The Gates Foundation teamed up with Ripple, to release an open-source software for the unbanked people on October 16th, 2017. Named Mojaloop, this software aims at establishing an inter-operability layer between the payment providers and financial institutions who offer financial services to the unbanked people.
The Interledger protocol developed by Ripple is being used to transact between various financial networks. Along with Ripple, three other financial technology organisations took part in the development of the software. This app is a result of the group’s Level One Project.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had been observing the applications of this technology—especially it’s potential of bridging disconnected systems of finance—for the past two years.
Ripple’s Chief Technology Officer Stefan Thomas said, “Enabling the poor to make payments to anyone, anywhere, using a mobile wallet has implications beyond increased access to their domestic economies. It has the potential to bring millions into the fold of the global digital economy. We are honored to have been a part of this project.”
The foundation’s Deputy Director of Financial Services for the poor said, “Interoperability of digital payments has been the toughest hurdle for the financial services industry to overcome. With Mojaloop, our technology partners have finally achieved a solution that can apply to any service, and we invite banks and the payments industry to explore and test this tool.”
Ericsson, Mahindra Comvia, Huawei, and Telepin mobile phone technologies also contributed in the development of an open API to accelerate the process of integrations.
What does this mean for Ripple?
Partnering with the Melinda Gates foundation is not only good for Ripple, but for blockchain startups on the whole. The foundation is a reputed organisation solving real world problems. It has the financial and industry influence of the Gates family and can take Blockchain applications to mainstream use very soon. This is good for the company.
However, this hasn’t stemmed the leaking value of the Ripple coin $XRP. It has dropped 9% and the partnership news hasn’t affected its downward spiral. Furthermore, it was reported yesterday that a top executive from Ripple’s Japanese office had been arrested for fraud, further piling on the misery in an already bad time for Ripple.
However, in the long run, the value proposition that Ripple brought to the table was currency transfer with a strong social impact angle. There are detractors who criticise the coin for being pre-mined, but the founders and their financial innovations foundation has stayed true to their focus on social issues and real world problems.
These high profile partnerships are important and more of them will bring Ripple and blockchain into the mainstream.