come across a lot of potential for Blockchain applications all the way from disrupting supply chain, disrupting real estate, disrupting healthcare. I don’t know what, but you are much closer to the real business model and what value people can derive from those business models on blockchain. So what’s your view on kind of the next layer of applications that we’ll see over the next 5 to 10 years built on top of blockchain?

Asheesh 29:43

Yeah, that’s a good question and as the product guy, it’s my job to say no. And so we see a lot of these and, yes, sometimes, but a lot of times, no. But we do see a lot of these used cases that come through our door especially in the earlier days, and I think there was a time where we came to the realization that the big opportunity with blockchain and digital assets was really in moving money or moving value. And so the idea of blockchain without the digital asset doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I definitely want to be proven wrong, and I’m definitely trying to keep up with innovative things like titling a real estate on the blockchain, which sounds really interesting. But the question you have in a lot of those used cases is that you now need to be better than a database. And Oracle has been a leader in developing a high-power database that’s fast, that’s secure, that’s sufficient. And if you’re using a blockchain, it is going to be slower most likely. It’s a lot harder to use and so the trade-offs, a lot of times, are not sort of clear to me. But I definitely think even if you look at Ethereum, which is a platform out there that allows you to run applications or programs in a decentralized way, that idea of decentralized computing has been around for a long time. What’s innovative about Ethereum is that you can now pay for it without a counterparty using a digital asset known as ether. So I think that-- again, that to me, that just seems like the big innovation that changed the game was around completely decentralization using their digital asset. And so that’s my-- I really hope to be proven wrong, and I’m trying to keep up on that space as much as possible, but that’s my thought on it.

Rohit 31:35

Okay. You talked about speed. So two variables or attributes that investors, I believe, focus on is speed and security. So can you talk about why is it that kind of Ripple or XRP has kind of gotten the track record that it has? Are those two variables important when it comes to payments? And if so, how do you differentiate from incumbents or any other blockchain currencies?

Asheesh 32:09

Yeah. So I think it goes back to-- the focusing on a sector was really an important decision that we made early on. And our technology, our software products that Ripple Inc. has developed, xCurrent, xVia, and xRapid, again, are all with moving cross-border payments. Working with financial institutions were all designed around solving those pain points, speed, security, transparency, compliance of local regulation. And those themes come again and again with all of our products. So I think it’s that focus that has helped us differentiate ourselves from others out there. XRP, the digital asset native to the XRP ledger, again, that was created really to solve payments problem, and we believe that payments were going to get smaller and smaller, and that it had to be very efficient to move money. So the fees associated with moving money across the XRP ledger are a fraction of other ledgers out there. So it’s really efficient to even move small amounts of value. It’s fast, but that was all designed because it’s designed to move money globally.

Rohit 33:26

Okay, okay. I see a few questions here. I think two or three of them are directly or indirectly related to regulatory environment. Let me ask you this. As in what, from a regulatory standpoint either in US, Europe, or anywhere out in any jurisdiction that you closely work with, are you tracking closely? Is there any positive or potentially negative catalyst? Not just Ripple but broader blockchain ecosystem that you as a leader in blockchain are following or tracking?

Asheesh 34:00

Yeah. So I think it goes back to the early days of Ripple. I think one thing that, and I thank our founder and our senior team for doing this, is we decided early on that this industry was not going to mature without strong ties with regulatory and compliance. Again, it goes into the DNA of our products, but it also goes into a collaboration with tons of regulators across the globe. And I genuinely think that regulators do not want to stop innovation, but they do want to make sure that it’s safe and they’re protecting consumers and citizens of their nation. And so I think we’ve had a really good relationship. I think that the rest of the industry-- I’m happy to see more products created around compliance and regulatory in digital assets across the board. I think that’s been a three-month phenomenon to be honest. I’ve seen a lot of these new companies come up that have regulatory front and center. I don’t think that you’re going to be successful in this industry by trying to skirt regulations. And so I think that the governments globally, for the most part, have been very open to being educated and to making good decisions. And I’ve seen, especially in Asia, that governments want to figure out how to embrace this technology. And if you see what’s going on in the Philippines with a very friendly regulatory environment around digital assets, I mean, they’re seeing this as a catalyst for innovation but also a catalyst for growth.

