A rumor is currently circulating on Twitter about an alleged connection between Ripple Labs and the US Federal Reserve (Fed). Even though the story is apparently very far-fetched, it is nevertheless a story worth telling, and we don’t want to keep it quiet.
The origin of the rumor is popular XRP army member @NFAdotcrypto. The user shared a video clip from Fed chairman Jerome Powell’s semi-annual testimony before the US Congress yesterday. Congressman Wiley Nickel asks the Fed chairman how he liked the recent concert by the Grateful Dead, an American rock band founded in 1965.
Powell replied that he had been a “Grateful Dead fan” for 50 years, whereupon Congressman Wiley Nickel replied, “I found a universal truth, I like people who like the Grateful Dead.” And here comes the connection to Ripple:
In a 2018 video about the beginnings, Ripple founder and current executive chairman Chris Larsen declared, “We’ve always loved the Grateful Dead.” In the video clip, Larsen also tells how he had to buy the Ripple domain from a Grateful Dead super-fan who owned it because of their song “Ripple”.
Was there a subtle nod to @ripple at yesterday’s press conference or just a coincidence? 🤔
1. Jerome Powell says he’s been a “Grateful Dead fan for 50 years.”
2. Congressman Wiley Nickel responds, “I’ve found one universal truth — I like people who like the Grateful Dead”
— NotFinancialAdvice.Crypto (@NFAdotcrypto) June 22, 2023
The connection is obvious no matter what, but it seems very far-fetched. Whether Powell’s statements about the Grateful Dead are actually enough proof that there is some kind of cooperation between the fintech and the US central bank is for everyone to judge for themselves. But, other statements made by Powell during the two-day hearings before the US Congress about crypto were also noticeable.
The Fed chairman said that the Bitcoin and crypto asset class “appears to have some staying power” in the US economy. Moreover, Powell remarked on the topic of stablecoins and declared that the Federal Reserve does “see payments stablecoins as a form of money,” and that “it would be appropriate to have a quite robust federal role in what happens in stablecoins going forward.”
Ripple And FedNow Rumors Revival
Remarkably, the rumors about a supposed connection between Ripple and the US central bank are not quite new. In the past, speculation has centered on FedNow, which will be launched in July. The FedNow service is a new instant payments infrastructure developed by the Federal Reserve that allows financial institutions of any size in the US to offer instant payment services.
As early as March this year, there were rumors that the Federal Reserve could use RippleNet as the basis for its digital transaction network. The backdrop is that among the banks on board for the launch are three of Ripple’s partners: ACI Worldwide, Finastra and Volante Technologies. The XRP army is therefore pondering whether Ripple could play a role.
In addition, the XRP army points to an Atlanta Fed document from May 2023 in which Ripple and Stellar get credit for “trying to make the value transfer cheaper.” It further states:
Ripple provides various services via the use of its native token, the XRP, which is roughly envisioned as an international payment medium or wholesale settlement coin.
At press time, the XRP price wasn’t influenced by the rumor. XRP changed hands for $0.4919 and is down 3.2% in the last 24 hours.
Featured image from iStock / CNN, chart from TradingView.com