The headliners are consistent with Ripple’s focus on regulation, adoption and bringing customers together.
Former US president Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker at Ripple’s Swell conference in San Francisco, on 1 and 2 October,
He will be giving some opening remarks on the first day, with Gene Sperling, the national economic adviser for the Clinton and Barrack Obama administrations (between 1996 and 2001, and 2011 to 2014) moderating a question and answer session.
The engagement cements Ripple’s reputation as one of the highest-profile blockchain and cryptocurrency companies in the world, and points at the industry in general being in a much more mature stage than it was at the same time last year.
Ripple clearly isn’t squandering the mass interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency that arrived in late 2017.
The agenda also includes representatives of central banks to explain what they see in blockchain, Ripple customers to describe how the company’s solutions have improved their lives, and in-depth discussion of the current regulatory state of play and headaches caused by intractable legacy payments systems.
It also has sessions specifically intended to connect potential future customers, satisfied current customers and suitable Ripple representatives to facilitate all of it.
The presence of so many current customers might be a curious facet of the nature of the technology, where network effects rule and everyone benefits from bringing more businesses online.
Indeed, at its heart Ripple products work by connecting customers with each other rather than with Ripple itself.
With that in mind, headlining an event with a former president will inevitably be controversial to an extent, given the inherently divisive nature of US politics.
Bill Clinton might be a safe bet though. More than half of XRP users identify as more left wing than right wing, which is unusual for cryptocurrency. A large part of Ripple’s current efforts is oriented towards embracing regulation of the cryptocurrency space which may also be seen as more the purview of “big government” Democrats than “small government” Republicans.
Plus, he’s just so darn affable. Bill Clinton is an impressive headliner for any company that can land him, and that a cryptocurrency firm is doing it might be a sign of how much the space has grown.