Ripple Co-Founder Chris Larsen: ‘Silicon Valley Has Missed The Boat’


Speaking at Money 2020, Chris Larsen expressed his perspectives on technology disruption, regulations for digital assets and Ripple’s vision of the Internet of Value.


Chris Larsen at Money 2020

Ripple Executive Chairman and Co-Founder Chris Larsen, in the keynote roundup, had an enlightening conversation with Arjan Schütte, the Founder and Managing Partner of Core Innovation Capital.

The summary of the chat was published in an article on the official website of Ripple earlier on Wednesday. Money 2020 is a conference attended by the representatives from the payments, fintech and financial services industries.

According to the article:

Larsen reflected on his experience as both an entrepreneur and a business leader as he offered perspectives on a variety of topics, including Silicon Valley disruption, regulation of digital assets and what it means to build the Internet of Value.

Views on Technology Innovation

Asked about his opinion on technology development, Larsen said that there is, “a difference between wanting to do good and not wanting to do bad.” Elaborating further he went on to explain that tech start-ups are primarily focused on disruption, and the new technologies emerging can at times be intimidating to some sections of the society.

Larsen went on to explain:

There is a ‘techlash’ going on, for sure. Silicon Valley has missed the boat. They’ve moved fast and broke things and didn’t worry about the consequences. This is where FinTech has struggled. Pure code is one thing, but it has to also be compliant and regulated. Technology is embedded in everything these days, and people are scared. They don’t want to hear how you’re going to break things.

Importance of Taking a Middle Path

Larsen believes that while tech firms need to focus on innovation, they should not forget to be empathetic. It’s this philosophy that is ingrained in all the companies Larsen has built. Talking about the need for an inclusive approach and ability to give back to the community, he cited the example of Ripple for Good, the charity arm of the company.

He went on to say that the blockchain industry had not done enough to allay fears about the negatives of cryptocurrencies. To gain acceptability, he believes that it is important for projects to bring about a positive change in the world.

He cited Thorn as an example to illustrate his point. Thorn is a project that uses innovation to prevent exploitation of children on the internet.

Larsen emphasized the need to work with the traditional financial systems and not disrupt them. He said, “Working within the system. A big part of stopping this fetish for disruption is getting involved in the industry,” Larsen commented. “Work with banks. By working with the system, you are automatically confronted by what the concerns are. If you’re only on your own path, you don’t see what these issues are.”

While highlighting the need for “thoughtful regulation” for the protection of the investors, he cautioned against overregulation mentioning that they could be an obstacle in realizing the benefits of cryptocurrencies.

Larsen believes that despite challenges, digital assets will bring about a positive impact in the financial industry and help Ripple enable the Internet of Value, a world where money moves as fast as information.

Use of cryptocurrency is a subject of concern for most governments and regulators across the globe. As Larsen pointed out there is a need to take an inclusive approach to convince these stakeholders about the benefits that crypto assets can bring.

Do you agree with the views expressed by Larsen? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Ripple and ShutterStock

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