[silence]

Rohit 38:29

Can Ripple as a company that is working around the incumbents evolve to-- are you kind of just sowing the seeds to essentially disrupt very large payment providers in the world?

Asheesh 38:44

Yeah. So I think a couple of things to clarify. We made a decision really early on that we didn’t think that we were going to be successful as a company if we wanted to go out and disrupt all the incumbents. And I think we’ve carefully selected incumbents to work with that are innovative like Santander, like Standard Chartered, like Siam Bank in Thailand that really want to go after a new type of business, either something that they lost or something that they do want to grow into like e-commerce payments. And to be honest, developing a product for the incumbents is extremely painful. There’s a lot of security considerations, a lot of legacy back-office considerations, so the journey might have been longer, but it is absolutely the right decision in my opinion. It is paying off. You see our global traction. It just takes a little bit longer, and I think Silicon Valley has gotten to this thing where you need to disrupt everyone in its path to be successful. And I definitely have a different view on that. I definitely think that when it comes to payments, there are regulated institutions known as banks that are not going to go away. And helping them innovate-- and there are some really innovative banks that I think are actually faster-moving than some startups that are here in Silicon Valley. Siam Bank in Thailand is one of them. So I think that it’s a strategy that takes a little bit longer, takes more of patience, but it pays off. And so I think that that’s an important part of our strategy and our DNA at Ripple.

Rohit 40:15

Okay. Very interesting. Also, one more thing I see here is on payments. It was interesting to note that you did not-- you just had global payments. It was on business payments. This was on consumer payments. So is there a consumer payments angle to the story in the next five years?

Asheesh 40:32

So yeah. That’s a good question. So one of the first products that I worked on at Ripple was more of a consumer payment angle. And I think the big learning that we had with that product is that it’s not so much the consumer payments directly that needed to be fixed. It was a global infrastructure needed to be rewritten. And so we fixed that plumbing problem with the xCurrent product. And now what we’re enabling is other companies to build these applications for consumer payments and business payments on top of our platform. And so there was a whole bunch of logos on one particular slide, but some of those companies are actually retail or consumer payment companies. UAEX is one of the largest retail or consumer payments company in the Middles East, and they’re using Ripple products to efficiently send money globally. And so they’re experts in that business. We want to be experts in helping all these institutions move money in a regulatory safe and compliant fashion.

Rohit 41:39

Okay, okay. Super. I know we are right on schedule here. I don’t want to keep you longer. I know we have many unanswered questions, and people back here are waving at me about kind of we need to call it. So I think we’ll wrap it right here, Asheesh, and again, thank you so much for your time today. And thank you, everyone, for joining us. There are more questions unanswered and more things we would love to learn. And I’ll share Asheesh’s personal mobile as well as [laughter] his home address shortly for you to do snail mail or whatever. But as you can see on the screen, feel free to reach out in case you have any questions about Ripple, about SharesPost Research, or weather in San Francisco. But I guess the good news here is kind of the recent trends in what we are seeing at Ripple blockchain ecosystem, as in some respects from somebody who has followed technology for more than 15 years, is that there is an affirmation of we are onto something big here. I think as in it’s not going to be straight up to the right, but volatility will unlock more players, I think. And we’ll wait and watch very closely. I guess many of you have requested access to the presentation that we put together. We will be sending a follow-up email with the recording, transcript, and all the good stuff, so stay tuned for that. And, again, thank you very much for joining us. We are always looking for topics and speakers as hot and exciting as Asheesh and Ripple. So in case if you are willing to volunteer or anybody who would have an opinion, I’m all ears. So, again, thank you so much. Asheesh, any last words?

Asheesh 43:37

Oh, thank you so much for sticking in today and allowing me to share my story. And thank you to SharesPost for hosting me.

Rohit 43:45

Okay. Thank you. I hope everyone has a great week ahead. Thank you.

[silence]

CONFLICTS:

This report is being published by SharesPost Financial Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC. SharesPost Financial Corporation and SP Investments Management, LLC., an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, are wholly owned subsidiaries of SharesPost, Inc. SP Investments Management, LLC is the investment manager of the SharesPost 100 Fund, a Registered Investment Company, and other funds. These entities and funds (hereafter “SharesPost”) does, seeks to do business with, owns and/or seeks to own positions in the companies covered in this research report. Consequently, investors should be aware that SharesPost has a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. This report was originally prepared and distributed to institutional and certain private clients of SharesPost Financial Corporation. Recipients who are not market professional or clients of SharesPost Financial Corporation should seek the advice of their own personal financial advisors before making any investment decisions based on this report. None of the information contained in this report represents an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security and no buy or sell recommendation should be implied, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or governmental jurisdiction in which said offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

This report does not constitute an offer to provide investment advice or service. Registered representatives of SharesPost Financial Corporation, do not (1) advise any member on the merits or advisability of a particular investment or transaction, or (2) assist in the determination of fair value of any security or investment, or (3) provide legal, tax or transactional advisory services. Information regarding companies in the SharesPost 100 List available on the website has been collected from or generated from publicly available sources. The availability of company information does not indicate that such company has endorsed, supports or otherwise participates with SharesPost. Company “thesis” are the opinions of SharesPost and are not recommendations to buy, sell or hold any security of such company. Investors should be aware that the SharesPost 100 Fund (the “Fund”) may or may not have an ownership interest any of the issuers that are discussed in the report at any given point in time. Accordingly, investors should not rely on the content of this report when deciding whether to buy, hold, or sell interests in the Fund. Instead, investors are encouraged to do their own independent research. Before investing in the Fund, Investors are cautioned to consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. For a prospectus with this and other information about the Fund, please visit www.sharespost100fund.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

ANALYST CERTIFICATION:

The analyst(s) certifies that the views expressed in this report accurately reflect the personal views of such analyst(s) about any and all of the subject securities or issuers and that no part of such analyst(s) compensation was, is, or will be, directly or indirectly, related to the specific views contained in this report. Analyst compensation is based upon various factors, including the overall performance of SharesPost, Inc. and its subsidiaries, and the performance and productivity of such analyst including feedback from clients of SharesPost Financial Corporation and other stakeholders in our ecosystem, the quality of such analyst’s research and the analyst’s contribution to the grown and development of our overall research effort. Analyst compensation is derived from all revenue sources of SharesPost, Inc., including brokerage sales.

DISCLAIMER:

This report does not contain a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any issuer, industry or security. The opinions expressed in this report reflect our judgment at this date and are subject to change. The information contained in this report has been obtained from sources we consider to be reliable, however, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of all such information. Any securities offered are offered by SharesPost Financial Corporation. SharesPost Financial Corporation and SP Investments Management, LLC are wholly owned subsidiaries of SharesPost, Inc. Certain affiliates of these entities may act as principals in such transactions. Investing in private company securities is not suitable for all investors. An investment in private company securities is highly speculative and involves a high degree of risk and should only be considered a long-term investment.

You must be prepared to withstand a total loss of your investment. Private company securities are also highly illiquid and there is no guarantee that a market will develop for such securities. Each investment also carries its own specific risks and you should complete your own independent due diligence regarding the investment, including obtaining additional information about the company, opinions, financial projections and legal or other investment advice. Accordingly, investing in private company securities is appropriate only for those investors who can tolerate a high degree of risk and do not require a liquid investment. SharesPost, the SharesPost logo, My SharesPost, SharesPost Index, SharesPost Investment Management, SharesPost 100 Fund, and SharesPost 100 List are all registered trademarks of SharesPost, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

CONFLICTS:

This report is being published by SharesPost Financial Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC. SharesPost Financial Corporation and SP Investments Management, LLC., an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, are wholly owned subsidiaries of SharesPost, Inc. SP Investments Management, LLC is the investment manager of the SharesPost 100 Fund, a Registered Investment Company, and other funds. These entities and funds (hereafter “SharesPost”) does, seeks to do business with, owns and/or seeks to own positions in the companies covered in this research report. Consequently, investors should be aware that SharesPost has a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. This report was originally prepared and distributed to institutional and certain private clients of SharesPost Financial Corporation. Recipients who are not market professional or clients of SharesPost Financial Corporation should seek the advice of their own personal financial advisors before making any investment decisions based on this report. None of the information contained in this report represents an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security and no buy or sell recommendation should be implied, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or governmental jurisdiction in which said offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

This report does not constitute an offer to provide investment advice or service. Registered representatives of SharesPost Financial Corporation, do not (1) advise any member on the merits or advisability of a particular investment or transaction, or (2) assist in the determination of fair value of any security or investment, or (3) provide legal, tax or transactional advisory services. Information regarding companies in the SharesPost 100 List available on the website has been collected from or generated from publicly available sources. The availability of company information does not indicate that such company has endorsed, supports or otherwise participates with SharesPost. Company “thesis” are the opinions of SharesPost and are not recommendations to buy, sell or hold any security of such company. Investors should be aware that the SharesPost 100 Fund (the “Fund”) may or may not have an ownership interest any of the issuers that are discussed in the report at any given point in time. Accordingly, investors should not rely on the content of this report when deciding whether to buy, hold, or sell interests in the Fund. Instead, investors are encouraged to do their own independent research. Before investing in the Fund, Investors are cautioned to consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. For a prospectus with this and other information about the Fund, please visit www.sharespost100fund.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

ANALYST CERTIFICATION:

The analyst(s) certifies that the views expressed in this report accurately reflect the personal views of such analyst(s) about any and all of the subject securities or issuers and that no part of such analyst(s) compensation was, is, or will be, directly or indirectly, related to the specific views contained in this report. Analyst compensation is based upon various factors, including the overall performance of SharesPost, Inc. and its subsidiaries, and the performance and productivity of such analyst including feedback from clients of SharesPost Financial Corporation and other stakeholders in our ecosystem, the quality of such analyst’s research and the analyst’s contribution to the grown and development of our overall research effort. Analyst compensation is derived from all revenue sources of SharesPost, Inc., including brokerage sales.

DISCLAIMER:

This report does not contain a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any issuer, industry or security. The opinions expressed in this report reflect our judgment at this date and are subject to change. The information contained in this report has been obtained from sources we consider to be reliable, however, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of all such information. Any securities offered are offered by SharesPost Financial Corporation. SharesPost Financial Corporation and SP Investments Management, LLC are wholly owned subsidiaries of SharesPost, Inc. Certain affiliates of these entities may act as principals in such transactions. Investing in private company securities is not suitable for all investors. An investment in private company securities is highly speculative and involves a high degree of risk and should only be considered a long-term investment.

You must be prepared to withstand a total loss of your investment. Private company securities are also highly illiquid and there is no guarantee that a market will develop for such securities. Each investment also carries its own specific risks and you should complete your own independent due diligence regarding the investment, including obtaining additional information about the company, opinions, financial projections and legal or other investment advice. Accordingly, investing in private company securities is appropriate only for those investors who can tolerate a high degree of risk and do not require a liquid investment. SharesPost, the SharesPost logo, My SharesPost, SharesPost Index, SharesPost Investment Management, SharesPost 100 Fund, and SharesPost 100 List are all registered trademarks of SharesPost, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.